How to improve your writing – Writing courses for both children and adults
I have been helping people improve their writing for a long time. Using words is a powerful way to communicate, and businesses understand that. We may live in a digital world, but we can’t ignore the need to reach out to customers, to stand out from the competition when we rarely meet and do business face to face anymore.
Yet, when it comes to our children, they are failing to understand the need for literacy. Have you looked at the message feeds of your teen recently? There’s barely a sentence among them and very few words. If it can be abbreviated or replaced with an emoji, it will be. This is how our young people are communicating. Very few children write for pleasure outside school, unless you count messsaging their friends. Many see writing as a chore. They do not realise just how important it is and how much they are going to have to rely on it in the real world.
Since starting my writing club, I have been honoured to share my passion for writing, with children. Not only do I hope my being an author inspires them, I also aim to show how writing can be a fun and even a sociable process.
At the Storymakers Club, we work in groups of up to eight and by doing so, the children not only get the benefit of working in a small group setting, they get to make friends too, they share ideas, they communicate in a face to face environment.
I am proud to have built up my business on this basis, and I feel particularly compelled to continuing reaching out to help those who feel disillusioned with the whole process of writing. I am concerned our children are growing up in this tech world and failing to develop the core skills needed for writing. I’m sad they’re missing out on the enjoyment of simple things, such as writing and receiving a letter. With this in mind, I have some exciting developments for my little writing club.
What’s happening at Storymakers?
On a Saturday afternoon, during term time, I currently have four groups:
The Story Writers are a group of 7-8 year olds who are working through the process of writing a story, from developing their ideas and characters, to understanding the natural development of a story timeline. BOOK A PLACE ON THIS GROUP.
The Writer Buds are a group of budding journalists. They’ve been exploring different writing techniques, from short stories and poetry, to book and film reviews, advertising and news articles. We will be putting all their work together in the form of a magazine, ready in time for Christmas. BOOK A PLACE ON THIS GROUP.
The Young Writers are now two groups, one of which is working on writing and illustrating a picture book, the other on middle grade and young adult novels. The Young Writers are aged ten or older.
In addition, I run private groups and holiday workshops.
In the run up to Year Seven entrance exams, I often conduct private workshops for up to eight children (minimum four). These are two-hour workshops that focus on the creative writing element of the exams. Please contact me directly if you would like to organise one of these.
To add to these regular groups, I plan to introduce the following (starting in January):
Preparing for Writing
This group is aimed at preschool children. A weekday group (Monday, 10.30 a.m.), the aim of this group is to help children develop the fine motor and core skills that are necessary for writing. There is so much that needs to happen before a child can even put pen to paper and you can read more about this in a previous post I wrote. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BOOK, PLEASE SEE THE STORYMAKERS WEBSITE.
Pen Pal Club
This fortnightly club will take place on a Thursday evening (5-6.30 p.m.) in collaboration with a similar group in West Yorkshire. The children attending this group will be matched with a pen friend prior to starting the group, then they will write their letters when they come to the first session. On return, I will have their replies, so they can then write back. I hope this group will encourage children to see the reward in writing, as well as that tangibility they don’t really experience with everything being so virtual in our current world. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BOOK, PLEASE SEE THE STORYMAKERS WEBSITE.
Improve your writing
I feel very lucky to be able to refer to my work as ‘my passion’ but it really is. There is no greater feeling when I read reviews of my books, to know how much they have been enjoyed. There are more books in the pipeline for me, including the next in the Time School series and a young adult trilogy.
In addition to this, and my Writing Club, I’ve worked with people on a one-to-one basis, to help them with their own writing projects. I also help businesses with content for their websites and any other written materials they need. For some, this means writing the words from scratch. For others, it is a case of asking me to check what they have already put together themselves, or improve it.
Many people lack confidence in their own writing abilities, but at the same time, I also bring to them, my experience in writing for the web.
Writing can be very therapeutic, cathartic even. It’s one of the reasons I first started blogging, many years ago, when I was a parent of young children trying to find my way through the parenting fog. I no longer blog on parenting issues, but I find solace in my fiction writing and value that time as my own.
Many adults see writing as a solitary process, but it doesn’t have to be. Joining a writing group can be hugely beneficial, not only in improving your writing, but also meeting like-minded people.
The first time I steppped out of my comfort zone and met other writers in real life, was terrifying. Writing is such a personal thing and it’s not easy to share your work, but getting positive feedback and finding out that other people like your writing is such a confidence boost. At the same time, it is an honour to hear other people share their work, for after all, they are stepping out of their comfort zone too.
If you would like to join my adult group, please contact me. Whether you write stories, blog, or just feel you would like to improve your writing in order to help with your everyday life or business, it would be great to have you along.
Alternatively, you can get in touch about some one-to-one sessions.