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Keen readers from a Wythenshawe school take part in a Gothic-themed creative writing workshop

Dedicated readers from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Newall Green were rewarded for their positive attitude to reading by being invited to tour John Rylands Library in Manchester and take part in a Gothic Creative Writing workshop.

The nineteenth century library in Deansgate, Manchester, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, with collections of outstanding international significance, and students used the architecture of the neo-gothic building to inspire their creative writing.

The workshop began with warm-up writing activities. Students were then asked to focus on atmosphere, mood and perspective in the building and to generate adjectives and phrases to capture their observations and feelings. They were encouraged to practise fiction techniques and learn how to develop realistic characters and create atmospheric prose.

There was a period of silent writing at John Rylands Library to compose the opening of a gothic story. The workshop concluded with the opportunity for some of the students to read their work aloud and a review of the writing techniques.

The workshop also included a guided tour and a chance to see some of the collections on display.

Alex Hren, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s said:  “We are very keen to encourage reading and the joy of books at Saint Paul’s.  We have some extremely avid readers. Visits like these are a great reward and provide a very valuable experience for our students and enhance the learning curriculum.”

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