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Witch Out! Lancashire Children's Author launches new writing workshops for schools

John Freeman

Lancashire-based children's author Gianna Hartwright (the pen name for the award-winning PR expert Jane Hunt) has launched a new Creative Writing Workshops for schools and private groups of children, which she hopes will enthuse young writers, stimulate their imagination and encourage them to write better stories.

Gianna, who launched her most recent title, The Befana Drama, in October, has created Befana Drama Writing Workshops, which will inspire KS2 children and help them overcome obstacles to writing that they may have.

The Lancashire-based author is offering the workshops primarily in Lancashire, Cumbria and Greater Manchester, but can deliver them anywhere in the country for a small extra charge. If a number of schools in an area can book a workshop at the same time, the extra charge can be shared.

Gianna has so far visited schools as far apart as Dundee and Bedford and Ulverston and Bristol.

“I loved going into schools with my Befana Drama talk," she says, "which I can still offer to schools who haven’t yet inspired their children to write by arranging an author visit.

"During my visits, teachers asked me to think about developing a creative writing workshop and I have done that to satisfy their request, trying to make the formula as vibrant as possible."

“I hope to meet many more children in the coming months and inspire them to write their own great stories.”

Gianna's author visits to schools have received great feedback and the author says children told her not only that they had been inspired to write stories and read more books, but also how happy and uplifted they had been by Gianna's approach and way of telling them about her book.

The Workshops last for a day and see children tackling all manner of exciting tasks and fun exercises to get them thinking. They focus on ideas generation, creating good and bad characters, developing a plot through story mapping and exciting ways of using language.

To help children along the way, there will be games like Befana Blanks and Barmy Befana, plus the chance to delve into The Brilliant Befana Bag to find exciting items that can be used in a story.

The Befana Drama Creative Writing Workshops can be booked at any time bar late March, as Gianna will be launching Befana Drama 2 – Capriccia’s Conundrum – at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (March 24-27), where she will be part of the Publishers Association stand at the biggest children’s book fair in the world.

Gianna Hartwright is the pen name of author Jane Hunt, a PR professional who won the ultimate accolade of being name ‘Best Freelance PR Practitioner’ in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Excellence Awards 2012. She has had multi award winning PR success with her own PR consultancy, Catapult PR – a consultancy based in England’s northwest and situated in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. The creativity and style that has underpinned her PR campaigns is now shining through in her books.

• Schools wishing to have details of Gianna’s Creative Writing Workshops can email or call 01253 891114. The cost of the full-day workshop is £150