An anonymous diary entry by one of Circle’s Family Support Workers, who felt a great sense of achievement following the Storytelling Week.  

Names have been changed


As part of our summer programme of activities, we have arranged a week long Storytelling Project, which involves a children’s author and a local artist leading a group of families in writing and illustrating a short story. The week begins with eight families going for a walk down to a local river. I have an early start as I need to buy food for a big picnic to take on the walk. The children are encouraged to use their imaginations and observe all aspects of the beach and also collect items that can inform our new story.  The children find sand worms and a bubbling stream which sparks the creation of ‘The Sandpit Volcano’.  They take lots of photos, collect shells, stones and seaweed and paddle in the water.  Exhausted, we settle down for our picnic and, after we’ve eaten, the children climb the ‘storytelling tree’ on the way to the waterfall. On the walk back, the children comment on how they have had a ‘magic time’ and how ‘beautiful’ the ‘water mountain’ was. 


The children’s author works with the children and parents to explore all their ideas and encourages them to use their imaginations to create characters for the story. The author takes all the information away with him and writes the story overnight! 


The author comes back with the story written and reads it to the children and parents. He encourages them to give their comments and suggest changes. The artist encourages all the children and parents to draw and paint illustrations to accompany the story.   She takes all the artwork away to make storyboards for our celebratory presentation of the story on Friday.


It is a case of “all hands on deck” as we prepare a buffet lunch, refreshments  and rearrange our room to celebrate all the hard work the children and families have achieved over the week. All those involved in the project gather to listen to the finished story. I think to myself ‘What a fantastic achievement!’ as the people in the room explode into a round of applause and three cheers for the children and parents for coming up with such a brilliant story.

The families will be invited back to the project in November once the story has been made into book, so watch this space!