SJT and National Literacy Trust unite for young writers’ online project Your Stories

Author Saviour Pirotta. Online story creation adventure. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

THE Stephen Joseph Theatre and the National Literacy Trust are calling on young writers across North Yorkshire to tell Your Stories.

Children’s author Saviour Pirotta, actor and poet Nadia Emam and illustrator Simon Whittaker are on the team for this new project: an online story creation adventure for five to 12 year olds.

For six weeks from Monday, June 1, 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 Saviour Pirotta, writer of children’s novels The Orchard Book Of First Greek Myths, The Ancient Greek Mysteries Series and The Unicorn Prince, and Nadia Emam, who has worked extensively at the SJT and with Slung Low Theatre Company, including playing Gloriana in the BBC’s televised version of the Leeds company’s Flood: Part 2.

The pair also will give dramatic readings of some of the submitted stories and recommended books in the form of accessible e-books and audiobooks.

Nadia Emam: Dramatic readings

At the end of each week, illustrator Simon Whittaker, from House Of Deadleg, will create drawings based on stories submitted. He also will 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, says: “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.

The National Literacy Trust’s local Facebook page is: