Originally created for Hull Libraries’ Harry Potter Book Night 2021, Candle Magic is a wonderful online creative writing session for Key Stage 2 – highly interactive, informative and great fun!
Presentation sessions are fairly easy online, but right from the beginning of Lockdown 1, children’s authors were wondering how on earth they were going to manage writing workshops – myself included. Usually I walk around the room as the children write. I can see who is flying and who needs a bit of help or encouragement. But online… aargh!
I was determined to find something that worked and, I am delighted to say, Candle Magic really does work. With the children writing their ideas directly into Chat, there is real immediacy and a sense of pure creativity at work. But Chat is not essential; good old-fashioned pen and paper works just as well.
The workshop was inspired by the fact that I like to write by candlelight when I am writing magical or scary scenes. I wrote my book Zac and the Zombeards during July /August and clearly remember shutting the curtains in the middle of the afternoon, lighting a candle and slipping into a world of midnight graveyards and dark subterranean tunnels. It seemed a shame to banish sunshine, but it really did sharpen my focus and help me visualise better.
So this workshop is a series of writing exercises on the theme of magic and candles. I conduct it in a dark room, by candlelight, so it feels very intimate and atmospheric. I talk about my book Wild Magic, read an extract and explain where my ideas for magic come from. There’s also a Harry Potter themed game and a chance for the children to ask me questions.
If you’d like to know more, please get in touch!