Frequently Asked Questions

I really like writing poems. Can I write poems instead of stories?

In general, when it comes to questions of writing commencing with the words “Can I…?” or “May I…?” the answer is YES. Can I write a poem? YES. May I write a piece with seven monsters who eat each other? YES. May I continue what I've been working on? YES. Can we work together if we all contribute? YES. May I make up some new words? YES. Can I start writing yet? YES!!

The only restrictions are that we listen to each others' pieces and that the group works to encourage all participants in their writing.

What do you mean by themed writing program?

For example, in term 2, 2006, participants from years 3-5 invented countries. They created geographies and climates, filled each country with sounds and language, peopled (or otherwise populated with creatures!) the land, and tracked journeys across it. They wrote of their places in many forms, from strict haiku to stream of consciousness. They learned about how character and plot interrelate, and many are currently building on this knowledge for their own longer pieces.

We live in regional Australia. How can our children join in?

This is actually one of the most frequent of FAQs. The Writing Workshop will support regional individual, paired or group children's writing workshops with exercises and feedback. Please contact us to discuss distance learning options to suit your child/ren. Holiday programs will commence in the September school holidays.

The Writing Workshop is also happy to set up "live" regional workshops whenever possible (including weekends).

My child's in Kindergarten and can't write (very well) yet. Should I wait until he/she is writing?

Programs for (n)early writers are based on group storytelling exercises and familiarisation with a range of entertaining writings. Where the workshop leader is the scribe for the group, copies of pieces will be circulated the next week. By the end of a program, your child will have a portfolio of group and individual written pieces.

The Writing Workshop program will encourage your child's interest and accelerate his or her skills in writing and reading. It will also be fun. Please click here to read work by kindergarten children.

My child's in Year 9 and school's getting pretty serious. Can you help with essay writing?

In working with older age groups, The Writing Workshop encourages detailed research into the subject matter for creative fictional pieces. If you want to set a chase scene in Venice, it helps to know which streets are wet and which are dry. If your character is an ornithologist, he or she is going to have to know something about birds — and so are you.

Narrative structure and pacing is as important in essay writing as in other written forms, and the essay can be a creative and enlightening form. Participants are very welcome to workshop creative essays, and can expect the same detailed and helpful feedback as those workshopping poems or very long jokes.

That said, workshop leaders are not necessarily going to help directly with an essay set for a school subject and due tomorrow.

Is this for boys as well as girls?

Yes.

By the way,if you really mean “can I write about bottoms, farts and related subjects?” you are, depending on your point-of-view, either under- or over-estimating the subject matter of many girls' writings. (The answer to all “Can I” questions is given above.)

If I give you my email address, what will you do with it?

The Writing Workshop respects and supports your privacy, and does not respect or support spam. We will never pass your email on to any other organisation unless required to do so by law.

If you write to us, we will respond to your email. We may ask if you wish to be included in a mailing list. If you don't wish to hear from us any further, you won't.


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This page last updated 25/6/2006.

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