Place Project

Photographs from the QUB Place Project creative writing programme


Characterisation and POV

One of the most effective ways of teaching young writers about characterisation is to encourage them to dress up as a character they are familiar with.

Our Young Scribblers came to the workshop today in costume.


They were asked to create a character profile. A character profile involves thinking about the character’s hopes and dreams, as well as being descriptive. The young writers had to describe the personality of their character while thinking about appearance, background, and personality traits.



When we had done this we then moved on to point of view. Identifying and understanding POV is important for both reading skills and creative writing. Put simply, POV is the person telling the story. We see the story unfold from their viewpoint.

To enable the Young Scribblers to put their characterisation knowledge and POV together they were asked to do one of the following:

Write letter to another character from your character’s POV.

Write a missing chapter from the book from the character’s POV.

Create a new story with your character in it and show the narrative through their POV.

Shakespeare for Young Scribblers


macbeth-illsuThis week our Young Scribblers were introduced to Shakespeare. We did a table reading of Macbeth, Act IV scene 1, when the witches summon the spirits. We talked about the purpose of the witches in the play, how they may have been played by men originally, and how we think of witches. We then had great fun acting out the voices when performing the spell with everyone shouting out together:


Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

We then made a list of alternative nasty and disgusting things to throw into the cauldron – toe nails, a witch’s wart and fish guts were among the many ideas the Scribblers came up with. We described how we thought the witches should look; each Scribbler acting as a director to make decisions on costume, hair, make up and props. To help the younger Scribblers I provided a word bank and a list of basic questions to prompt their ideas.

Word bank:

Nasty, evil, cunning, ugly, wrinkled, warts, frizzy, slimy, crooked nose, croaky voice, scary, troublesome, dangerous.

What do you think the witches should look like?

Write a description with lots of details. Be imaginative.

A witch has…

She smells like…

She sounds like…

Her skin is…


Back for a new term

Our Young Scribblers returned for a new term today. Many of our young writers have been attending for a while but we had some new faces too. In our stories today, we explored a mysterious package which had been left at the front door. What could be inside? We had baby dragons, werewolf puppies, an old dusty book, a gun, an elf and a hobgoblin! Lots of imaginative scenarios unfolded with the mysterious creatures and objects causing havoc. harry-pot-3

Write Yourself Well

Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Duration: 6 weeks
Dates: 26 April 2017 – 31 May 2017
Location: Stranmillis College, 

Research has shown that writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events can be beneficial for both physical and psychological health, in non-clinical and clinical settings.

Expressive writing is personal and emotional writing without regard to form or other writing conventions like spelling, punctuation and verb agreement. It is a pure expression of emotion and feeling unhindered by writing rules.

Sometimes to understand how we are feeling, we need to write about our emotions; to find expression and explore how we are feeling through the written word.


Pennebaker, J. W., & Chung, C. K. (in press). Expressive

writing and its links to mental and physical health. In H. S.

Friedman (Ed.), Oxford handbook of health psychology.

New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

LIT215 Write Yourself Well

LIT215 Write Yourself Well
This series of Creative Writing Narrative classes is designed to inspire writers, new and experienced, to use their life experiences to inform their writing. The sessions will be based around set exercises using prompts and literary extracts to help inspire your writing. We will discuss the techniques of storytelling in nonfiction prose pieces, including personal essays, features, journal entries and memoirs. Participants will have the opportunity to create memoir-based narratives, and to share their writing with the class.

Tutor: Sharon Dempsey, BA (Hons) PGDip Newspaper Journalism
Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Duration: 6 weeks
Dates: 26 April 2017 – 31 May 2017
Location: Central Building
Code: LIT215
LAST DAY TO ENROL is 12 April 2017


The Literary Remedy

Young Scribblers

Young Scribblers, the creative writing workshop series for young people aged 7-12 years, is back for a new term at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. There are still a few places left so if you have an aspiring author at home, sign them up for fun filled classes, exploring all aspects of writing from characterisation to plot and structure.