Dionie McNair - Young Adult Fiction Author
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I read somewhere recently that one does not need any qualifications to be a writer. Anyone can be a writer. I was a little piqued at this statement. I will concede though that you do not need a gold stamped degree from a recognized university or college, but there are some things that are a must for a writer
The most important is Functional Literacy. They say as at 2012 47% of Australians are functionally illiterate. This means they are unable to function on a day to day basis at home and work.  And the figures are not much better in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada and a multitude of non English speaking countries. So there goes almost half of the population who are not only not going to write books they aren't going to read ours either.
The thought of not having or losing my literary skills makes me tremble with fear. I have an inbuilt love of words which is why I became a writer. My words on the page help define who I am, who I was and who I want to be.
While I am also very adept in verbal expression even in front of a crowd of 200 people and a microphone in my hand I consider this a special skill, one that can be learned if and when needed. To me it is not an essential of life.
But being able to read and write to a competent level should be everyone’s unalienable right. I know that in third world countries or ancient cultures this is a long way off as it is at times in indigenous cultures in the western world, and not that it is not important, that aside every child should leave school with more than basic skill in literacy.
It horrifies me to think that almost half of Australians do not have the basic literacy to function in today’s society.
All the things I take for granted, reading books, instructions, menus, signs are lost to them. To those that cannot read and write the richness and wisdom of the world is lost to them, the world’s beauty and complexities out of their reach.

There are changes that need to be made so that all people can face the world on a level platform.

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