Arts workshops in North Yorkshire Libraries

Archive for July, 2014

Happy Endings with Saviour Pirotta

Mr Pirotta came back. He said he would. And he did.

So what stories did he have to tell this time? Disturbing ones, gruesome even. Perhaps too gruesome to repeat. Perhaps not. It depends on whether you think that tales involving apparitions appearing in abandoned railway tunnels, or the dead rising from their graves for a big party, or rotting, animated cadavers demanding their body parts back are gruesome. Some of Year 5 and 6 did, some didn’t….

Year 5 are  enraptured by Saviour's gruesome stories...

Year 5 are enraptured by Saviour’s gruesome stories…

We told him hideous stories in return. Tales of loom bands growing teeth and eating people alive, worlds taken over by poo and playdoh monsters. Of Assassins and mutants. Of alien invaders. Stories that would make a horse sick.

Saviour helps Year 6 develop their stories

Saviour helps Year 6 develop their stories

But not all the stories were shocking. Some were sad, some were fun. A monkey that couldn’t swing, kidnapped lion cubs, and an adventure in the Bermuda Triangle. Mr Pirotta was very impressed with these tales. He hoped that when they were finished we could email them to him. He said he would put the best ones on this blog….

Stories, ideas, plans...

Stories, ideas, plans…

Later, we looked at endings. This was appropriate – Mr Pirotta’s workshops were coming to an end. But before we looked at endings, we looked at beginnings. Mr Pirotta asked us to write the opening of our stories and the close. Each piece had to be no more than 200 words, and sentences could not be more than 5 words long. Mr Pirotta explained that this would help us focus our stories.

So we did. And we read them out. Mr Pirotta was impressed again. Even a bit jealous. You can see why by listening to the endings here…

Mr Pirotta helped us find better ways to tell our stories. The best example of this was at the last session, when we were writing about endings and foreshadowing. Veronica, who is writing her own life story, brought in Susie, a doll she has had since she was a little girl. We all met Susie, who was very old, and needed special care and attention. Veronica told us how she and Susie became friends, how she wanted Susie more than anything else, and how she had been everywhere with her. Mr Pirotta suggested that Veronica tell her story through Susie’s constant and watchful gaze. This was an epiphany for Veronica! Everything suddenly fell into place – yes that was the way she could tell her story!

Left: We all meet Veronica's doll Susie Right: Veronica (left) with Susie when she was a little girl

Left: We all meet Veronica’s doll Susie Right: Veronica (left) with Susie when she was a little girl

We are sorry Mr Pirotta has to leave us. But it doesn’t mean we will stop writing. In fact, Mr Pirotta wants to hear from us again, and is happy to help if we need advice. We’re hoping to continue the group and meet regularly in the library sharing stories we can tell…

To be continued…

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