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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

04 November 2023

Posted by Robyn O'Mahoney

Newspapers

Newspapers

The day began with our Junior Writers. Settling into the room, we thought about our weeks and noted down a funny thing that happened in the last seven days. After some consideration and conversation, everyone shared their anecdotes. 

Settled in, we then split the group into three teams and asked them to work together to make one person in their team a mummy out of newspaper. It was a task in teamwork and communication, enhancing the group’s familiarity and trust in each other. 

After our physical warmup, the Juniors stayed in their teams to think about the different kinds of writing you can find in a newspaper. Together, we looked at different newspapers and discussed the content, including politics, weather, horoscopes, and world news. The Juniors then chose a form of writing from the ones we discussed and got to writing a piece that might be found in the paper.

Discussing their ideas, while also working on their creative writing, the group put pen to page to develop a comic strip, write star signs, report on sport, and produce jokes. Some of the community also illustrated their pieces, while others worked together to design a crossword, choosing words and devising clues. 

As the session came to a close, the group shared their work. We heard of Olympic gymnasts, riddles for inclusion in the puzzles section, horoscopes which took the form of flash fiction, and a thoughtfully designed comic strip. There was real enthusiasm for the day’s theme, and it was great to see the group supporting their peers.

With our Young Writers, we began the session with the same ask of tracing back through their weeks to find funny anecdotes but put an additional challenge to them. Instead of just sharing what had taken place, we asked them to turn their stories into news headlines and write short bulletins. The group ran with this task, with highlights including: 

‘Holbury effected by missing water’

‘Breaking news: a battlefield of bouncing balls’

‘Boy, age 12, loses pen and both his spares’

‘Girl breathes fire and turns to ice’

It was a great exercise in turning a fragment of truth into a piece of creative writing, and there was a lot of hearty laughter.

As with our Junior Writers, we asked the community to consider the sections in a newspaper. The heartening thing about this exercise was the way both groups embraced working as a team. The room was abuzz with conversation and laughter, lighting up a grey, rainy day. We heard a wide variety of forms, including obituaries, entertainment, reportage and poetry.

After the buzz of the first half of the session, we dedicated 30 minutes to writing a comprehensive piece in any style that would fit in a newspaper. The room became calm and quiet as the group dived into their creative writing and we ended the day with a sharing. We heard of supermarket disputes, ghostly encounters and a dose of political satire. 

All in all, a great morning!

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