Dozens of local children have helped to create a new story, Game’s Up, with the help of best-selling children’s author Saviour Pirotta.
Game's Up is the final product of a project we ran last summer in partnership with the Stephen Joseph Theatre to equip children with the creative tools they need to tell their stories. Children took part in challenges that taught them how to structure stories, build on character development, and create imaginative settings. Saviour Pirotta, collated submissions from 70 children to create the final story and 300 copies of the book have now been printed.
The story sees characters take on evil villains in familiar environments, with fantasy versions of Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park, Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle all featured.The Snake of the Dell also makes an appearance but it looks like he’s in trouble! Scarborough Castle have even agreed to stock copies onsite so that families can enjoy the story in its real life setting.
Every child who helped create Game’s Up has been gifted a copy, and the four local schools involved in the project have been gifted copies for each class.
Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that reading and writing helped to support children’s wellbeing during lockdown. 1 in 5 children said they were writing more often during lockdown and 2 in 5 said that writing helps to make them feel better. Before the pandemic, levels of the number of children reading daily dipped to the lowest we've ever recorded, but this increased significantly during lockdown. We hope Game's Up will encourage children to maintain their new found love for reading and writing as social distancing measures ease.
Diana Logan, Acting Hub Manager for Our Stories, said: “It’s been great fun watching this project evolve from challenge videos to a real life book! The children got to learn about all the different components that go into writing a story; from learning the tricks of the trade from illustrators and authors, to embodying character’s personalities with the help of actors and theatre directors. We have some wonderful storytellers here on the North Yorkshire Coast and I can’t wait for the school’s involved to explore this story as their class reader.”
Saviour Pirotta, best-selling author and Literacy Champion for Our Stories, said: “Game’s Up is a brilliant story and it was an honour to compile all of the different ideas. This story belongs to the local children – it’s their work and it’s a showcase of their wonderful creativity. When the children look back on lockdown, I hope that this project will stand out as a silver lining that they’re proud to have been a part of because I know I will. I look forward to reading more of their stories one day!”