Creative Writing workshops For Schools and Libraries
Workshop Visit with Megan Wynne
My aim in giving workshops is to inspire and build confidence. I want students to experience the freedom and joy that creative writing offers. I also believe writing can be a great tool in improving mental health – particularly for imaginative children who experience anxiety.
The following workshops are my most popular workshops:
1. Magical Realism Workshop
In the first part of this session, the group learns how to create a character and make up a magical world (think Hogwarts and Narnia). The class then plots the story of the group character traveling to the magical world.
During the second part of the session, each child creates their own character, their own magical world and writes a story about that character visiting this world through a magic portal. This workshop covers four essential skills of fiction writing: character creation, setting the scene, beginning a story and plot.
2. Character With A Secret Or Problem
This workshop centres around a character with a problem or secret.
In the first part of this session, the group learns how to create a character who faces a problem or challenge. The class then plots the story of this group character overcoming their problem.
During the second part of the session each student creates their own character with a problem or secret and writes a story about that character overcoming their difficulty. This workshop covers four essential skills of fiction writing: character creation, showing not telling, beginning a story and plot.
3. Time Travel Story Writing Workshop
I offer a Time Travel writing workshop that explores characters slipping through time. This workshop ties in with my time slip novel, "The House on Hawthorn Road," published by the O'Brien Press. In the first part of the session, the group learns how to prepare a setting in the past or the future. Next the class creates a character who will travel to that time setting. The group then plots the story together as an example before each child works on their own plot and story.
During the second part of the Time Travel Story Writing Workshop each child creates their own character, their own setting in the past or future and writes a story about that character slipping through time. This workshop covers four essential skills of fiction writing: character creation, beginning a story, setting the scene (research) and plot.
Each of my workshops can be adapted to suit your school's needs. It can be one or two hours long.
The one hour session includes the group character creation and planning, and gives students time to plan their own character and story.
The two hour session gives students additional time to begin writing their story, ask more questions and read their writing aloud.This allows me to give feedback and encouragement. Most children will not have their stories finished within the allotted time, however they will have their story preparation completed and the beginning of a story written.
After a one or two hour workshop, I strongly suggest that teachers devotes more class time (up to one hour) for the children to complete their stories at another time (the sooner the better so that the children retain their enthusiasm for their stories). I can return for a follow up session if required to listen to stories and give further feedback.
Alternative Writinng Topics
You may prefer choose your own writing topics for a workshop. Here is a selection of topics I present:
- Character Creation - the class makes up a group character together and then each child creates their own character to put into a story.
- Hooking the reader with a gripping opening paragraph - the class explores and discusses the different ways to begin a story. This topic works well in conjunction with the above topic Character Creation.
- Showing Character through dialogue (including how to layout and punctuate dialogue).
- Showing Character through Action - This handles the important skill of showing and not telling in a story.
- Telling a ‘One Moment’ story about a key moment in the character’s life. It includes setting the scene and showing not telling. (These stories do well in writing competitions and exam settings!)
- Plotting a story - this topic works well in conjunction with Character Creation.
- Ending a story
Dates and Times
Workshops can be carried out on Zoom or in person. I live in Dublin and will charge travel expenses for travel.
I am open to negotiating rates and working with large groups bunched together. Please get in touch.
"Megan really engaged the children’s imagination. Superbly stimulating leading to amazing creativity in the children’s writing."