If you were standing there, right in front of me, I’d look into your eyes and ask you one question.
‘Do you write?’
Yeah, of course, you’d say. I have to. I go to school. That’s part of the deal.
‘No, I mean, do you write?’
What, like stories and that?
And what you’d say next wouldn’t really matter because I’d read your face, your body language. I’d see the unsung magic and the dragons in your eyes, the broken hearts twitching on your lips and screaming victory dances making your fingers curl and uncurl.
‘You’re a writer.’
The Young Writers’ Days have been engineered with you in mind. We’ll get together and write our hearts out. An entire school day to explore the craft, listen, read and laugh ourselves sore. And write. Did I mention that?
About the Program
The program is delivered as full-day workshops for select students, one day each term. That’s four days a year and each day will be different, new and fun. You don’t have to love English to be a part of it, but you do have to love words and stories. They often go hand in hand.
You bring your own pens and pencils, morning tea and lunch. A notebook is provided.
The day begins with you guys pairing with a partner of your choice (or we’ll find you one). We’ll discuss a topic – like characterisation, plot, dialogue, fart jokes or pet llamas – then I’ll give you a writing stimulus (an idea to get you thinking). The rest is up to you. You’ll work by yourself and silently during writing exercises (inside or outside) and then read and discuss your work with your partners.
We take regular breaks to move and refuel. You don’t need to ask to get a drink or go to the toilet. You won’t need a computer but you’re welcome to bring your phone.
There’ll be time to read your work to the group if you want, but you don’t have to. We’ll offer supportive comments and observations about the reading and the piece.
Every time we get together we’ll nominate writing to be included in a book we’ll publish at the end of the year.
9:00-10:30 Session 1
10:45-12:00 Session 2
12:30-2:00 Session 3
2:00-2:30 Feedback, Questions, Next Time
About the Educational Opportunity
You guys don’t get to use your storytelling superpowers much at school. You probably get to write. A lot. You’ll be asked to pull ideas apart, argue your point and prove that you understand things through your writing. That’s important stuff, but it’s hardly art.
At the Young Writers’ Days, you’ll learn things that will help your academic writing but our major focus is on story. Think of it as flute lessons without the dribble and the songs you play are made of words. Think of it as a sophisticated version of a grade three art class where you’ll get messy with language and create something jaw-droppingly beautiful that will make your folks teary. And maybe sell a million copies.
I’m a commercial author. I love the work and I do it to make money. If it wasn’t fun, I’d find something else to do.
It’s the love and the fun I want to leave you with, but the Young Writers’ Days will give you some of the tools you’ll need to turn your words into a career if that’s your desire.
A blank page can feel like a doorway. You rest your hand on it and discover another world to explore. Filling the page becomes a grand adventure.
About the Presenter
Scot Gardner (that’s me!) is a qualified teacher, counsellor and professional idiot. He’s also the internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning author of fifteen books for young adults and kids. Combining his passions for teaching, story and words has resulted in the Young Writers’ Days—a safe place for creatives like you to stretch your wings and hone your craft.
About the Support Staff
Robyn Grant administers the day and provides logistical, technical and emotional support. She’s a qualified natural therapist and has current Working With Children clearance.
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