Cyprus Mail

Making storytelling cool again

Cheerful smiling kid (boy)l in helmet on a green background. Vintage pilot (aviator) concept

Write CY – the hub for creative people and those who want to learn all about the creative process – is taking things from the very beginning in 2017 as it will be offering new courses for kids and teenagers.

The idea that stories are powerful communication tools is nothing new. Biologically, we just connect to events better when they’re delivered in a narrative format. This can be seen in practice everywhere – from the marketing campaigns of huge corporations to successful niche blogs to popular US network TV shows like Chopped.

So, if you can literally find stories everywhere these days, why is it that in middle school and high school classrooms – places where stories should be thriving – we often just don’t find them?

We could blame the internet, shapchat, twitter, facebook and all the other portals that kids and teens use these days to get their story out there. Why sit down and read or in fact write a proper narrative when you can type a few words, click on an icon and share what you had for dinner with the world?

But the internet isn’t the place for real storytelling and it doesn’t provide kids with the right tools they need to head out into the big, bad world and get into university or get a job. Learning to tell a story well is one skill that makes people who learn how to do it early on in life better readers and communicators.

Write CY founder Max Sheridan believes that if we teach kids and teenagers how to tell stories, then they will become better people and have empathy.

When speaking about the act of creating characters he said “creating characters and diving into them is also a crash course in empathy. Ask any first-time creative writer and you’ll probably hear the biggest rush of writing stories is the magic realisation that, yes, storytelling really does put you in the head of your creations. And because so much of engaging storytelling revolves around creating relatable characters – i.e. characters you can empathise with – you can’t help but think more about others,” he said.

So to help give young people the chance to learn through storytelling, as of January Write CY will be offering a series of workshops tailor-made to bring the creative writing experience back to kids and teens. Those behind the courses are also hoping that participants will be inspired to pursue a writing career.

Also the existing comic book writing course, taught by Ant Comics co-founder Antonis Bargilly and founder and writer at local indie comic book publishing house Copper Mouflon Chris Demetriou will be extended to include teens.

The new courses are Story Craft Juniour and Comic Book Illustration.

Story Craft Juniour will teach younger writers short story fundamentals while exploring literary voices across a number of genres ranging from flash fiction to blog and magazine writing.

The Comic Book Illustration course, taught by Copper Mouflon co-founder, artist Stella Violari, will prepare aspiring teen comic book artists to work with writers from the writing courses to create local comic books under the umbrella of Write CY’s ongoing Comic Book Project.

And there is more on the agenda for children. For little storytellers looking for an alternative way to learn or practice English, Write CY will be expanding its Kids Tell Stories programme to include a Saturday morning storytelling workshop for children from five to ten-years-old.

For more information on any of the courses or initiatives, visit If you have any questions, contact Max at [email protected] or give him a call on 22-105099.

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