Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘creative writing

We’ve got many keen women who are students of literature and budding creative writers. One piece of advice given to writers looking to improve their wordcraft is to read as widely as possible. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, which is why magazines like Mslexia are so vital to bring together women with creative energy to learn from each other.

So how do writers achieve the effect of creating imaginative scenes, characters and worlds? This TEDEd video by Nalo Hopkinson suggests that good writers play with language to evoke our senses. From Shakespeare to Angela Carter, there are certain literary devices such as alliteration, imagery and tone which combine to build a multi-layered story full of movement, sound, taste, sight and smell. You could probably give me some examples.

If you are new to creative writing a good book to read is ‘Experiencing Poetry‘ series. In these short books, they describe famous poets’ use of language simply and get you thinking about how to put into words what seems impossible to say.

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Baby at the Beach Cafe by Lucy DiamondWe decided to run our World Book Night on Friday 29 April so we could maximise the attendance of our Next Level learners although officially World Book Night is 23 April.

This year we were giving out copies of Lucy Diamond’s Baby at the Beach Cafe which is one of the 2016 Quick Reads based around the main character Evie who has inherited a cafe from her aunt in Cornwall (in a previous Lucy Diamond novel called The Beach Cafe)and is now expecting a baby and needs a maternity leave stand in to cover her absence. Her husband finds Helen who has escaped from the stresses of city life. But unfortunately the two women do not get on.

As a result all of activities and display were around the beach themes. Our LRC Assistant Debbie selected poems with a sea theme to inspire the Next Level learners and other attendees from Pre Access, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): Preparation for Work, Access to Higher Education: Humanities and Social Sciences and Access to Higher Education: Health and Human Sciences to write their own poems. Our LRC Facilitator Philippa made a beach-themed banner and we had a games table going so the participants could go around the tables:

  • making their own sunglasses
  • doing a word search
  • putting sections from three different stories together  from a Quick Read and graded readers (Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and Clare West, Tinker’s Island by Stephen Rabley and Michael Salter and A Sea Change by Veronica Henry)
  • working out which photo of a beach taken from Britannica ImageQuest matched the pins on a world map
  • identifying famous beaches from around the United Kingdom on an interactive map of the British Isles.

Debbie also made a lucky dip sand box with free prizes.

The refreshments followed the beach theme with popcorn,  savoury fish-shaped snacks and ice pops!

Many thanks to the students from Next Level and the tutors who gave us feedback requesting more events like this during the year! Read more about our activities and what our students thought on our Sway.

 

iPad standingThis week our first iPad went out on loan to one of our Preaccess students. From the recommendations of our colleagues at Richmond Adult Community College we used Meraki to organise the apps onto the iPads.

A few weeks ago our LRC Manager went to an Albion Apple Regional Training Centre event at Surbiton High School where teachers recommended some apps that worked well in teaching using iPads in the classroom for pupils from primary to secondary school ages.

The teachers recommended using iMovie for primary school pupils to create a film outside of their science club discovering bugs. It enabled them to add music and do a narrative over the film. A physics teacher looked at how he could use a range of apps to run different experiments that would usually been done with equipment. Our LRC manager was particularly interested in the English teachers apps which could be used with GCSE English and literacy students doing creative writing on the Creative Reading, Writing and Speaking course.

We’ve loaded some of these recommended apps onto the iPads for our students and staff to use. They include InspireMe an app which gives you three words which you can help to generate ideas. This goes well with the Fig (Fiction Ideas Generator) app which acts as an ideas generator for those of you doing creative writing to assist you  in creating a plot, characters, location etc. We particularly like ShowMe which is a free app that students and teachers can use like an interactive whiteboard.

Stack of paperback booksThis month we’re busy promoting our magazine collection to our staff and students. You can read our story on the home page of our Virtual Learning Enviroment (VLE).

In addition to those listed on our promotion is the arts magazine Aesthetica. Every year Aesthetica runs a Creative Writing Competition and we’ve just received the 2013 Creative writing annual which contains short stories and poems from competition winners.

 


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