Revisiting Fantasy Fiction with the Young Writers
Our April Young Writers workshop was an exploration of fantasy fiction that delved into the Hero’s Journey and what makes the stories we love work.

The workshop began with a recap of the Hero’s Journey, and a discussion of the stories where we see this most clearly. Perhaps the obvious example is Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.

We invited participants to choose an historic event which would provide the backdrop for their stories. The available choices included the Battle of Hastings, the Wars of the Roses, The Great Plague of London/The Great Fire of London, The Gunpowder Plot, The Great Exhibition of 1851, World War I or World War II.

Whilst many of these events would be familiar to the writers from their studies, it was especially interesting to see what they chose to work with. The Great Exhibition proved a popular choice, as it was new to some of the writers.

We invited participants to weave in elements of a classic fairy tale from a list including:

– Beauty & The Beast
– Cinderella
– Hansel & Gretal
– Little Red Riding Hood,
– Sleeping Beauty
– Bluebeard
– The Ugly Duckling
– Rapunzel
– The Little Mermaid

Finally, it was time for them to begin piecing the events of their stories together. We then asked them to add a magical object, and another trope of the fairy tale.

Often, there is some interruption to the narrative around the time that the story world is seemingly changed beyond recognition. We gave the participants a series of environments in which this interruption might take place. These ranged from a circus to a cathedral.

We then introduced the participants to an excerpt from Lord Tennyson’s poem The Princess, from which they were to choose a line to incorporate into a prologue.

Following this, we had the opportunity to hear from those who wanted to share about what they had been working on.

We are always impressed by the commitment and skill on display during the Young Writers workshops, and it is a privilege to be part of so many creative journeys.

Our next Young Writers Group will take place on Zoom on Saturday 10th June between 10:00am and 12:00pm. Booking information can be found here.