free creative writing workshop

Getting struggling writers out of the starting blocks is often a challenge, even for the most ingenious and persuasive teacher. I’m passionate about inspiring young writers to feel confident and creative, and have been developing simple but innovative ways to help pupils produce good fictional writing.

Having run workshops in more than 60 schools, ranging from year 3 to year 8, I’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t. I often work with the theme of time travel or in the genre of cli-fi, but I can tailor the workshops to suit your school’s current curriculum requirements. 

Right now I’m offering the chance for schools in Surrey or Greater London to book a 2-hour creative writing workshop with me for a maximum of 30 pupils aged 7-12, totally free of charge.

All I ask in return, is that the school issues an order form to parents before my visit and achieves a minimum of 20 sales of ‘SeaBEAN: the trilogy’ at the discounted rate of £12 a copy. I will bring stock of the book with me on the day of your workshop and personally sign copies for pupils on the day, so that children can take their signed copy home with them that evening.

Over the last 5 years I’ve developed what I call my 7 step ‘seaBEAN’ process:

  1. SHOW AND TELL, to reveal how I became a published author, sharing some of the difficulties I’ve faced in getting my story out and letting them ask me questions
  2. ENCHANT, passing round a real seabean to let them ‘sense’ the germ of a story while they’re each holding it, getting pupils to switch on/tap into their imagination 
  3. ACT OUT using ‘live action role play’ to let their ideas run freely and generate the basis of a story (I have done this in various ways, but my newest prop is a three dimensional cube-like time portal)
  4. BRAINSTORM collaboratively in groups the more detailed aspects of a particular scene incorporating all the senses and translating them into sensory language
  5. EXPLORE AND EXTEND a character individually, paying attention to their journey, back story and tone of voice
  6. ALLOW the writing process to continue unimpeded on plain paper, without any expectations about spelling, punctuation, handwriting or grammar, in a peaceful atmosphere conducive to creativity (background music etc)  
  7. NOW LET’S HEAR IT pupils read aloud their work to the group and receive only positive feedback and constructive suggestions

It’s a lot of fun and generates a real buzz in every school I’ve been to. The first 3 activities work best in a school hall or drama studio, the last 4 can take place back in the classroom. 

TO BOOK, PLEASE FILL IN THE FORM BELOW

PS. The first 10 bookings I receive will get a free copy of my book for their school library and the opportunity to be part of my Big Write competition for World Book Day 2019.

Additional workshop sessions for groups of up to 30 pupils may also be booked to take place on the same day and cost £160 per 2-hour workshop.