Story Trainer launches!


Story Trainer has launched! Wow. We had the inaugural workshop last Thursday and I am hugely grateful to the students who participated. 

The year of Covid has meant that live author talks and school visits have been pretty much cancelled, impacting a lot of authors, including me. I really miss doing it – it is one of the highlights of my job. 

And it’s very hard to replace the energy of face to face interaction. I knew if I was going to stream a workshop through Zoom, it had to be as close as possible to the real thing. The learning curve on this has been so steep. (Anyone else got learning fatigue this year????) 

But I think having a firm launch date FORCED me to have to find solutions, and ended up being a really good thing. I went with a Logitech web cam, a bit of studio lighting, and a plug in microphone. The above pic is a screen grab, but I’ve put a short capture up on Story Trainer’s Instagram in case you wanted to check it out.

 Anyway, more learning came from the workshop :) One is that it is cruel and unusual punishment to make students get up for a 9AM start on their holidays (I don’t know what I was thinking – I have a teenager!). That said, everyone was really engaged and polite and lovely – so thank you. And there was reinforcement, too. My whole focus in Story Trainer is helping primary school and high school students write stronger stories. And that includes stories written in the face of real world constraints – time limits in exams and short word counts in assignments.

It’s part creative writing coach, part something more. It’s a story-first approach. If you know your story, and how you’re going to tell it, you’re half way there, and decisions on language and style become a lot more intentional. 

Anyway, I am always trying to refine it, and this session was no exception. Came up with a hack for my story hack, so that was positive. 

Anyway, enough of all that. More news soon on the inaugural Story Trainer course – running in Term 4. 

The words for today are obviously “hack” and “inaugural”. 

Hope you’re happy-good.