3 years ago

The Story Engine: Offering an online platform for making ‘unofficial’ creative writing work

Steve Connolly, Andrew Burn

Abstract

This article describes the outcomes of a research project conducted at the Ministry of Stories (a London‐based writing centre) which sought to develop an online, mentor‐assisted, writing platform. Across a 3‐month period, at four different sites across the UK, more than a hundred Year 7 pupils took part in the project, using the platform to write stories and get feedback from mentors who came from a variety of backgrounds. For reasons of space, pupil/mentor interactions are not discussed extensively in the article; however, these stories were collected and analysed alongside a range of other survey and interview data to establish how creative writing might be developed through online mentoring, the use of an online interface and the intersection of both these tools. The article seeks to answer some questions raised by the data collected in the project, and in turn, uses both the questions and the data to interrogate some of the discourses which surround the teaching of creative writing both in and outside the classroom, and in particular the tensions that occur between the teaching of writing skills, ‘official versions’ of writing in the classroom and children's use of their own cultural resources in creative writing.

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