New! Gothic Writing Workshops

GOTHIC WORKSHOPS FOR KS2 AND KS3

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To run alongside the publication of ‘Strange Star’, my ‘Frankenstein’-inspired novel, I’m now offering Gothic Writing Workshops to schools. Ideally these are aimed to enrich the learning of KS2- KS3 students, but can also be used as an introduction to the genre- it’s entirely up to you. The sessions consider classic novels such as ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’, as well as understanding the conventions to create our own Gothic worlds and monsters.

WHY CHOOSE ME?

Until 2015, I worked as a secondary school English teacher. I have 20 years classroom experience, a PGCE in English and an MA in Creative Writing. Since publication I’ve done many school visits all over the country, have appeared at the HayFestival, the Edinburgh Festival and delivered  creative writing workshops for year 6 students with The Arvon Foundation.

My books are award-winning (Frost Hollow Hall), Carnegie- nominated (The Girl Who Walked on Air) and have been selected twice as The Times Childrens Book of the Week. Extracts from Frost Hollow Hall and The Girl Who Walked on Air appear in numerous KS2 teaching resources.

PICK AND MIX

I’m offering five sessions, with each lasting approx 50mins. Schools are very welcome to pick and mix which sessions best suit their needs. (please see note at bottom of page re: costs for booking  sessions)

THE SESSIONS

1. THE GOTHIC INFLUENCE

What it’s about: an author talk on how I came to write ‘Strange Star’, ‘Frankenstein’ + Mary Shelley’s influence, the writing process ( with notebooks!), readings from the book, interactive bits with audience participation to demonstrate themes, author Q+A.

Group Size: Whole school, whole year group, any size.

 

2.ALL THINGS GOTHIC 

What it’s about: an introductory session to the Gothic, consider what we already know, snippets from famous classic Gothic novels- Dracula, Wuthering Heights, Northanger Abbey, role play typical ‘gothic’ scenes (with props!), create Gothic ‘word bank’, by end of session  define ‘Gothic’.

Group Size:  Class size as a max.

 

3. THE GOTHIC WORLD:

 

What’s it all about: a writing workshop creating a ‘Gothic’ story atmosphere looking at: weather, settings, times of day, characters’ emotions. Session will include short writing exercises for inspiration, how to plan ideas- maps, diagrams, log books- and culminate in the first draft of a longer written piece.

Group size: Class size as a max.

 

4. THE GOTHIC MONSTER:

What’s it all about: a writing workshop creating a ‘monster’ for your Gothic story. For inspiration we’ll consider Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, Jekyll and Hyde- and ask the question, who is the true monster of these stories?  We’ll visualise our monsters, create character profiles, give them a voice, culminating in a piece of writing from your monster’s POV.

Group size: Class size as a max.

 

5. THE GOTHIC MINDSET

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What’s it all about: a writing workshop (an extension session perhaps?) looking at the deeper, psychological side of Gothic writing. We’ll consider Gothic symbolism (colour imagery, open and shut doors/windows etc), how our characters are feeling, what motivates our characters – their ambitions + fears. Is there a link between monster and victim- do they both suffer, for  instance?  Who has our sympathy? All these points to be considered with ref to other classic Gothic texts. Culminating in revisiting earlier pieces from sessions 3+4 and developing ideas, and /or writing a scene where monster and victim meet and explain their motivations.

Group size: Class size as a max.

 

 COSTS:

£185 – a single session

£310- for two sessions

£395– for three sessions

£495- for four sessions

(Plus travel expenses)

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