On Saturday we gathered through the medium of Zoom for our second online Young Writers’ Group session. In a previous Young Writers’ Group workshop at The Writers’ Block, we considered what might happen if two fictional worlds collided, creating crossovers between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings amongst other texts.

Feedback from individual discussions in February suggested that there was an appetite for further exploration of fan fiction. What would happen if rather than two worlds colliding, one fictional world was to be extended? This time, we prohibited reliance on Harry Potter, as there is already an impressive amount of fan fiction that has emerged.

In the week prior to the workshop, the young people had the task of creating a board or card game concept inspired by one of their favourite books, films or TV series. It was wonderful to see a range of texts celebrated.

We gave participants half an hour during the workshop to refine their concepts, and improve their pitches. Learning how to pitch and present a project is a vital part of becoming a writer, after all. Their commitment to their concepts shone through during this entire process.

Following the presentations, we assured the writers that we would announce the winner at the end. We asked the writers to have a book to hand prior to the session, so that they could use the cover as a jumping off point for the next exercise. Ultimately we agreed that some of the stories we generated were perhaps a better fit for the covers than the published books!

Engaging stories make use of the same ingredients in different amounts, so our penultimate exercise of the day was to write a recipe for a good story. In our final exercise, we turned our attention to celebrating National Flash Fiction Day, writing 100-word and six word stories inspired by the book covers we had been studying.

We look forward to our next workshop, which will take place over Zoom on the 2nd of July, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Information on booking can be found here.