Creative Writing: Express Yourself and Your Story
Faust is known primarily as a youth theatre company. We produce plays and encourage children of all ages to perform in front of audiences to showcase their skills and commitment as actors. We have also been running creative writing programmes for years, helping children from ages 6 to 13 to unlock their creative potential as writers. Our programme has steadily grown over the years with over 300 students participating during the holidays and we thought it would be great to share how and why we teach our creative writing programmes.
"You can make anything by writing."
C.S. Lewis, Author of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Stories and words are so important to us as they guide us and tells us who we are and who we can become. We use our stories to express our imagination. We feel that this is a natural, human instinct and that we should nurture this instinct.
A lot of children may have grown with the impression that writing is not fun or not enjoyable as they’re faced with expectations of what writing should be like. On the first day of our creative writing workshops, we tell our students that this is about writing their own stories and ideas. We give them the structure and knowledge but that first instinct of wanting to tell a story is vital and personal.
“Thank you for the course. Both kids are loving it! It's been hard to
get them to read and write so this has been amazing.”
Faust Parent, 2017
Some children find it hard to express that initial idea which is why we work hard to find themes and exercises that will inspire them to write. We have a wide range of creative writing workshops for each age group because we know there is a wide range of possibilities. We could be writing an adventure story on an island with pirates, fairies and dinosaurs or a fantasy quest to find infinity gauntlets and healing potions with little side tasks writing haikus about their family and friends.
"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn."
Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank
Our workshops are also more than just worksheets. We can create maps littered with descriptive locations or word games that challenge our vocabulary and use of nouns, adjectives and verbs or discussions about how to build a story or what story elements we find the most engaging or writing poems, our own chapter books or newspaper article.
"Half of my life is an act of revision."
John Irving, National Book Award and Academy Award Winner and Author
What we hope children walk away with at the end of the workshop is to bypass the fear of getting it wrong and just get it out. Our teachers encourage students to write first and revise after. We notice that quite a few students hesitate to write at all because they want it perfect the first time. While that is a natural instinct, it could also immobilise someone from expressing anything. We encourage our students to go back and revise, edit, correct and that it doesn’t mean that they are a bad writer. Everybody revises their words, no matter what their level of ability is.