The Writing Workshop - creative writing programs for children and young people - sharpen your pencils and get ready to write  

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programs endorsements


From children

The thing I liked most was ... everything. The thing I liked least was ... nothing. I loved it. (Kindergarten)

Liked: everything. Disliked: nothing. (Year 3)

The thing I most liked about Bernard's Writing Workshop was the way Bernard helped us with the way to do things. Like how to structure a book etc. The thing I disliked was ... I don't know. (Year 5)

I love writing stories. I love everything. (Year 2)

Why Bernard's class was c-c-c-cool: things that you thought were impossible are possible and I learnt that from Bernard. (Year 5)

I most liked the character exercise. (Year 4)

The thing I least liked doing was this survey. The thing I liked the most was the workshop. (Year 4)

All of the exercises. The thing I most liked was them all. (Year 3)

I most like storywriting. I least like talking. (Year 3)

I love the writing workshop soooooooooo much that I will most definitely come back. (Year 3)

What I liked: it encouraged me to write. What I hated: too short. (Year 3)

The thing I like most is the exercises because I can do them and relate them to my major story. The thing I don't like is when other people write more stuff and it makes me feel I haven't written enough. (Year 5)

I liked the way that it made me more creative and dramatic and I liked being surrounded by books. I became less shy of presenting my work. (Year 5)

Thing I liked most was learning to make stories interesting. Thing I least like was nothing. (Year 3)

The thing I most liked was you were fun. some teachers don't make it fun. (year 4)


From parents

"Happy child, happy Mummy!" (parent of 6-year-old)

"Jade (aged 13) has really, really been enjoying your class. Thanks for putting on such a stimulating course that progresses through the term toward Jade and the other children feeling they are achieving great things with what they love to do (and do best). Although the journey is always what keeps the cogs in motion, it's the end product often that 'glows' as the big reward for the time and effort spent. Jade has definitely felt a sense of pride and achievement in what you have guided her toward and taught her."

"My daughter in kindergarten and son in year 1are VERY keen to continue your fantastic Writing Workshops. You must be doing something right because unlike lots of other extra curricular activities they always want to go, every week."

"Thank you for offering my daughter [year 2] such a richly organised writing experience. She is enjoying it thoroughly. She can’t wait to come home and work further on writing she has started in the workshops."

"I love the diversity and uniqueness of the exercises ….. imagining and drawing animals that are half one species and half another and telling their story, writing imaginary postcards, writing a day in sounds instead of words was so fun to read — and having the word “hyperbole” bandied around our house…"

"The class is full of smiling children having fun sharing their spontaneous writing with each other, while Bernard spends time helping them in such a pleasurable way they have no idea they are actually learning something." Meaghan

"Bernard encouraged the children to use and develop their writing skills across a number of different genres. The sessions were always focused, well planned and very stimulating. The children were privileged to have access to such a professional writer who also understood their capabilities and was able to encourage and extend them. At the end of the year Bernard held a “concert” for the parents at which the children read their work to us. It was terrific. They had all obviously loved the experience." Penny

*My daughter really enjoyed the work she did with you last year. It really stretched her and got her interested in creative writing. She has always been a fantastic reader but her writing really caught up last year so thank you again."

The Writing Workshop – Parents' Comments (Survey conducted by Sydney Olympic Park Authority, October 2012)

  • Wonderful content
  • Bernard Cohen runs a fabulous program that excites my children
  • Positive influence on children’s learning/writing
  • My daughter loved it
  • Another amazing workshop
  • Participants were happy with content
  • Educational and very enjoyable
  • Bernard is a great teacher/facilitator and makes the kids have fun while learning
  • Fabulous output by the entire class
  • Extensive and good quality
  • Fun
  • This was our first activity and we found it fantastic. Superb facilities and very enjoyable
  • Could see improvements (in my child’s writing) each day
  • Activity was excellent
  • My child asks to come back every time to the same activity
  • Excellently organised, great teacher
  • A FUN and educational activity
  • Daughter was very happy – would attend again
  • Teacher was very friendly
  • The kids had a great time
  • I had a great time
  • Bernard was great, activity was great, thought about writing in a new way

From in-service courses for teachers

  • A fantastic approach to teaching something quite difficult – narrative. Thank you for your enthusiasm – very refreshing. I really enjoyed the writing tasks myself.
  • I liked the workshop because of the concepts behind it: encouraging children to develop solid ideas before attempting writing. The examples and exercises were good and are easily transferred to the classroom.
  • Good to put ourselves “in the children’s shoes”
  • You gave me another approach on how to teach creative writing. I can’t wait to try it out with my class this year. I’m always looking for a fresh approach and to try new things – and you have given me that today.
  • I liked the detailed breakdown of narrative elements as a way of developing writing.
  • Liked the emphasis on creativity without bogging students down with difficulties.
    I found the practical ideas for activities really interesting and useful. It was good to be put on the spot to remember what it is we ask kids to do all the time. I like the idea of making writing a long-term project, broken up by a variety of different interesting tasks. Thank you!
  • Writing guide (for term) very useful. Writing tasks were valuable – I was nervous at first.
  • Great ideas to take back to school.
  • Thank you for a great workshop. Loved working on developing characters and will take with me some new and excellent ideas for creative writing.

 The Writing Workshop – Parent Comments (Survey by Sydney Olympic Park Authority, October 2010)


My son was very pleased (with the course)

My kids got a lot out of it

Bernard Cohen is an excellent teacher

Bernard Cohen is an excellent writing teacher

Bernard is very good at motivating students

Children eager to attend

He loved it

How wonderful to hear all the amazing stories our children have written

Kids love coming and venue is great

Larissa enjoyed the activity

Learned some new techniques about writing

My child loved the experience and would come back

My child needs a lot of support and encouragement to write

My child really enjoyed it

My child said it was good and she had a good day

My son enjoyed the activity, came home enthusiastic about writing which is why I put him in

My son is a reluctant writer, he had never volunteered to do homework before this

She enjoyed and had a lot of fun

She enjoyed herself

She keeps telling parents what she learnt from this program

They learned and are happy will use the skills learned

Very enjoyable and rewarding



Feedback: One-day workshop ages 7-11 (PACED, Penrith, 2008)
Survey question: Did you learn something new? What was it?
Children's responses:

  • How to write like an author
  • Everyone has a different mind
  • How to write a haiku
  • Introducing your character is good
  • There are many ways to write story
  • How to speak Danish
  • Creating new things easily
  • How to structure your writing
  • Writing narrative
  • Lots
  • How to write a good story
  • How to plan a story
  • Lots of things

Course rating (5 highest)
19 responses in total

Rating - Number of responses

rated 5 - 14 responses
rated 4 - 5 responses
average (mean) 4.7/5

rated 5 - 10 responses
rated 4 - 8 responses
rated 3 - 1 response
average (mean) 4.5/5



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The Writing Workshop ABN 23 452 921 203 postal address PO Box 223 Annandale NSW 2038 AUSTRALIA
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This page last updated 27/10/2014.

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