Schools

Primary Schools: Story-making workshops (online)

Our workshops are free and open to all schools. We are currently delivering workshops online on a secure, school-approved platform. Each workshop lasts two hours and takes place on weekday mornings and afternoons. Each workshop can accommodate up to 30 students. Schools are welcome to book multiple workshops – please make one booking per class group. 

At Fighting Words NI, we welcome groups of primary-school children to our online workshop space for a story-making adventure. Every child leaves a published writer with their first title under their belt. 

Our workshops are for everybody, from the loudest voices in the class to the quietest. Our simple yet revolutionary model encourages participation from even the most reluctant writers, as well as incorporating the ideas and enthusiasm from the most voracious readers.  

Every contribution is celebrated, whimsy is welcome and there’s no such thing as a bad idea! 

We believe that everyone is creative, everyone has important things to share and that stories are best told in the unique voice of the writer. The children already have everything they need to write a good story, but a healthy dose of magic dust can help the process along. The magic dust is our volunteers, who provide focused attention, encouragement and support to help every child to have a fun and rewarding experience of story-making.  

 

What kind of workshops are available? 

There are two options to choose from: 

  • Story-making workshop: students will be guided through an exploration of the basic elements of a story, deciding what they want to write about as they go and transforming a blank page into a completely new and original story-beginning. 

  • Time-capsule workshop: starting with watching a short animation, students will discover a time capsule hidden by children 100 years ago. The treasures inside will inspire stories about what life was like then, what it’s like now and how it might be in another 100 years. This workshop is available throughout the academic year 2021/22 and is best suited to P.5, 6 and 7. 

 

What does a workshop look like? 

CREATIVE BRAINSTORM 

With the help of our volunteer story-maker, the children start the story-writing process together. They talk about the stories they love (whether it be a book, a film, a comic or even a computer game), come up with their own original ideas and decide which to use in their own story.  

COLLABORATIVE STORY-BUILDING 

The group is guided by our volunteer story-maker and the story is typed up by our volunteer scribe. The story is built sentence by sentence and displayed on your classroom screen. As the story grows before their eyes, so too does their confidence in their ability to contribute and create. While they are working, a volunteer artist is busy creating illustrations to accompany their story.  

INDIVIDUAL WRITING 

Once the start of the story has been created collectively, the children have the opportunity to write the next part by themselves. Each child is encouraged to take the story in the direction they want, bringing in new characters, conversation and unexpected twists and turns.  

SHARING  

We finish the workshop by inviting the children to share their unique story-ending. While they have been working, we publish the beginning of the story that was written during the first part of the workshop on our website. We finish by showing the story and along with the artist’s illustrations. 

 

What do I need to participate? 

A computer or laptop with a microphone, speakers and camera. 

An internet connection and ability to open Zoom (or another platform if you prefer). 

A classroom screen for us to be projected onto. 

Pencils and paper. 

A group of primary-school children with any levels of enthusiasm for writing stories, from zero to 100%! 

 

How do I book a workshop? 

Email Marnie on outreach@fightingwords.co.uk.

 

Post-primary schools: Creative writing workshops (online)

Our workshops are free and open to all schools. We are currently delivering workshops online on a secure, school-approved platform. Workshop last two hours and take place on weekday mornings and afternoons. Each workshop can accommodate up to 30 students. Schools are welcome to book multiple workshops – please make one booking per class group. 

At Fighting Words NI, we welcome post-primary school groups to our online workshop space to create new and original pieces of writing. We believe that everyone has the ability to be creative and our mission is to support young people in becoming the authors of their own lives.  

Creativity is encouraged, courage is celebrated and there’s no such thing as a bad idea 

Our workshops incorporate creative collaboration, group decision-making and active listening. We aim to give every student the confidence to write in their own voice, to make decisions for themselves and to enjoy the process of creative writing. 

Throughout the workshop, our volunteers provide support and encouragement to enable every participant to have an enjoyable experience. 

 

What kind of workshops are available? 

There are two options to choose from: 

  • Creative-writing workshop: beginning from a blank page, your students will explore the essential elements of a story, creating original characters, setting and realistic dialogue as the basis for an original piece of writing. 

  • Time-travel workshop: using the theme of time travel, your students will use their imaginations, personal histories and historical facts to creatively connect with life 100 years ago and 100 years from now. This workshop is available throughout the academic year 2021/22 and is best suited to Years 8, 9 and 10. 

 

What does a workshop look like? 

CREATIVE BRAINSTORM 

Guided by our volunteer facilitator, the group discusses different types of stories and methods of storytelling. They create characters, a setting and dialogue which forms the basis of the story they will write. 

COLLABORATIVE WRITING 

The beginning of the story is guided by the facilitator and typed up by our volunteer scribe. The process is relaxed and organic and the focus is on creating an engaging storyline with diverse and original characters. Once a first draft has been created, the story is read aloud and students are invited to suggest edits.  

INDIVIDUAL WRITING 

Once the start of the story has been created collectively, students are given the task of continuing the story by themselves. The beginning of the story remains visible on the classroom screen and our team of mentors are available to offer advice and a readers’ ear. Students write at their desks with paper and ink and can speak to our mentors at any time. 

SHARING  

We finish the workshop by asking for a few students to share what they’ve written. The story doesn’t need to be complete – there is no word count to be reached. Our mentors give specific praise and feedback to each writer. Finally, the beginning of the story from the first part of the workshop is published on our website. 

 

What do I need to participate? 

A computer or laptop with a microphone, speakers and camera. 

An internet connection and ability to open Zoom (or another platform if you prefer). 

A classroom screen for us to be projected onto. 

Paper and pens. 

Your students - enthusiastic, reluctant and everything in between! 

 

How do I book a workshop? 

Email Marnie on outreach@fightingwords.co.uk.