I use art, games, drama and music as a way in to story-writing.
I am passionate about increasing students’ confidence as writers so that they enjoy it. The formal focus of the classes is story-writing: each course focuses on a different story theme. Previous themes include:
myths and monsters
comics and graphic novels
under the ground
Using art, games, drama and music, I help students gather ideas and develop their own setting, character/s and plot. Then, in the writing stage, I discuss and model creative writing techniques.
For 6-7 year olds, these include ‘show not tell’; writing with the senses; using similes and extended similes; being specific (using tiny details); using strong vocabulary; using onomatopoeia; etc.
For 8-11 year olds, in addition to these, I introduce more advanced techniques, such as the effect that sentence structure has on the reader; metaphors and personification; narrative point of view; etc.
My teaching methods and ethos come from my experience of teaching over the past ten years and my degrees in literature and law, in addition to research I have carried out on key teachers and writers who have written about the writing process. These include (but are not limited to): Pie Corbett, Jane Considine, Mary Roche, Steve Bowkett, Michael Rosen, Cressida Cowell and Neil Gaiman.
For a detailed structure of the Creative Writing classes, see Frequently Asked Questions.
For more details on my process in the lessons and ethos, please see How I teach Creative Writing. For examples of work from the Creative Writing classes see Beautiful Work from Creative Writing Classes 2016-2017. For examples of work from my most recent intensive courses see Under the Ground and Fantastical Creatures.