English Literature KS3: A fictional short story writing workshop

Rebecca Abrams and Charles Cummins lead a fiction writing workshop that begins with a group of teenagers writing about personal memories of holidays.

What can they recall of sights, smells, noises and tastes?

The young writers then form themselves into groups and extend some of these memories into short stories.

To help and inspire the teams, Rebecca and Charles give each group a genre – for example, romance or comedy.

Then a celebrity is added to the mix – it could be Beyonce or Simon Cowell.

The results are team written stories that help reveal some of the fundamental techniques of fiction writing.

This clip is from the series How to Write.

Teacher Notes

This could be used to aid students in understanding and experimenting with genre conventions.

Students write down their memories of a past holiday they have been on, good or bad.

Students are then put into groups of three. Each group is given a specific fiction genre to work with.

Students can choose one of the holiday memoirs in their group to transform into a genre story corresponding to the genre they were assigned.

Students swap genres with another group and re-write the story (perhaps just focusing on openings) according to the rules and conventions of that genre.

Which genre suits their story most effectively? Can students now write their own genre specific story in full?

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching English Literature at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland.