THE SILVER SEQUENCE - New editions out now!







THE SILVER SEQUENCE - new editions out now!

School Talks and Workshops

If you would like me to come to your school, library or festival please email me to discuss fees and the kind of visit that will best suit you at cliffmcnish@hotmail.com

 

I will talk to year 3 through to adults about my novels and the background and inspiration for writing them. My content is tailored to the age-group, and includes workshops, personal anecdotes and selected readings. Plenty of opportunity is made available for questions.

Workshops

All my workshops are highly interactive and work best with groups of 40 students or less. I’m willing to be flexible, but my main workshops fall into the following categories tailored for year 3 to adults:

 

1.      How to craft a story

The 5 key steps to writing compelling stories. A simple and powerful structure for story writing that any student can follow and use.

 

2.      Creating great characters

Do great characters matter more than plots? We explore how to come up with memorable characters readers will truly root for and against.

 

3.      Ghost stories

We delve into the concept of the ghost in fiction, and each student creates his or her own personal ghost story.

 

4.      Fantasy writing

We develop a fantasy world that is original and convincing, using ideas solely from the students themselves and their interaction. This is a vibrant session in what it takes to make a fantasy world real and compelling.

 

5.      Crafting a thriller

Students often struggle to maintain story tension. We study how to establish suspense, and then sustain it across a scene and overall story arc.

 

6.      Humour

What makes us smile? We explore ways to come up with comic characters and genuinely funny plots. Always hugely enjoyable for students.   

 

7.      The Four Most Important Stories

We use classic and contemporary examples to explore the four main repeated thematic archetypes in fiction, and how to use them to create powerful stories of your own. Sounds dry, but actually works fantastically well with year 7 upwards.

8.      Animal stories (for students, years 3-7) 

Children love animals. Based around my novel GOING HOME, this is a highly  interactive session where students create their own animal story. Works equally well as a talk with imaginative exercises or as a full workshop.

 

9.      Tell me a picture (for younger students, Reception to Year 3)

I use characters and pictures to stimulate the visual imaginations of the children. They go on to draw their own images, which become the basis for a simple exercise in expressive descriptive writing.

 

Bespoke talks on request

I’m happy to talk about other aspects of writing, such as the elements needed to make fantasy and ghost stories work. Please take a look at my workshops to see the main areas I cover and contact me to discuss your needs.

Worksheets

Creating great villians in your stories
Creating great villians in your stories
example worksheet page - creating great villains in your stories
click image above to view sample

I have created a number of practical worksheets to inspire students and improve their skills. Copies of these are left with the school, regardless of the workshops I'm asked to run.

Example worksheets
Worksheet examples

Contact Form

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PRAISE FROM SCHOOLS

A big thank you for working with the class of year 7’s on creative writing skills last week. They have come up with some wonderful pieces of work since your visit. Librarian, Downsend School, Leatherhead

 

You visited our school recently and we loved it so much we were hoping you might be interested in coming again. Librarian, SouthHampstead Junior School

 

The children loved every moment of itHead of English, St. Michael’s Primary School, Highgate

 

The whole year have had follow up lessons in story construction, which have been very effective with good outcomes. Quite frankly, we all enjoyed the day so much. You were wonderful. Head of English, Guilsborough School, Northampton.

 

It was great having you in school. The students have all been talking about your books. I would love to invite you back next year. Headmistress, Marner Primary School, Tower Hamlets