What a year it's been. As we write this final update for 2020, we have been teaching online for nine months! The restrictions may have closed our physical studio, but it opened our online 'doors' to young writers far and wide. Our team has been able to continue working while being close to their loved ones at home, interstate and overseas. We've discovered new ways to support more young writers, their families, teachers, and each other so that when we return to in-person teaching we can incorporate the best of both the online and offline worlds into our programs.
Meet Sammy, one of our amazing Story Writing Club writers!
She recently entered the Coles Little Treehouse Competition, for which she wrote and illustrated a 'wild and wacky' story to be judged by Andy Griffiths himself. And out of over 6000 entries from across the country, she was one of the top 100 winners!
Her writing won her family a $100 Coles Myer gift card, 100 books for her school, and a book for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Congratulations Sammy! We're incredibly proud of you, and so happy to hear about your words (and wackiness) having a positive impact on the world.
Read on to learn more about Sammy's book, her creative writing process, her advice for other young writers, and flying eyeballs.
It's nearly the end of Term 4! Again! How?!
At this time of the year, we would usually be planning the launch party for our annual anthology, Writ-Bits. However, in keeping with the unusual (and not all bad) theme of 2020, instead of a party at the studio, we are individually packing and mailing the books out to make sure each of the young writers receives their copy before Christmas. AND we're 'launching' online from Monday December 7 (our last week of the year) - follow us on Instagram to join the celebrations!
For this year's edition, we invited the young writers in our Story Writing Clubs and Writing Mentorships to describe a character who goes through a weird time in their life, and how it changes them. As their stories developed, we asked them to reflect on their own experiences of unexpected change in order to provide depth to their fictional characters, and show how they came to terms with their own weird times.
Rambunctious dragons, enterprising turtles, nervous horses, and other strange and wonderful characters coming to terms with their own weird times. In doing so, they show us how we can all adapt. And perhaps how we already have.
Read on for a sneak peak at some of the stories!
The road to publication: On growing ideas, hitting obstacles, and reaching the final stretch - guest post by Tamara Drazic
Every time I finish a writing project, whether it’s a poem, short story, or novel, I’m hit with the overwhelming fear that I’ll never have a good idea again. I guess the fear is, in a way, justified. Ideas are mysterious. They come and go uncontrollably, sometimes leaving us in the dark for months at a time until the next one comes along and captures us.
Some ideas come quickly with no warning. Others take hold slowly over years, sprouting from nothing, then gaining shiny new leaves at each big rain. I’ve learned that there’s nothing wrong with letting an idea grow slowly, tending to it in your mind until you’re bursting to let the story come out.
It's no surprise, we love books at Creative Write-it! Books are a great way to learn about the world. For kids, they provide a chance to see, hear, and feel the experiences of other people, helping them to develop empathy and understanding.
We are often asked by parents for book recommendations, so as part of our NAIDOC Week celebrations we thought we'd suggest some awesome books created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the original storytellers of this land.
If you know any young people who are looking for books to read this summer, check out the links below!
As part of NAIDOC Week 2020, we're celebrating books and words by indigenous writers. We were lucky enough to sit down (online) with Worimi poet Ryan Prehn, who spoke to us about discovering how poetry gives him a structure to express himself.
Each year for Halloween, our studio becomes Creative Fright-it! as we work on spooky prompts. This year we worked on two-sentence horror stories; a deceptively simple structure that challenges you to set up seemingly-normal scenarios then twist your reader’s expectation with a spooky second sentence.
Our young authors were frightfully good at choosing their words to conjure up eerie atmospheres and chilling conclusions. Here are some of the highlights from this year!
During the school holidays, Creative Write-it held a ‘Show us your Stories’ workshop. The basis of this workshop was to identify ways of storytelling by showing rather than telling. We used film as a means of visual storytelling, and we even looked at the senses (but more on that later).
A vital tool we used was the art of the short film. With the two different age groups, we looked at two films. They were Piper (2016) and The Present (2014). With little to no dialogue in the films, the kids relied on visuals to tell the story.
2020 was supposed to be the year of many things.
For some, a shiny new decade symbolised a fresh start, a way to wipe the slate clean and start again. For others it was going to be a year of change, making resolutions to hit the gym, to finally land that dream job, or pick up an instrument. Back on January first, little did we know how much change we, as a society, would be faced with.
Last week we shared five prompts from our Workshop Leaders to get kids thinking creatively about a classic teacher’s question. Here are some of the responses from our workshops, which you can use as examples to help some young writers you know! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Describing a Memory
Where young writers (and some older ones) write.