Students from 33 schools across north India participated in a creative writing workshop held in the Capital last week

American author Madeleine L’Engle, known best for her young adult fiction, didn’t say this for nothing: “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” Children are known to be as, if not more, discerning than adults in what they read and what stories they tell.

To bring out the best in a host of kids last week, students from across 33 schools in north India came together in the Capital to learn the essentials of storytelling — right from plot to narrative to setting to characterisation. The workshop was aimed at enhancing the creative writing and haiku skills of the children.

Titled ‘I Love Reading Campaign’, the event was organised by the Central Board of Secondary Education and Katha. It saw the participation of 110 students, studying in Class IV to Class XII, from schools in Raigarh, Ranipur, Haridwar, Abohar, Chandigarh, Aligarh, Duliajan, Amritsar, Shamli, Gwalior and Delhi.

The students took part in various sessions like short story writing, storytelling and fiction, and haiku.

Jayashree Acharya, an early learning education consultant, who was in-charge of the short story writing session, taught the students essential elements of a story and encouraged them to probe their creative faculties. Mitushi Gupta from Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram, shared that she now knew how to write stories better than before.

The students had fun while attending the storytelling and fiction session under writer Ankit Chadha, the youngest resource person at the workshop. He discussed the vocabulary of creativity — idea, originality and literary pleasure with the participants. He told the students that one should attempt at conveying rather than telling a story.

The haiku sessions took the students out for a nature walk and focused on an in-depth discussion on the structure and history of haiku (A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons). Conducted by Dr. Vidur Joshi, a surgeon, and Dr. Johannes Manjrekar, Professor at M.S. University, Baroda, the students were encouraged to feel a close communion with nature to write better haiku.

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