I love stories – I write them and I read them – so I always find it difficult when a child tells me that they hate writing.
It’s difficult and it’s sad and as such, it’s always been my mission to help change that mindset.
Writing can be fun. In a way that reading a story takes you to worlds you can only dream of, writing can do the same. Only these worlds are of your own imagining.
As an author of children’s books, I want to share my love of stories with children and get them to enjoy writing too, which is why I set up Storymakers in 2017.
I work with children in groups and individually, and over the last four years, we’ve done all sorts of creative workshops from picture book writing, to cartoon strips to book trailers. You name it, we’ve done it.
My latest venture has been to help children become published authors.
Groups of children have worked with me to come up with an idea, formulate their characters, structure and plot and then write their story. Along with my publishing partners, Saronti, we’ve been able to give the children a hardback copy of their story – something tangible to hold in their hands, to show their family, friends and teachers. Something to feel proud of.
James wrote a story about Frodo and Pippin, two parrots who live at the ARC (Animal Rescue Centre) and who turn their dream of flying into space a reality.
James and his mum came up with the clever idea of using the book to raise funds for the ARC charity. The ARC is an animal rescue centre based at Greenvale Primary school, near Croydon. You can find out more about what they do here.
The Astronaut Parrot costs £7 and is available from the ARC. Alternatively, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to buy a copy. All of the proceeds from the sale will go directly to the charity.
Not only is James a published author, he’s helping to raise money for a good cause too.
The children I’ve worked with have all been so proud of their stories when they’ve received them. One mum even told me that her son, who was not part of the workshop because he is a reluctant writer (and didn’t want to do it) became so intrigued by what his sister was doing on the course, that he went off and wrote his own story too. When he gets his book back, he’s going to be so proud of his achievement. And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?
We want children to see that they are capable of great things.
We want children to see where their creativity can take them because really, there are no limits. As I always say, the world needs creative people. And where better to start than here.
If you would like to take a look at the stories the children have written, visit the author gallery.
I will be doing this book-writing workshop again, but not until later in the year. In the meantime, if you visit the workshops page of my website, you can keep up with what’s on offer over the summer.