Under the joint initiative of United International University (UIU) and The Daily Star (TDS), the latest workshop of Imagine Write Creatively was held at Sir John Wilson School on August 7, 2017. The aim of this workshop was to promote imagination in creative writing and help the young minds develop their story-writing prowess through different fun activities.
The programme started at noon at the school premises. The Vice Chancellor of UIU, Professor Dr. M. Rezwan Khan, inaugurated the event. He spoke about how imagination nourishes the mind and how important it is for the young writers to cultivate their brain accordingly. Naziba Basher from The Daily Star, and Sharmin Sultana, Assistant Professor and Co-ordinator of English Language Institute, UIU, conducted the event.
The first stage of the workshop focused on the importance of characterisation. Photographs of different people were shown to students and they were asked to create a plot individually. At the end of this stage, when the students were asked to come up with their stories, the results were wonderful. They added much colour to the figures by changing their age and background, besides placing them in interesting storylines.
Next, the students were asked to read a short passage and portray the characters using their imagination. The responses were great. Almost all the students participated with enthusiasm and it showed how well the students had understood the art of characterisation.
Then, the students were prompted by a fun exercise where some of them played the game “Who am I?” Friends in the audience had to give clues to help the students guess which character's name they carried.
The following exercises involved the students choosing a character – human or non-human – from the latest issue of SHOUT, and then reinvent the chosen character. Five minutes were given to each student. Within that time, they developed the character by changing their names, appearances, actions, expressions, and more. It was a sweet gesture when one of the students picked Wonder Woman from a published movie review and reimagined the Amazonian princess after his best friend.
Later, to understand how to create the perfect setting, the students were shown pictures of different places. Naziba Basher explained how to describe a certain place in a more articulate way and asked the students what kind of stories might occur in the places they were shown. Through this activity, the students were inspired to move away from defining a place with their usual names and create a more scenic description using the appropriate adjectives.
Sharmin Sultana then explained to the students the stages of plot developing. She explained the five stages: exploitation, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. Then she asked the students to make up a story by showing them various pictures. Hands shot up and it was amazing to hear all those interesting plots the young minds came up with.
“Imagination is very much important if you want something creative. It is the key that leads to many doors. I think this workshop will definitely help the students think out of the box and inspire them to become more engaged in writing,” Sharmin said.
When asked about his experience, seventh grader Areb Amin said, “It was really fun to learn so many things from this workshop. All the activities were so interesting.”
Nothing could be more perfect than to train young minds into working their creativity to write amazing stories. The workshop was also a fun escape from the regular mundane routine classes the students go through, as it brings a breath of fresh air to these vibrant young minds.