At the start of the year, Currie Library launched a Creative Writing Club for P5-7 pupils from local primary schools. The club, which meets on alternate Saturdays from 3 to 4pm, kicked off with 12 children (six girls and six boys).
Club Adviser Suzanne Green, who is part of the Currie, Colinton and Balerno Libraries team, is a freelance writer and editor with almost 30 years of experience. She aims to keep the club members engaged, providing them with new challenges at each meeting. The focus is very much on helping them to enjoy writing by finding out what they like to read, helping them to discover their strengths and what they enjoy working on, regularly giving them new prompts and challenges to keep them engaged and ensuring they enjoy the club and look forward to the next session.
One week the children were asked to go to the children’s section of the library and choose a book by one of their favourite authors. When they returned with their books, they were challenged to write a story, copying the style of their preferred author. Later, when they read their stories out loud, the other members of the club guessed which author they were trying to imitate. Suzanne explained that sometimes it’s good for artists to copy someone who is very good at their craft, and then later develop their own personal style.
At the next meeting, Suzanne gave each club member the first few lines of a Horrid Henry story she had written, inviting them to finish it:
It was Tuesday.
Horrid Henry woke up and a feeling of dread descended over him.
Today was the day of the dentist appointment. And it wasn’t going to be like most visits to the dentist. This time it was not a check-up. This time Henry would have a tooth filled.
Henry had never had to have a filling done. And he still could not believe it was true. But at his last check-up the dentist, Dr. Overbite, said to him, “Well, Henry, it looks like you have been eating too many sweets and having too many sugary drinks! We will have to do a little filling on your next visit…”
More recently, club members were invited to take turns accessing scholastic.com’s interactive story starter site. By pulling the levers to spin four different wheels, the children were given a genre, a character, an adjective describing that character and a situation or plot. The club has also been challenged to examine the contents of a bag of 10 random everyday objects and then write a story in which two or three of those objects play a part.
Attendance is normally between eight and ten children, and their tastes range from science fiction, to adventure, to mystery stories, to fantasy. So far, they have not been keen to work on poetry, so that will be a challenge for the Club Adviser!
If you know someone in P5-P7 who likes to write and would be interested in joining the group, contact Currie Library for more information.