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Write Path collaborative writing project discount

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The Write Path international collaborative writing project has been running since 2008 and during that time it has helped librarians and teachers all over the world to enthuse their students about creative writing.  As this year is the project’s 10th birthday founder Bev Humphrey wants to celebrate in style! Published children’s authors are asked to contribute an opening paragraph to a story and then the story starters are published on the website as blog posts at a rate of 6 per day. Each day schools sign up to have one hour (or one and a half for primary children) to compose a next paragraph to each of the day’s six stories , each time reading and developing the paragraphs written by previous schools. At the end of the project the finished stories are all published in paper books and each school receives one copy as part of their subscription and has the option to purchase more if required. Fantastic authors write for the project, Cathy Cassidy and Alan Gibbons, Chris Bradford, Eleanor Updale  ,Tommy Donbavand and Eoin Colfer  contribute story starters every year to name but a few. Bev is  online throughout the project to support and troubleshoot and is contactable via a chat box on the website, by phone and by email. The students eligible to participate are between 10 - 13 years old so naturally continuations need to be kept appropriate for all age groups to read. In past years schools in the United Kingdom, France, Kuala Lumpur, USA and Australia have taken part and the children always rise to the writing challenge admirably. Due to the different time zones the event often goes on for 24 hours - which makes for a very tired but happy organiser at the finish naturally.

Continuing the stories in such a tight timeframe gives students experience of working to deadlines and also very much adds to the excitement. As the continuations are published as blog comments they are immediately live for anyone to read so this provides good experience of writing for an audience. Continuing storylines started by others requires concentration and an attention to detail that can be quite challenging, although any mistakes can usually be rectified afterwards. Tweet updates about the stories and the schools taking part are posted each day and it’s always lovely when the authors read the finished tales and comment on them. 

Carola Webber, Good Samaritan Catholic College, NSW has this to say about the project:

My first involvement in Write Path  was in 2011, after taking up the challenge from my predecessor as teacher-librarian in a Western Sydney Secondary School. The experience then, and in the years since, has been intense and exhilarating. My year 7 students took to the project with far more enthusiasm than skill and have always gained a great deal from their involvement

Write Path provided an opportunity for, in my case, a team of 12 young people to interact with students from around the globe. We were all enriched by the experience, not only from the perspective of challenging students in writing, but also in terms of engaging with others across time zones and oceans to create something special together.Technology makes the project possible and can enhance the whole experience: I recall a few years back having a most entertaining late-night discussion with some young English students who, as well as asking insightful questions about our stories from that day hoped that I might introduce them to the members of the band 5 Seconds of Summer (who, since they live in Sydney, must be known to me!). If time permits, making and sharing promotional videos and taking photos makes for memorable moments for all concerned.’

Ruan Peat , librarian at Wick Community Library in Scotland has taken part for many years also:

I heard about the Write Path at a CILIP conference and signed my school up. I wasn’t sure how my pupils would react to being asked to write something at short notice without seeing  the finished result for a while but I thought it would be an interesting event. I tried to get a higher ability class to do this with but timings and reality meant I had a single class available for the time and so I involved them, this class was a very mixed ability class with some having helpers for writing and reading assistance. Gamely I gave it a go and whilst we had timing issues (it took longer to type in than I thought it would) we enjoyed the whole exercise, I arranged the groups according to a mix of abilities and some of the lower ability kids came up with the most stunning ideas. Some of the more able who normally lead found themselves acting as scribes for the group and found this to be a task they enjoyed too. This was so successful I have looked for the more challenging classes to work with each year and have always had a wonderful time. It lets me get to know the children better and encourages them to ‘play’ with words and ideas. The final result of a finished book always reminds them of the day and makes them proud of their own work and their collaboration with students across the world!’

You can learn more about the project and sign up on the website www.writepathint.com and Bev is offering a discount of £5 for SLA members, quote SLA18 

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