Our Stories

An award-winning children’s author, an acclaimed actor and poet, and a leading illustrator are on the team for a new project for young writers from the National Literacy Trust and Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre.

The two organisations are collaborating on Your Stories, an online story creation adventure for five-to-12-year-olds.

For six weeks from Monday 1 June, daily content will be released via the National Literacy Trust’s local Facebook page to encourage creativity through story creation and reading for young people along the North Yorkshire coast. This will include exercises on how to create characters and settings, such as storytelling bingo, role-playing, drawing comic strips and sound recording, and using all kinds of everyday things to create the adventure.

There will be short vlogs from author Saviour Pirotta, writer of best-selling children’s novels including The Orchard Book of First Greek Myths, the Ancient Greek Mysteries Series and The Unicorn Prince, and actor and poet Nadia Emam, who has worked extensively at both the SJT and with Slung Low Theatre Company, including playing Gloriana the BBC’s televised version of their Flood: Part 2. The pair will also give dramatic readings of some of the submitted stories, and recommend books in the form of accessible e-books and audiobooks

At the end of each week, illustrator Simon Whittaker from House of Deadleg will create drawings based on some of the stories submitted. He will also give video tutorials on creating illustrations.

The SJT’s Associate Director, Chelsey Gillard, says: “Participants can choose to engage every day, or just dip in and out as they like. By the end of the six weeks they will have all they need to create an exciting adventure set in their hometown.

“Our artist will create illustrations of the characters and settings of the stories as well as drawing elements from them to create one brilliant mega story curated by Saviour Pirotta!”

Liz Dyer, Our Stories Manager, said: “We can’t wait to hear your stories! We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Stephen Joseph Theatre on this project. Having the tools to tell your own story builds confidence in young people that supports them at school, at home and in the future.”

To take part in Your Stories, simply visit the Our Stories website.

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funded by
Arts Council England
Whitby-Scarborough-Filey Borough of Scarborough
Discover Yorkshire Coast