A Look Back: Young Story Writers

Here at Story Planet, we have one very favourite thing. Here’s a hint: it’s right in our name! You guessed it – stories! All of our workshops incorporate an element of story creation, from writing to illustration, and from the very first thought to the binding on the book. We absolutely love watching these stories come to life and reading or watching the finished product never fails to wow us!

This year, we ran a number of workshops at Story Planet and hosted others at schools across Toronto. Here’s a recap!

Story Club

This year we launched Story Club, a story building afterschool program for children in grades 3-5. Over the span of ten weeks in the fall and winter, each Story Club member wrote, revised, and bound their very own wholly unique book. This latest Story Club also saw the birth of a “How To” story guide modelled off a cookbook and fuelled by advice from the students. The guide will be available for budding authors at the ITA this fall! Our friends at CIBC Children’s Foundation offered their generous support to make this workshop a fun and inspiring success!

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“Just write every day of your life.” — Ray Bradbury

Alpha Workshop 

Our ongoing Alpha workshops transform students into authors in 2 hours! Taking place at the Story Planet headquarters, and with the help of a facilitator, a typist, and a professional artist, the workshop encourages students to collectively create a story. When the story reaches a point of crisis, the students split up individually to each write their own ending. At that point, all endings are collected and each student leaves with a book of their work to take home.

The CIBC Children’s Foundation and the Toronto Arts Council are the reasons we are able to provide weekly Alpha’s to 15 schools across Toronto!

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We had so many amazing volunteers contribute to the success of these workshops!

” I think the learning and creativity that happened in the Story Workshop at Story Planet will stay with the students throughout their school life.”

Mark Bell, Vice Principal, Ryerson Community School & the Downtown Vocal Music Academy

Young Storybook Authors

Story Planet travelled to several schools in our galaxy this year to facilitate tailored, in-class programming known as Beta Workshops. Over the span of three days and 7.5 hours, a class would undergo an extended version of an Alpha Workshop where they develop a story collectively as a class and individually. At the end of the 3 days, each student would take home their own copy of the story they all had a hand in creating.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council, whose continuous support is the facilitates this amazing program.

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Our Beta facilitator, author and illustrator Hilary Leung. Check out his book, Ninja Cowboy Bear, published by KidsCan Press.

“The best part was that we got to share our ideas in order to create the story.”

Student, Kensington Community School

Authorfest 

Authorfest was a series of 10 Alpha workshops hosted by four Toronto District School Board schools: Keele Street Junior Public School, Perth Avenue Junior Public School, Parkdale Public School, and Brock Junior Public School.  These schools invited more than 800 students from schools throughout the GTA to take part. Each day, we set up shop, and worked with anywhere from 2-4 groups of students to create their very own books. A big thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for supporting this amazing event!

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All of these books were written by our kid authors!

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