Jane Austen – bear with me, I’ll move on to the writing workshops for kids! – is a perfect example of a writer who entwined place and character together seamlessly. Her characters could only come out of places like Bath and Sussex, because their concerns were all about life in a small village where visitors like the agreeable Mr Bingley and the arrogant Mr Darcy meant the possibility of marriage for the young ladies of the village.
I went out for a drink with some literary folk a month or so ago. We talked about creating a sense of place in books, and someone asked me whether my characters sounded different because they were in Melbourne, rather than any other Australian city or coastal town. I’m not sure I know the answer! But I should definitely explore it. Jane Austen’s characters speak from their background – and so should mine.
Which brings me to the writing workshops in the Easter holidays – we’re going to explore story world building and developing characters in separate workshops. Regardless of which workshop kids choose to do, both themes will contribute to a greater understanding of how character and place work together.
It doesn’t matter whether kids prefer contemporary worlds set in real places or fantasy worlds, the workshop will help them to build their backgrounds complete with maps.
The second workshop focuses on developing characters – it’s only when we know our characters well that they come across authentically. We’ll dig deep and discover not only what our characters like to do in their spare time, what their favourite foods are and who they hang out with but what they secretly desire and what they most fear.
The workshops are for 8-12 year-old children. Children can choose to do both workshops.
The writing workshops cater for children who are passionate readers and writers, as well as children who need a little more encouragement.
- Tuesday 9th April – 10am-1pm – 8-12 year-old kids – mapping a story world
- Thursday 11th April – 10am-1pm – 8-12 year-old kids – creating characters
- Tuesday 16th April – 10am-1pm – 8-12 year-old kids – mapping a story world
- Thursday 18th April – 10am-1pm – 8-12 year-old kids – creating characters
All workshops will be held at Side Door – 72 Willsmere Rd, Kew. It’s a fabulous space, with an indoor section for writing and an outdoor section for breaks and games, and is next door to Flatiron, fashion and homewares store. All participants will receive a Flatiron voucher for 10% off purchases on the day of the workshop – something for the parents! For more information about Side Door, please see www.flatironmelbourne.com.au/side-door/ or email Emma Bangay at firstname.lastname@example.org
BYO – drink bottle and snack.
All writing materials will be supplied.
Cost for each workshop is $50. Payment must be made by Friday 5th April.
Acc. no: 1119 3537
Please forward this post on to your friends and family. I’m really looking forward to working with your children to create some amazing stories!