AN ABERGELE secondary school has launched a writing squad.

Said to be the first of its kind in North Wales, Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan launched the 'squad' in response to talent shown by pupils. Sessions will support budding young writers - between years seven to 12 - and introduce them to publish writers as well as companies.

Pupils will also learn writing techniques and will be given guidance from how to edit and plan a novel to creating strong characters.

Children's writer Kat Ellis, who has published popular teenage books such as Three Strikes, helped launch the first session of the 'squad'.

Kirsten Lorey, head of English, said: "We just had to do something. We have so many gifted and talented writers in the school but we found that much of the support for schools with writing talent disappeared at primary school level, so we decided to develop a squad ourselves.

"Every session will support the budding young writers we have.

"The squad hopes to encourage learners to become established writers or develop an interest in writing as a career.

"If anything, we just want to celebrate the sheer enjoyment of writing."

Sessions will be held each week to support and promote writing."

Universities will visit Emrys ap Iwan to run workshops to develop writing skills and liaise with pupils.

Staff will mentor youngsters and support them throughout their time in the club.

In April, the school will host Cardiff University and Firefly publishers, as well as script writers who have had a hand in the TV series Gavin and Stacey.

The school will also host more published writers to work and guide learners.

Ms Lorey added: "Learners from year seven up to Sixth Form are involved and helping to run the sessions which will have a focus on every aspect of writing.

"Future events will involve taking trips to stimulate writing and learners will be working with a range of universities from Cambridge to Manchester and Aberystwyth."

Following the launch, Ms Ellis tweeted: "Just had a fab visit to the brand new writing squad at Emrys ap Iwan who are all so bright and full of ideas."