World-building is an essential part of good writing. Tell me a story, and build me a world that I can believe in. The young writers who participated in Saturday’s workshop did just that.

The late Wild Works theatre director Bill Mitchell created story boxes, miniature scenes where component parts could be moved and interchanged at will. Towards the end of his life, he decided that he would begin sticking things into place.

The young people created fascinating miniature scenes and appeared to enjoy engaging with a variety of materials initially gathered for a workshop run by Anna-Maria Murphy as part of the Ideas from the Attic retrospective of Mitchell’s work earlier this year.

Themes explored in these miniature scenes included a study of the world before humans, and what happened once we came along; a window on the inner workings of an assassin’s mind, and a snapshot of a nautically themed narrative. Though some found this new way of working quite unusual, the work they produced speaks for itself.

Still in the realm of building new worlds, we then explored the theme of dreams we’d had or dreams we held for our lives through the medium of haiku.

Despite the constraints of strict syllable counts and meter, the young people produced thoughtful and moving vignettes. The heart of haiku is imagery, and the pieces that resulted from the exercise clearly demonstrated the ability of this group of young writers.

Finally, the assembled group were asked to choose one of the exercises that they had completed during the day’s session, and expand on it. These pieces might form the basis of a sharing for friends and family at the end of the final workshop of 2018.

Although it was a small group, it was another very successful workshop – a good time was had by all.

Blog by writer, Casey Bottono.

The next session is Saturday 1 December, 10-3pm. Book online through Young Writers Group