Digital Creative Writing Workshops for Schools

by The Writers' Block in Pool, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £4,248

raised so far

+ est. £451.25 Gift Aid



To make digital creative writing workshops for Cornish schools to rebuild confidence in writing, engage imaginations and support literacy.

by The Writers' Block in Pool, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 4th November 2020 we'd raised £4,248 with 72 supporters in 41 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

If we can raise more money we can create a wider range of workshops which can cater for specific needs and groups, and we can offer more training for teachers to continue this work in school to benefit more pupils. 


1600289871_st102589sml.jpgWe will produce a package of digitally delivered writing workshops for Cornish school children, to rebuild confidence in writing, to engage imaginations and impact positively on their literacy skills. Through creativity and ingenuity, we’ll support young people to discover, craft and share their unique stories whilst working in partnership with teachers to help meet curriculum needs.

‘It's built up my confidence and made me take on a lot more responsibility with my work’ Secondary pupil

Now, more than ever, the work of The Writers’ Block is necessary for schools in Cornwall – help us bring them inspiration and writing results through digital workshops while physical visits are not possible.  

Who are we?

The Writers’ Block has been conceived and constructed by designers and artists as a place of imagination and wonder, and it's delivered by a team of experienced, dynamic, empathetic writers, artists, filmmakers and educators. Our aim is to champion, support, inspire and connect writers from across the community.  From fostering a love of books in the very young, running innovative school writing workshops and after school activities, to writers’ groups for teenagers and adults, writing for wellbeing, masterclasses and professional development - we encourage the story-maker in us all.  

What are we trying to do?

We’re focusing on children who say, “I can’t write, as I’m scared of getting it wrong”, “I’ve got no ideas”, “I don’t want people to laugh at my thoughts, my feelings”. Children express these worries in ‘normal’ times but with the effects of COVID-19, this has been magnified.   

1600288956_keap_by_neal_megaw_jan_2019_300dpi-srgb-22.jpgNormally, they’d visit The Writers’ Block, but they can’t. So we’ll go to them by re-creating The Writers’ Block as a downloadable resource. It will be a filmed journey through the space and include writing prompts and creative writing exercises, our ‘imagination firelighters’, along with our inspiring visual stimuli and props. In addition, each school or community organisation will receive in advance a physical package or writers’ inspiration box to arouse participants’ curiosity and engagement. It’ll include items such as a piece of clothing to evoke a character, an unfinished letter for the children to complete, a lost luggage label, a strange artefact … all that can be explored in the classroom.

Also included will be a teacher’s pack of writing and creative exercises for follow up sessions. 

We aim to replicate as much of a visit to The Writers’ Block as is digitally possible.

Why is this important?

In these unprecedented times where schools were closed for nearly six months, where the future is the ‘new normal’ but still very uncertain, this package works on screen, in the classroom and at home. 

The writing exercises will unlock children’s imaginations through the written word, help with communication skills, and give them confidence in their voice and their ideas. This, as we know from experience, helps their self-assurance in other areas of learning. 

This offer is unique. It is being created in response to an identified need in Cornish schools, and is so much more than an online programme. It will bring some of the magic of The Writers' Block into the classroom.

And we know our courses make a difference. By the end of a course: 

81% of participants claimed their enjoyment of writing was at a high level (up from 19%)

72% of participants rated their confidence when writing as high (up from 23%)

78% rated their skills in writing as high (up from 13%)

Pupils and teachers said: 

 ‘It has taught me very useful skills in a fun way’       Primary pupil

 ‘Well I used to think writing was just using a pen but now I know how fun it is’   Primary pupil

 ‘It has made me proud of my work and want to share’ Secondary pupil

 ‘Content was great and skillfully delivered - children were captivated and keen to engage and impress.’ Teacher

 ‘Good to see their willingness to share their writing, especially those that are reluctant’ Teacher. 


How will the Crowdfunder donations be spent?

1600289078_tan13013.jpgWe will use the funding to create this new resource and commission Creative Director and playwright Annamaria Murphy and novelist and educator Wyl Menmuir to craft school-specific bespoke workshops for primary and secondary years. They will work alongside filmmaker Neal Megaw, and visual artist and prop maker, Tony Crosby. The highly experienced Writers’ Block team will manage the process. The workshops will launch in January 2021. Our immediate focus will be on schools in Cornwall where they will be available for free for at least two terms, in particular those in disadvantaged areas.


This project offered rewards

£5 or more

Our thanks

Our thanks for supporting this project.

£15 or more

Heaps of gratitude and a mention on our website

We can't make this happen without all pledges, big and small, so we'd like to say thank you by mentioning you on our website.

£30 or more

Signed copy of A Space to Write

A Space to Write is a beautiful black and white book featuring Cornish writers in their spaces. Photography by Steve Tanner and interviews by Amanda Harris capture and share the intimate world of the writer.

£40 or more

A bespoke ode from poet Annamaria Murphy

Anna is the Artistic Director of The Writers' Block and well known for her work with Kneehigh & Bagas de Gol amongst others. She writes regularly for Radio 4, and fellow villagers look forward to her creation of Mrs Puckey's Outrageous Raffle Prizes at Paul Feast Week.

£40 or more

Signed copy of 'The Many' by Wyl Menmuir

Wyl is one of our lead writers. His debut novel 'The Many' was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. '...profound and discomfiting, and deserving of multiple readings' The Guardian. Get your personalised signed copy!

£40 or more

Bundle of 4 books by Cornish writers

Get your teeth into poetry and fiction from Cornish writers Pauline Sheppard, Amanda Harris, Simon Parker and Polly Roberts.

£85 or more

Original Art Collage Box by Tony Crosby (small)

Artist Tony Crosby is known for his work on different scales. Enormous, striking withy lanterns for City of Lights and intricate book sculptures which can be found in The Writers' Block. This reward is for a small collage box made by Tony.

£120 or more

The new digital workshop for your school

We will offer this workshop to Cornish schools for a very small fee, but if your school is outside Cornwall, you can get the workshop here for £120. Bargain!

£120 or more

Original Art Collage Box by Tony Crosby (large)

Artist Tony Crosby is known for his work on different scales. Enormous, striking withy lanterns for City of Lights and intricate book sculptures which can be found in The Writers' Block. This reward is for a larger sized collage box.

£30 or more

Ticket for one of our workshops or masterclasses

We offer a wide range of masterclasses. This term choose from Performance Writing, Writing for Children and Teachers As Writers. Or wait and see what we have to offer in the Spring!

£350 or more

All of the above!

Can't choose which reward you want? Why not get all of them! You will receive a small art collage box, a copy of our new workshop to gift to a school, a signed copy of 'The Many', a bundle of books from Cornish authors, a bespoke ode, a ticket for one of our workshops, a signed copy of A Space to Write, and our thanks and mention on our website.

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