The Writing Workshop - creative writing programs for children and young people  

The Writing Workshop logo


The Writing Workshop approach

This page explains why we do what we do in The Writing Workshop's writing workshops.

Write a new piece every week

Why? Regular writing exercises the imagination, encourages creativity, and helps participants get used to writing on demand. It also means that by the end of a program, each young writer has a portfolio of work.

Weekly writing exercises, sometimes funny, sometimes serious

Why? Often starting a piece is the hardest part: the blank sheet of paper sitting there on the table. Writing exercises help provide structure and impetus, introduce new writing forms and are good fun.

Example: What is a couplet? Two lines that rhyme. Here's the first line: "I sat on a pencil; it really hurt." Complete the couplet.

Two 7 year-olds came up with: (a) "So I had to go to hospiturt" and (b) "So I rubbed it with yoghurt."

Read or perform our writing out loud

Why? To gain confidence in public speaking, to improve understanding and feel for the tone of a piece, and for the "voice" of individual characters, to enable feedback from the workshop leader and other group members.

Finished work published in the Cape Writing section of this website

Why? A young writer has conceived and written and revised and improved and polished a wonderful piece of writing. Now what? Children frequently ask "How do I get this published?" Cape Writing was devised to provide a site for finished pieces, a place where friends, relatives and other children can read the work.

Achievement certificate at the end of each term, and awards for two or more programs

Why? Completing a creative writing program, writing and revising a portfolio of works, helping other group members with their pieces and gaining new enjoyment of and insights into literature and writing: surely this deserves reward! Continuing recognises that engagement with writing and reading is ongoing, and increasingly rewarding.

Performance readings twice yearly for family and friends

Why? To share the pride in work around, and to provide a real entertainment.

Small, themed age groups from Kindergarten to Year 9

Why? These are workshops (not classes), and the workshop leader's role is to introduce exercises and encourage good work by drawing on and extending what young writers already know about writing forms. Writing exercises will be age-appropriate: a Year 5 or 6 child might have a real crack at writing a sestina, a Year 2 writer might find a whole lot of words in the dictionary that are very similar to his or her name, and use those as the basis for a character.

Small groups also mean more one-on-one attention, real rapport and group spirit, and great writing.


The Writing Workshop's programs help young writers build confidence, take pride in work, develop creativity, improve literacy, increase general braininess and have a lot of fun.

For more information, please contact The Writing Workshop.

This page is under construction.



home /programs / cape writing / endorsements / about bernard / contact us
The Writing Workshop ABN 23 452 921 203 postal address PO Box 223 Annandale NSW 2038 AUSTRALIA
Images and text on this page and throughout this website are copyright © Bernard Cohen and The Writing Workshop 2006.


This page last updated 24/5/2006.

Cape Writing - the place for writing by program participants Endorsements from parents, teachers and participants About Bernard Cohen Contact The Writing Workshop