Friday 8 April propelled the fourth Story Factory, a workshop for imaginative youngsters, into Chichester. A group of creative practitioners – including artists, musicians and editors – were brought together by Sussex writers Katy Lassetter and Vicky Edwards to encourage the varied custom of storytelling among 40 boys and girls. This was another successful sell-out event that was made possible by sponsors and supporters JSPC Computer Services, Sussex Arts Academy and Love Snowberry Vintage Tea Parties.
First things first – pen-names! To start the day, everyone put together the name of their pet with the road where they live to reveal potential prize-winning authors from Bertie Bognor, Monty Armadale, Teddy Green and Millicent Broadway to Biscuit Little, Fizzy Hornet, Humbug Western and Cosmic Lloyd.
In the first session, Abi McMahon of Summersdale Publishers explained the building blocks of a story with the theme “What Happens Next?” in mind. Abi talked about how creative tweaks to characters and action can be made in classic tales to completely reinvent endings … What if Olaf talked with the voice of Darth Vader? What if Captain Hook lived? What if Voldemort was given a slice of cake, would he share it?
The children then cracked on and, yet again, came up with some super plots including Cinderella and her friendly step-sisters; Ravenlocks and the Three Unicorns; musical notes that cry out in pain when plucked; and Luke Vadar sporting a Mohawk and packing a fart gun. Yes, you get it all at Story Factory Chichester!
After a spot of lunch the children illustrated their stories with the help of artists Jessica and Rachel. They also added colour and “wax seals” to some Top Secret document folders to keep their Story Factory creations in. Next, musical marvel Mike Fry was up and yet again he was tasked with putting together a song based around the workshop theme involving a contribution from every child.
It’s difficult to describe the magical atmosphere of a Story Factory workshop; it’s something akin to an electrical storm of creativity running from child-to-child via our expert practitioners. Abi McMahon, says it best here: “From the moment the children arrive they are bursting with ideas for stories – it’s like being at the centre of a what-if whirlwind… I think these events are so great.”
The children had a ball too. At least one eight-year-old went home and continued to write over the weekend. Also, 11-year-old Wilf said: “Story Factory is great fun, you have the chance to let your imagination run wild and write whatever you want. There are no rules and it feels really free. We all have a chance to share our ideas too which is cool.” His sister, Olive, aged 6, added: “It was really fun, cool and I liked doing the art”.
The next date for Story Factory Chichester is 28th October, 2016. If you would like to find out more information, book a place or be added to the email contact list, please contact Katy today.