Writer in Residence with Helen MacKinven

Would your school like to have their very own Writer in Residence to work with senior pupils to develop their creative writing and love of reading?

Helen MacKinven is the author of two novels and has an MLitt in Creative Writing. Her short stories and flash fiction have appeared in several anthologies and literary journals, such as Gutter magazine. She has a B.Ed in Primary Teaching and is a Literacy Consultant with The Learning Zoo delivering training in the Reflective Reading programme for teachers across Scotland.
Helen was recently the Scottish Book Trust’s Writer-in-Residence at Levenmouth Academy in Fife where her remit was to work with senior pupils in a deprived area to enhance their self-esteem through creative writing workshops. Following this highly successful input, she has designed a series of engaging sessions to inspire and motivate pupils as they develop their writing voice.

Creative Writing Workshops

Helen will use her coming-of-age novel, Talk of the Toun* as stimulus for engaging sessions for pupils in S4-S6. The structure of the residency is flexible and can include as many sessions as you wish to cover, all tailored to fit your needs. Creative Workshop Sessions on offer include the exploration of:
• Identity
• Dialect
• Point of View
• Black Comedy
• Relationships
During each workshop, Helen will read from her novel and/or other texts, discuss and reflect on the key points and set thought-provoking writing activities for the group. The initial drafts written by pupils can be further developed as a personal or reflective essay or imaginative piece for their N5 or Higher Writing Folio.
Workshops will typically last for 2 periods (approximately 1hour and 40 mins) but should also allow for time to feedback to staff at the end.
The Writer in Residence basic package includes a planning meeting, 3 creative writing workshops of your choice for up to 20 pupils. Further workshop sessions and a celebratory event can be added as optional extras.
*Due to the adult content in this novel, the sessions are only suitable for senior pupils.
** Help towards the cost may be available from the Scottish Book Trust Live Literature Fund
 For more information please call Helen on 01236 897294 or email helen@thelearningzoo.co.uk