Write On!

Have you played a chromatic scale on a bassoon? It is hellish – all thumbs and embouchure – and for my teenaged self it was my driving goal. Every day I practiced. Finger blisters, facial tics, and bleeding lip (I wish I was kidding) would not deter me. And a few weeks later - booyah!! Not only could I play a chromatic scale, but play it well and with ease, and the proficiency I developed in my practice elevated my creative technique.


But what does my musical prowess have to do with writing, you ask. Not much (unless you're into extreme writing), but the habits of practice, the practice of practicing, is often sorely forgotten by writers, because anyone can write, right?

Kids are full of imagination, of ideas, of stories, but the translation from brain to page is often their biggest hurdle. And the best way to improve their communication skills? You guessed it: practice.

 In 2013, QWC launched Write On! – a ten week development program for young writers. Like soccer practice, art lessons, and band rehearsals, Write On! provides a directed learning and practice opportunity for young emerging writers to enhance and focus their craft in a fun and supportive environment.

Any professional writer will tell you that the key to great writing is, well, writing. Honing your craft, expanding your skills, experimenting with form, is at the heart of all great fiction, and just as any muscle, any skill, needs to be exercised in order to develop, so too creative writing – and, like my music tutor would say after the twentieth chromatic scale, 'practice makes perfect'.

But Write On! is not only focussed on expanding the finer points of narrative, but exploring teamwork, tools for constructive feedback, and importantly enhancing communication. Write On! is a weekly dose of writing and creative practice – exercising  narrative muscles through books, games, videos, and play. No blisters or bleeding mouths necessary.

This post first appeared online at QWC's Thinking Out Loud blog on 16 April 2014.

Write On! will run from Tuesday 28 April 25-Tuesday 2 June 2015. Check out the details at QWC website.

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