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13 January 2024

Posted by Holly Spillar and Rohan Gotobed

Quentin Blake Display

Saturday 13th January 2024


Juniors:


This week we were lucky to be in the Gallery with a task from Lighthouse to create our own Quentin Blake style work to be displayed on the top floor of the theatre. 


The junior writers all came up with alliteration names for characters based on themselves and then a list of Roald Dahl style similes to describe parts of their characters bodies. E.g. Jumping Jessica had legs like bendy bamboo. 


After we had our names and similes the writers spent the rest of the session drawing and labeling their own Quentin Blake characters. We will post pictures when Lighthouse display them.


Young writers:


This week, unusually, we hosted our young writers workshop in the Gallery at Lighthouse. Why do you ask? 


Well, until recently Lighthouse have been home to the new Quentin Blake exhibition, where people have been able to see lots of his original illustrations for books and poetry. Though the exhibition has now closed, Lighthouse have invited us (along with local schools) to write some short stories inspired by Quentin Blake (and his collaborations with writers like Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl) which can be displayed upstairs in the building! Exciting!


After testing our young writers’ knowledge of Roald Dahl characters, everyone had to invent a character who could lead the story. The only challenge was that they had to use alliteration. So we suddenly had Musical Maria, Stupid Susan, plus Dangerous Denton (among others). In order to find out more about them, we invented similes to describe their appearances and personality. Some characters might be as tall as a skyscraper, as sharp as a marble, as brave as a knight; with hair like a waterfall, eyes like a cat, or ears like clouds. 


Everyone also had to answer questions based on their character:


  • How old are they?

  • Where are they from?

  • What’s their family like?

  • What’s their ambition?

  • What’s their recurring nightmare?

  • Who’s their nemesis?

  • What’s their favourite snack?

  • Where is there favourite place?

  • What’s the worst thing that could happen to them?


Using these questions as a scaffold, the writers then had the rest of the session to write their stories. They were also free to add illustration (as is vital when being inspired by Quentin Blake). The resulting stories were absolutely remarkable, and we hope you get to see some of them on display later this month!

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