Budding writers, check out MoLIs Bright Sparks and Novel Teen programs!

Got creative kids at home that are bored over midterm? Museum of Irish Literature has got them covered! In a new series of online children’s workshops created by Sarah Webb with MoLI’s support, Creative Bursts is a great way to nurture a budding writer or illustrator!

Sarah Webb is an award-winning children’s writer and children’s book champion, and her workshops are full of fun, creativity and are perfect for those jam-packed with imagination and looking for an outlet. MoLi have long been supporters of children’s arts programs, offering free primary school tours and running lots of art and story workshops facilitated by Irish writers and illustrators where families can embrace the opportunity to play and create together.

Bright Sparks Creative Bursts

 Sarah Webb’s children’s books include A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea, illustrated by Steve McCarthy which won the Irish Book Awards Junior Category and Blazing a Trail: Irish Women Who Changed the World, illustrated by Lauren O’Neill which won the Irish Book Awards Senior Category. Her latest book is Dare to Dream: Irish People Who Took On the World (and Won!), is illustrated by Graham Corcoran.

Her Creative Burst sessions are easy to access and she provides a host of great materials that can be downloaded for each session. Or, you can set them up with just a pen and paper and they’re ready to go! With over 15 sessions already recorded, you can have a browse and see which ones you want to try.

Lifelong Learning

You could check out video number 13, which is inspired by sea glass and beach treasure! Create stories and poems using her writing prompts. Or episode 10, if you want to create the world’s craziest and most delicious ice cream sundae ever! Or if you’re into something a little more serious, episode 4 takes the famous saying: ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ and shows us how to use photographs, poetry and art to inspire original stories of our very own!

Aimed at 9+ year olds and occasionally some at some older writers – around 11 – Sarah wants to encourage Mum and Dad to also be part of the creativity and reminds parents that ‘it’s great for children to see you being creative, making mistakes and having fun on the page!’

This week saw a very special guest join Sarah’s usual session: writer and illustrator Alan Nolan. Alan Nolan has written and illustrated many brilliant books for children including Fintan’s Fifteen, Sam Hannigan and the Last Dodo and Conor’s Caveman. In this video he shows you how to create our own mini comic book and how to draw a superhero squirrel!

NovelTeens

If you have a teen who’s always scribbling away, there’s great resources on MoLI’s website for them too! NovelTeens is an online series of creative writing mini masterclasses for teenage writers, and a step up from bright sparks. With serious and helpful advice for everything from character construction to editing skills to writing good dialogue, this kind of workshop - for free – is unheard of.

Experts in the Young Adult literature field share their top tips and tricks with appearances from Deirdre Sullivan (winner of  An Post Teen and Young adult Book of the Year 2020), Anna Carey (author of The Eve Trilogy and The Blackbird series) and Darren Shan (The Saga of Darren Shan young adult fiction series and loads more). This is most definitely not one to be missed by any young writers.

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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