Writing a story, out of nowhere

Creative writing workshop for children aged 8-12 years old

The inspiration behind this children’s workshop are the paintings in the permanent collection of the museum. Divided into two (or more groups depending on participation), one of the groups will select a painting from the collection which inspires them. Based on it, the group will write three or four sentences on the art work and with the help of the facilitator and through group discussion, compose them into the beginning of a story.

The second group will then continue writing the story, reading the existing paragraph and adding another, without seeing the painting, enabling imagination and creativity to flow.

This back and forth is repeated a number of times, depending on the amount of groups and the drive of the story which again will be guided by the facilitator.

At the end, the groups get together and read the story out loud and see the painting that inspired it.

The workshop aim is based on the idea that a story can be made out of anything and aspires to stimulate imagination in participating children as well as assisting them into a guided story writing exercise.

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About Melissa Hekkers

I am freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus. Recently, I've been focusing on developing my writing, promoting my own books and teaching creative writing to children and adults. My most recent publication (2020) - Amir's Blue Elephant- pushes the boundaries of creative non-fiction, and recreates the moments that marked me the most, whilst volunteering in refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece, and during her ongoing involvement with the refugee community in Cyprus. In 2018 I published My Capre Greco Mandala which is the third in a series, an interactive colouring book about the biodiversity of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus. My Akamas Mandala, the second in the series, is a colouring book inspired by the variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Peninsula. In 2016, I published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia. I also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: I writes about migrants and refugees, both as a reporter and a features writer; I profile them and teach them creative writing skills. In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, I published my first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, I launched my second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which I was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award. My third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014. In between the last two books, I published my first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth. In 2019 she was contributing author to the anthology Nicosia Beyond Barriers: Voices from a Divided City, published by Saqi Books, London