This is Emma's story...what's yours? What's the story for your children? What's the story for the children in your school?
Make the book and they will write (a bit like build it and they will come I think). The power of being in charge of your own choices, of your own destiny, of your own creativity I truly believe gives you more will, determination to be more creative....AND WRITE. Look at how it works with young people every time. There hasn't been one moment in Storyshack's time OR, indeed, when I've been making books with children over the years when they haven't wanted to write something in them. Today, yesterday, over the summer both boys and girls have found a spot and written to their heart's content. In fact some adults have seen their own children, grandchildren sitting still and absorbed for a very long time indeed and have remarked upon how unusual that can sometimes be. I hope the pictures speak for themselves. Making books feeds the imagination. We need a broader curriculum and broader opportunities for our children if we are really going to inspire them. Dry, false reasons for writing will give you dry, boring writing. Writing in your own book, for your own purpose is a very different thing. Ultimately don't we all want children to write 'of their own free will' BECAUSE they want to explore language, communicate and create stories and ideas.......
Once upon a time there was Thumbelina, there was a bird who couldn't fly and there were 3 stories AND a diary of Scotland all to be written, read and enjoyed....and here they are at the beginnings. Ooh plus a rather gory story, in picture form, about a man eating shark with a kinder looking jelly fish on the page you're looking at. But what brilliant ideas and how heartening to see children do write, they write when they're enjoying the moment and can become absorbed in it. Don't we all?