The Young Writers rose to the challenge again last Saturday, exploring an array of different prompts designed to entertain and inspire. To begin with, we examined the ways in which the pivotal moments of our lives can be borrowed from to inspire stories.
From tales of homemade parachutes and awkward landings to first family pets, there were so many stories to tell. Some writers remarked that they found it easier to remember the first time they did something than the last.
This was followed by a discussion on creating first impressions in writing. It was hard to stay away from Harry Potter when having this conversation, as those first impressions tended to linger in most of our memories. However, we managed it, and the students cited examples from their favourite non-magical texts as well.
We learned about a story in which the protagonist searches frantically for her brother, only for the reader to discover that the sibling does not exist. That conversation led into a lively discussion about the merits of adaptations and just how far you can stretch a story before you lose sight of the original.
After a short break, we turned our attention to exploring memorable experiences in a way that we hadn’t touched on before. The writers were very adept at translating memorable experiences from their lives into compelling personal essays.
‘Noughts and crosses is a game where, if both players are good enough, nobody wins.’ G wrote a vignette on the experience of teaching his sister to play the classic game, lending poignancy to the experience with his words.
The young writers finished the workshop with a performance masterclass from Olivia, who showed us how to improve our technique so that people not only listen to our words, but remember our performances.
During the March Young Writers’ Group, we will be joined by Polly Roberts and a guest nature writer Anna Wilson. It will be exciting to explore uncharted territory in their capable hands.