Story-Making Workshops

Our workshops are free and open to all schools.
They are available online or in-person in our east Belfast workshop space in the Skainos Centre.
Each workshop lasts two hours and takes place on weekday mornings or 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 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 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 a 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 along with the artist’s illustrations.

 

What do I need to participate in an online workshop?
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 level of enthusiasm for writing stories, from zero to 100%!

 

How do I book a workshop?

Choose a date and time that suits your schedule and book via our Calendly calendar:

Please note that start times and duration are flexible and we will do our best to accommodate your timetable.
If you have any questions, please contact us by emailing outreach@fightingwords.co.uk