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11 November 2023

Junior Writers - week 2 - 'fractured fairy tales'


Team ‘Antler Pencils’ began today’s session with a group check in, describing our week so far as a Wild Animal - what would it be, and why?

  • Claire - a squirrel. Running about, busy

  • Elsie - a squirrel. Up & down, like up and down trees

  • Lyla - a lizard. Slow

  • Hamish - a monkey. A bit crazy

  • Marissa - a bee. Busy

  • Indy - a giraffe. A tall/long week

Then we discussed what we are reading/watching this week. It’s a varied and interesting list. Plenty of classics and some new recommendations;

  • The Christmasaurus [Book by Tom Fletcher]

  • Matilda [Novel by Roald Dahl]

  • War Horse [Novel by Michael Morpurgo]

  • Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties [Book by Dav Pilkey]

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [Novel by J. K. Rowling]

  • Murder Most Unladylike [Novel by Robin Stevens]

Our group discussion led on to listing our favorite villain characters in literature. Thinking about this as writers, what makes them so ‘unlikable’, having cruel personalities and doing unkind things was the top reason. This can be conveyed by their expression, their voice, their actions;

  • Marmalade, an evil guinea pig [The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey]

  • Lord Voldermort [Harry Potter]

  • Bellatrix Le Strange [Harry Potter]

  • Miss Trunchbull [Matilda]

  • Creature [Harry Potter]

  • Dolores Umbridge [Harry Potter]

These sessions allow ‘sharing time’ for any homework. Pieces from continuing last week’s exercises, any of the optional homework tasks, or any other writing projects they have been working on. It’s a great opportunity to share, get feedback and celebrate our achievements.

  • Lyla had been working on her story from last time From Deep Inside A Forest

  • Elsie brought her story, entered into the BBC 500 word competition Dog’s Holiday

Excellent pieces of writing and fab to hear them read aloud by the authors. We talked about the aspects we particularly liked in each of these stories. Details and narrative voices came over very well.

Then we played a game of One Word Story. The group picked someone to start, then went around adding one word at a time to an improvised story…

Round 1:

“The Ogre went barking. The Ogre farted at me. A fairy joined me in the farting group, it farted back at Unicorn. A fart cleared the Forest.”

Round 2:

“My brain was idiotic. The brain pulled my muscles and made cakes with a pen. The Rabbit had a mustache [He’s French], “Chocolate”, the Bunny Rabbit said, “Chocolate Cake”. I ate pizza.

On that note we read our Examples for the week. Roald Dahl's REVOLTING RHYMES. Thinking about our Themes ‘Stories from the Forest’ and ‘Fractured Fairy Tales’.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS [from Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl]

This famous, wicked, little tale

Should never have been put on sale

It is a mystery to me

Why loving parents cannot see

That this is actually a book

About a brazen little crook

Had I the chance I wouldn’t fail

To clap young Goldilocks in jail

Now just imagine how you’d feel

If you had cooked a lovely meal

Delicious porridge, steaming hot

Fresh coffee in the coffee-pot

With maybe toast and marmalade

The table beautifully laid

One place for you and one for Dad

Another for your little lad

Then Dad cries, “Golly-gosh! Gee whizz!

Oh cripes! How hot this porridge is,

Let’s take a walk along the street

Until it’s cool enough to eat.”

He adds, “An early morning stroll

Is good for people on the whole

It makes your appetite improve

It also helps your bowels to move.”

No proper wife would dare to question

Such a sensible suggestion

Above all not at breakfast time

When men are seldom at their prime.

No sooner are you down the road

Than Goldilocks, that little toad

That nosey thieving little louse

Comes sneaking in your empty house

She looks around, she quickly notes

Three bowls brimful of porridge oats

And while still standing on her feet

She grabs a spoon and starts to eat

I say again, how would you feel

If you had made this lovely meal

And some delinquent little tot

Broke in and gobbled up the lot?

We had a discussion about traditional Fairy Tale characters, and what happens when you turn ‘the good guy’ into ‘the villain’. Or ,like the piece we just read, what happens if you change the genre of a story, into a crime/mystery or a comedy. 

  • We listed all the fairy stories we could think of that took place in a forest. 

  • Then we listed all the genres we could think of [action, comedy, mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, musical, horror, romance, sci-fi]

This led on to today’s writing exercise: Fracture A Fairy Story

Each person picked a particular tale and re-wrote it choosing one of the three options:

  1. Retell the story in a different genre

  2. Change the ending/add a twist

  3. Write it as a modern day ‘real events’ story

The group spent some time coming up with ideas and writing their drafts. Then we shared our work/story ideas.

  • Romance & Crime: Rapunzel & Aurora live together. Aurora hooks up with Nikki Minaj.

  • Retelling: Hortense (one of the ‘ugly sisters') is the good guy. Cinderella is spoiled & evil.

  • Horror: Aurora (sleeping beauty) can't sleep. Her eyes get redder as she turns more evil.

  • Action: The One Little Wolf, Terry Beard, and the Donuts with Guns. A big shoot out.

These are all excellent concepts, and everyone wants to continue developing them for next time. We can't wait to see where these Fractured Fairy Stories take us!

We then talked about optional homework:

  • To continue to develop these pieces of writing

  • To read any Nature Writing [stories, factual books, poems] Topics include: the elements, animals, trees, plants, environment. 

  • Think about Nature, our senses and experiences. Take a walk, step outside. Make a journal entry about what we saw/felt.

The theme for next week is Nature Writing.

  • we will be looking at examples

  • playing more games

  • and doing some writing exercises on this topic.


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