You can join in with a group session at Storymakers on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening. Please see below for details. Don’t worry if you’ve missed the start of the term. Join in at any time if there are spaces. You are welcome to pay for a one-off session to see whether you like it before committing to the full term. Contact me if you would like to do this.
The Wednesday Writing Club
Join me every Wednesday evening for an hour of creative writing fun on Zoom.
We’ll be practising all the techniques in short bursts designed to fire up the imagination and awaken the creative brain.
I’ll be giving you lots of prompts to help you, but believe me, you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with!
In a world that shouts loudly, being able to express yourself through the written word is increasingly important.
Writing gives you a voice. It enables you to communicate and be heard above the noise. To be able to write, and write well, is a gift to yourself.
One of the best ways to improve your writing is to practise. That’s the advice most authors would give you if you asked them – including me! So why not join me on a Wednesday evening, no experience required, just come along with your imagination and a willingness to give it a go.
When: Wednesdays during term time.
Where: On Zoom.
Time: 5.30-6.30 p.m.
How much: £10 per session (paid termly).
Who: This group is open to children aged 7-16 years.
Why such a wide age gap? Because anyone can have a go at these exercises regardless of writing level. Each one will be timed, so that we can move on to the next task.
The idea of this group is to get you writing because the more you write, the better at it you will become.
The summer term starts 21st April and runs until 7th July – 10 weeks at £10 per session, payable on a termly basis.
Improve Your Vocabulary
Join me on a Monday evening, 5.30-6.30 p.m. for a vocabulary boost.
We will be looking at words and their meanings, synonyms and anyonyms, using words in context.
These sessions are designed to help improve understanding and usage of language, whilst widening the vocabulary. The more words you know, the better your writing will be.
When: Monday evenings during term time. The next set of sessions starts on the 7th June
where: On Zoom.
Time: 5.30-6.30 p.m.
How much: £10 per session (paid in blocks of five).
Who: These sessions are aimed specifically for children aged 8-10 years.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: PLEASE READ.
Due to the Coronavirus lockdown, Storymakers has gone virtual!
The weekly groups are still held on Saturdays, but via Zoom.
The timetable looks like this:
Vocabulary Group: Mondays, 5.30-6.30 p.m.
Wednesday Writers Group: Wednesdays, 5.30-6.30 p.m.
Story Writers: 2-3 p.m.
Writer Buds: 3.30-4.30 p.m.
Young Writers: 5-6 p.m.
See the Weekly Groups page for more information.
If you would like to join any of these groups mid-way through the term, please contact me to arrange. They are suitable for children in Years 3, up to secondary age (Young Writers).
Would you like to set up an after-school creative writing club at your school?
Much has been done in terms of studying the importance of wider reading for enjoyment and its connection to reading ability, but what about writing?
In particular, the National Literacy Trust have examined whether children who write for enjoyment benefit from it in terms of both writing ability and frequency. They surveyed 39,411 pupils, aged 8-18 years about their attitudes towards writing in order to examine the link between writing enjoyment and writing behaviour, confidence, motivation and attainment.
Children who write creatively outside of school are more likely to be better writers.
Although most children aged 8-11 write at the expected level, regardless of whether they write for fun in their spare time, twice as many young people who do write creatively outside of school actually write above the expected level for their age.
In comparison, eight times as many children who do not enjoy writing, write below the expected level for their age.
Children who enjoy writing are more likely to write something in their free time that isn’t school-work related and these children write a greater range of different formats during this time. They are motivated because they believe writing is fun and cool, for example. They also believe writing will help them learn and the more they do, the better they will be at it.
Over twice as many children who enjoy writing will write something daily outside of the classroom that’s not related to school work. They write fiction/short stories, letters, poems, diaries, song lyrics, among other things.
The findings of this research highlight how important it is for children and young people to enjoy writing, for the benefit of their writing attainment.
How can we get children to enjoy writing?
Getting children to see that writing can be fun, isn’t easy. Many see it as a chore, an extension of their homework, and don’t they get enough of that already?
At the Storymakers Writing Club, we work in small groups, where the children are encouraged to share ideas and help each other. At the same time, they also know they need to put down their own ideas and they’re very willing to do so.
The 8-10 year-olds in the Writer Buds group have examined a number of different writing styles over the course of this year. They’ve created their own comic strip stories, complete with illustrations, before moving on to script writing and sports reporting. Every term we look at a different style of writing, to keep things interesting and the children motivated.
The Story Writers (7-9 years) have been exploring where ideas come from, learning how to develop their characters, plot and settings and structuring their ideas to help their stories flow.
Similarly, the Young Writers (11 years plus) also work on projects and have recently completed their own fully illustrated picture books. This group were invited to read out their stories at our local library during its weekly Story Time session, an exercise that benefited not only the writers themselves, but the children who were listening to the stories.
Having projects like this to complete gives the children something to show for all their hard work. The Young Writers so impressed the staff at the library, they have asked to work with them again on their next project.
At Storymakers, no child is ever judged for the quality of their work. We are here to help and encourage and what we want most of all, is to see the children overcome their barrier to writing and just go for it. Once they do this, they become so proud of their work and this in turn, encourages them to write more.