Providing teachers with original narrative writing tasks to boost learners’ confidence and cultivate creativity.
"...an excellent addition to the texts on teaching creative writing. Accessible, considered and interesting."
Dr Vanessa Harbour, Senior Lecturer, Creative Writing, University of Winchester
"I love this book and the potential rewards and benefits it offers... I can't recommend it highly enough!"
Hywel Roberts, Teacher and Storyteller
Two award-winning children's writers with a combined 40 years of teaching experience share over fifty tricks, tools and tactics to improve narrative writing at key stage 3, GCSE and A level.
Martin Griffin has over two decades’ experience teaching students aged 11–18, and has been a head of faculty, an assistant head teacher and a deputy head teacer. He is an award-winning writer of children’s fiction whose books include The Poison Boy – written under the pseudonym Fletcher Moss – and YA thrillers Lifers and Payback. As well as delivering writing workshops, Martin also helps schools design and implement mindset and intervention programmes – his published works in this field include The A Level Mindset, The GCSE Mindset and The Student Mindset.
Jon Mayhew has worked as an English and SEN teacher for 25 years. He is a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow, supporting students in improving their academic writing at Chester University. Jon is the author of the middle-grade Monster Odyssey series (The Eye of Neptune, The Wrath of the Lizard Lord, The Curse of the Ice Serpent and The Venom of the Scorpion) and the multi-award-winning Mortlock series (Mortlock, The Demon Collector, The Bonehill Curse). Jon has spent ten years delivering writing workshops to students from Key Stage 2 to sixth form.
Schools and colleges face increasing pressure and accountability to get pupils through the challenges of the new creative element of the English exam.
But often as English teachers, we might not feel we've got the right tricks and tactics to quickly improve our learners' narrative writing. Many English teachers we've met admit not feeling confident teaching creative writing or exploring the principles, tactics and strategies for boosting creative responses. It's understandable. We've often had no explicit instruction in it ourselves - not many degree or teacher-training courses cover the principles of narratology, structure or character - and as a result, pupils often report frustration at vague feedback such as, “Try describing your feelings in more detail,” or “Try adding more description here.” As teachers, we often have only an instinctive sense of what might be wrong in a pupil’s writing. (One teacher recently showed us some of his pupils' work. “I know this isn’t very good," he told us. "But why?”)
In Storycraft, we've tried to distil everything we've learnt about narrative writing as both English teachers and as authors over the course of our careers. The process of writing a novel for publication can be gruelling - editors, agents and beta-readers have given us a much greater appreciation for how story works; making what was instinctive now conscious.
In Storycraft, we share over 50 tricks and tactics to help you improve your pupils' narrative writing.