Hey cHEwY gum gums

So if you’ve been a shopping centre or playground recently, you would know the school holidays is in full force and parents are trying to find ways to entertain their kids. This is usually a time for me to recharge the batteries and do some writing at home. Of course, the FIFA World Cup had other plans haha. So yeah, it’s been a few late nights or early mornings thrown in too. Poor Germany. Well played, France.

But I’ve also been invited to do some school holiday workshops. I was at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne and Warranmbool Art Gallery a few weeks ago. Then last week I was at my local bookshop, Lost in Books in Fairfield. It’s a nice vibe because the parents are there in the back, and it’s a joy when the kids share their thoughts and ideas. It makes me wonder if there was any writing workshops like this when I was a kid. I mean sure, there was arts and crafts, drama, music and sporting workshops. But writing? How is that even fun?

In a world full of screens, games and other distractions, I’m so chuffed to see kids who love to create stories, as a hobby or interest. They see writing and reading for pleasure, not schoolwork. I remember reading heaps and writing my own stories during the holidays (and of course I’d play games too haha).

Now if there any difference between my school holiday workshops and school ones? No. I don’t add anything extra or more fun haha. My workshops have short and sharp writing exercises to gather ideas for stories and characters. So they are perfect for those who have short attention spans or reluctant writers. But there’s also plenty of scope for kids to continue writing back at home or even at school.

I don’t think authors who do writing workshops need to jazz up the content anyway. Writing workshops are catering to the converted. The keen beans. Most of the kids who come to these workshops are writers. They’re not thrown in there for an hour of babysitting. Which is great because sometimes when these workshops are free, you could get a few kids like that. I’ve never had a problem because the kids are hyped to be there 🙂 It also gives the parents and families a sign that their kids could be talented writers, and who knows, it gives them hope that they could be an author someday hehe.

Now tomorrow, I’m going to be a part of a workshop day at Better Read Than Dead in Newtown (spots are still available)  A whole day of writing. Now that is my idea of serious fun 🙂

Oliver Winfree (@oliverwinfree on Twitter/Instagram)


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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