Kids Being Creative

Last weekend I was honoured and inspired to present the young writer’s awards at the 2019 Daylesford Words in Winter Festival.

The event took place inside a blanket fort, the brainchild of one of the young writers I was lucky to meet.

There were so many things I loved about this event. So much colour and so many amazing primary school aged creators.

Prep to Year 2 winners

The stories I read were evocative and powerful, sometimes funny, always imaginative.

I was moved not only by the creative vibe I found in Daylesford, but also the love of story and story creation.

Grade 3-4 winners

There were hundreds of entries in the competition and every prize winner and contestant at the event was accompanied by at least one proud and supportive adult. I was born into a household where writing wasn’t considered to be a ‘real job’ so it was heartwarming to see the family and community support for these young writers.

Grade 5-6 winners

Many of the writers had also been encouraged to enter the competition by a supportive teacher or librarian.

I was so lucky to be invited to be part of this event, and it reinforced to me how much we can do to encourage kids to write, and to love writing as much as I do.

 

INSPIRING YOUNG WRITERS

Last week I ran a school holiday writing workshop with a group of very enthusiastic young writers on plotting and planning your story .

We made up stories from photos, puppets and all kinds of  things. We talked about beginnings, middles and endings of stories – about working out what your character really wants and how they are going to achieve it.

A box full of characters can be fun to choose from

The young writers ranged from 7 to 15 years and they were so inspiring.

I was also lucky enough to have writerly friend, Karen Collum drop in for the workshop with her niece, Elysse

Pictured are Karen, Sarah, Elysse and me.

INSPIRING YOUNG WRITERS

In August this year, I started working with a group of very enthusiastic Year 6 to 8 Victorian students, all keen to hone their writing skills.

We talked setting, we talked story ideas – we talked about everything writerly. We used butcher’s paper to build a story from scratch – brainstormed ideas then arranged them into a logical sequence. We talked about how character inspires plot, and we explored the plot arc – reached for the high point in the story where all the action culminates in something gripping for the reader.

What a wonderful experience it was for me to work with such inspiring young writers. Each and every student had their own writing style – each had an obvious talent for writing.

At the end of the seven 1 1/2 hour sessions, we had produced an anthology, Our World & Beyond, which all the students could be proud of. Stories ranged from around 3,000 to 5,000 words and students spent a great deal of time writing and editing between our sessions.

Of course the odd vampire made its way into the book – and yes there was romance – and plenty of action. But every story featured well developed characters, original story lines and great writing.

It was so much fun for me to work on this project and witness such persistence, and the dedication of young writers to their craft.

Clearly, there is plenty of young Australian writing talent just waiting for the opportunity to emerge.

Dee

Tips for young writers can be found at my blog http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com