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Better writer series (series of five)

The result of many recent writing programs has led to many children writing in unimaginative, formulaic way.  The strategies in the Better Writer series seek to put creativity, imagination and flair back into students’ writing.

This series of five short workshops will explore the practical means of improving writing by using various stimuli.

Each workshop will provide a specific strategy that you can employ in the classroom to engage your students to be more creative in the writing process.  These fun, interactive workshops will make you a better writer, and a better teacher of writing.


Session 1: Photographs as stimulus

Explore the potential of photographs as a stimulus for writing. Scene setting, description, framing, getting different perspectives on the same image.

Session 2: Film as stimulus

Explore the potential of film as a stimulus for writing. Exploring narrative: how colour, character and camera are used to tell a story.  Film is ubiquitous in children’s lives, giving them a rich implicit knowledge of narrative.  This workshop explores ways of making that knowledge more explicit and transferable to their own writing of narrative.

Session 3: Children’s Literature as stimulus

Explore the potential of children’s literature as a stimulus for writing.  This workshop goes beyond the mere re-telling of a story, using “gaps” in the story as scenarios for expanding characterisation, setting and narrative.

Session 4: Drama as stimulus

Explore the potential of drama as a stimulus for writing.  Evidence shows that when students write “in role”, their writing is more descriptive and emotionally richer, than when writing at a desk in the classroom.

Session 5: ‘Stuff’ as stimulus

Explore the potential of stuff, everyday stuff, taken for granted stuff.  You can take any item in your environment, and use it a rich source for creative writing.

What will you learn through this workshop?

  • Develop tactics for encouraging students’ observational skills.
  • Acquire additional strategies to scaffold students’ writing.
  • Unlock the potential of different resources to develop students’ writing.

Register for these sessions

Better writer’s series (series of five)
Presented by Dr Paul Gardner and Von Sawers.

Session 1: Tuesday 4 April 2017
Session 2: Tuesday 9 May 2017
Session 3: Tuesday 29 August 2017
Session 4: Thursday 14 September 2017
Session 5: Tuesday 26 September 2017

Time: 5pm – 6.30pm

Venue: Building 501, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley

Cost:    Standard $50 per session   –     Current Curtin staff/student $25

A discounted package price of $210 is available when all five sessions are booked.
Curtin student and staff price for the package price is $100.

paul gardner

About your presenters

Dr Paul Gardner’s specialist areas of scholarly work are in the field of literacy and identity, especially writer identity and compositional processes. He also has expertise in process drama, children’s literature and multicultural education.

Before moving into the university sector, Paul taught across the age range, from lower primary to upper secondary/high school, and also worked in a Reggio Emilia inspired early learning centre.

von sawyers

Von Sawers is a senior clinical fellow in literacy at Curtin University and has worked in the university sector since 2005.

Von has a deep interest in how children become literate and how the demands of language and literacy are changing. Her experiences include working as a literacy specialist for both the WA Education Department and the Association of Independent Schools. Her experience includes teaching young primary aged children in kindergarten, pre-primary and year one.