Creative Writing Workshops In Birmingham
Once, when I was doing some English training for some staff at a school, I asked them all to sit down and write a story in 45 minutes with a list of things such as similes, adjectives, powerful verbs, personification, metaphors, alliteration, etc to be included in it. Imagine the look of shock and horror on their faces! They sat down to do it and really struggled. “This is what we are asking the children to do,” I said.
Not only is creative writing meant to be just that - “creative”- and not subscriptive, with a whole list of rules and ingredients to have to include in it, the children have to do their piece of writing under exam conditions with the time pressure as an added pressure. No wonder it is the most difficult part of an exam if you are prone to feeling nervous.
Because I understand just how difficult it is for a child, who may even write amazing descriptions and stories when they have no pressure on them, but under exam conditions get a touch of “writer’s block” and go round and round in circles in their head not knowing where to start, I understand the need to equip them with a whole set of writing tools and ideas which they can bring out and use when it matters most.
During my workshops, if the child is comfortable with it, I encourage parents to listen in the background. Some like to take notes so they can see what it is their child needs to do and can practise. Lots of parents message me after a writing workshop to say how much they have got out of it, how much they have learned and how better equipped they are for now helping their child with writing.
"Dawn is the most amazing teacher of writing and will take your child through the writing process, step by step, a process that she will share with parents if you need her to."
I call them workshops and not courses or lessons because I like the children to engage, try new things out, share and have a go. The workshops are held on Zoom and usually last about 1 and ¼ hours. They are for children, years 4-6 who want to improve their creative writing. They are geared towards passing independent school 11+ exams but children can attend just to give them a confidence boost or simply for enjoyment. They are especially suitable for children looking to be inspired and write for pleasure, but also for those who need the confidence to write imaginatively and descriptively under timed pressure.
They will learn how to write stories, having a whole range of story openings, endings, plots and ideas up their sleeve. They will learn to write settings, descriptions and character studies and play around with language in an exciting way, extending their
vocabulary. What’s more, they will enjoy doing it and feel confident in their writing. Even the most reluctant writer has become a motivated one!
All they need is a lined A4 writing book, a pen and some colours, log on, listen, take down good ideas and have a go! The sessions are split into two sections with a few minutes break in the middle for refreshments etc. The sessions are usually just over and hour but can be longer as I can sometimes get carried away if the group are very motivated too!
Upcoming Creative Writing Workshop Dates
Monday 2nd January 2023 @ 2pm - Settings
Sunday 8th January 2023 @ 2pm - Extending Vocabulary
Sunday 15th January 2023 @ 2pm - Personification & Similes
Sunday 5th February 2023 @ 2pm - Openings
Sunday 12th February 2023 @ 2pm - Story Openings (not a repeat)
All workshops are £25 each. To book your child a place, please contact me directly on 07841 470926 or send a message on here.
Below is an example of writing done at a workshop by a year 5 pupil.