How to Host a Children’s Writing Workshop

Children's writing workshopOne of the funnest jobs I have is running children’s writing workshops. Not only is it lots of laughs, but I’m always absolutely amazed by the incredible level of creativity in children.

Presenting workshops is a good way for authors to earn income and to build their profile. But the best reason to host children’s writing workshops is because it provides you with the chance to do something great for your community.

For gifted children, writing workshops enable them to hone their skills and provide a platform for them to share their works. Workshops also have many benefits for children who struggle with literacy. Children’s writing workshops should always put the focus on fun and creativity, in a way that English classrooms often miss. This is not a place for strict guidelines or constant nagging about spelling or punctuation or choosing a higher tiered word.

how to teach children to write storiesChildren should have the opportunity to showcase their creativity and storytelling abilities (and ALL children have great storytelling skills) regardless of their literacy rating. Have your kids leave your workshops proud and energized about writing and they’ll want to do more of it. That’s the real key to building literacy skills. If they enjoy it, they’ll write more, if they write more, they’ll improve.

Not sure how to start hosting your children’s writing workshop?

Fellow children’s author, Karen Tyrrell, and I recently presented a workshop on just this topic and I’ve put together a checklist from all our points. Download it, print it and use it to plan your first children’s writing workshop!

free download how to run a workshop checklist

The Business of Writing – becoming an independent author/publisher

The 2014 Gold Coast Writers Festival was a great event for both emerging writers and industry professionals, and I was honoured to be invited to present on the business of writing.the business of writing

Writing is a craft, one that grows from inspiration and is developed with technique and skills. Creative-minded people such as authors are sometimes not comfortable with the business side of publishing. Commercialising your art does not mean compromising your artistic integrity.  But even if you intend to go through the traditional publishing path, you’ll still need to handle of lot of the business of writing yourself.

During my presentation I took attendees through the steps of setting up their author/publisher business in Australia. There are a few websites to visit, links to access and forms to fill in during the process for obtaining an ABN (Australian Business Number), securing a business name and registering as an official publishing business. To make this simpler to remember and follow, I’ve created a booklet, The Business of Writing providing all the necessary links and information to get you started. You’ll find the PDF booklet available at the end of this post.

The Gold Coat Writers Festival

Gold Coat Writers FestivalAs part of the ‘Authors in Schools’ initiative of the Gold Coast Festival, fourteen professional authors visited various schools around the Gold Coast, holding writing workshops with the students. I worked with Merrimac State High School students in a fun and productive writing session. During our workshop, I showed the students how to warm up their creative muscles, plan an entire plot for a short story in under five minutes, and write from unusual prompts.

I think the main tip I provided which had a huge impact was to start a short story right at the problem. authors in schools programDon’t lead up to it, just get there. And wow. The students provided some amazing examples of great openings for a story.

The next day I presented at the Gold Coast Writers Festival, alongside some very talented authors and highly respected professionals in the world of writing and publishing. In my session, we not only explored the steps to setting up your publishing business, but workshopped some marketing ideas using a volunteer from the audience as an example. It was so much fun and I could have talked all day (and I probably would have if my time didn’t run out!).

The Business of Writing

Download your free PDF booklet by clicking on the image below. This booklet contains all the steps I took to set up my publishing business: Hot Doggy Digital Press. As I stipulated in my workshop, there are other avenues you could take when setting up your business or publishing your works. I’m just sharing the things that have worked well for me.

The Business of Writing

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