Projects

Place & Storytelling

EmilyHinshelwood

Poet, performer and script-writer Emily Hinshelwood led a whole day workshop with 18 young people at Cwmtawe Community School on their last day of term 2015. The students, who were selected on the grounds of their interest in creative writing (many of them members of the school’s regular Creative Writing Club), ranged from 12-14 years of age. They donned boots and anoraks, clutched clipboards, and pocketed their imagination for a fiction-infused walk.

With encouragement and guidance from Emily, the young people devised their own characters in the classroom, before taking their characters with them on the tour through fields and gardens near the school. The idea was to put themselves in their character’s shoes, and to see the details of the natural world through their eyes.

Back in the classroom, the atmosphere was one of intense concentration as they penned their impressions. They all left the classroom with the beginning of a story, ready to grow and develop during the summer. Here are some examples of their work:


The clouds gathered in the clear blue sky and the world started to turn cold, almost eerie. The happiness drained out of me like I was emptied by a plug. I started to shiver in the cold water and felt scared and worried. A bead of sweat trickled down my face. By Isabelle Lake

Hell. What a place! Happy devils, horrified humans and also my favourite – the pits of despair with its orange glow. Looking at it is painful to the eyes, humans find it horrifying. I find it mesmerising. It could burn down everything into nothing in seconds, because it is so scorching. Anon

It was a hot, humid summer morning as I set off for school. I smiled happily as I looked down at the drying up puddles. My aqua blue trainers splashed into the puddles disrupting the calm surface. Birds chirped in the swaying trees. I stepped by one puddle next to an uprooted oak tree. I stared meekly at my reflection. My sky blue eyes were filled with hope. My black hair swayed in the breeze. I pulled up the hood of my jet black hoody and strolled towards school. By Ciaran Sullivan (Aged 13)

He plunged his knife into the man’s stomach, trying to preserve this beautiful expansion. He looked up from the dead man to the villagers from where he lived staring back at him. Before they or he himself could react, he raced back into the foliage, his scarred-face friend was by him as well, running. Ajay Bater (Aged 13)

I came to the UK in 1995. When I came I learnt from my father how to pickpocket and steal. My name is Simon and I have black hair, blue eyes and I am a thief. My father was arrested two days ago but I escaped. Usually in the morning I will steal bread. As I was going out of the store I saw a big brown satchel on someone’s back. So I slowly unzipped the bag and stole an iPhone 6. I did it so I started running and as I ran I realised there’s someone after me. So a few hours with the bread I stoke I tried to unlock the iPhone 6 in the wet, bug-infested bush. As I did this I fell asleep: I woke to a voice. It’s my dad on a motorbike. My dad told me to get on and go, so I listened. As I did this I realised that I was in the forest, but I soon realised that I was in a peaceful forest. But this was not my dad. He put a sock on my head and said he’s taking me somewhere. Anon.

I first went out for a walk to calm me down, but it led to a tragedy. Let me tell you about it. I started to walk along the canal. I could hear the birds tweeting and lots of loud construction noises. I came across a big, bright, tall yellow flower. Around it was tall spiky green grass, just on it’s own, no other flowers surrounding it. I was about to pick a flower but something caught my eye in the tall grass. A big black duffle bag. I thought to myself, “should I be nosy and look at it?” I looked around. No one was near me. “Why not?” I thought. I picked up the duffel bag. It was heavy. I brought it over to a private area. I tried to open it. Inside was a big amount of money. At least 100,000 pounds, probably more. Harry Thyer (Aged 13)

That same day the buff man who was named ‘The Tiger’ due to his bright orange hair; made me go out with him to the gorge. He wore a tracksuit and some kind of belt with electronics on it. I had to sprint a hundred meters. I did it in 14 seconds. ‘The Tiger’ said that if I wanted to compete in the Olympics my time had to improve. By Jaden Maskell-Beynon (Aged 12)

I raced across the path as fast as my legs could carry me. All I could hear was my own beating heart screaming at me to stop. By Jorja Mould

I arrived home after school only to be greeted by rubble, dust and destruction. I gasped in horror as I saw my house in pieces on the floor. While looking around I noticed I couldn’t find my parents anywhere. Letting out a sigh I pulled my waist length, jet black hair into a pony tail. I looked into part of a mirror and started talking to myself, “Why am I so different from everybody else, like I have bright purple eyes, sharp teeth, I hate being Inside and my parents – I said I had a different connection with a nature.” By Heather Brown (Aged 12)

Another flashback from the time she’d met her master. “That was two months ago and I’m falling deeper in love with him,” she thought, turning scarlet. Gwen now wore a simple red maid’s dress; a tartan cardigan and knee-high boots. Her hair was now down to her shoulders. She enjoyed serving Roderick as a maid. She saw flowers blooming at her side. She felt calm. “Tranquillity and peace. These are the emotions I feel when I’m with Roderick,” she thought, smiling and a blush still visible on her cheeks. She then brushed her beautiful, flowing brown hair. Emily Jenkins (Aged 13)

Everything was my brother’s fault. He wrecked everything. I remember every little detail. I just couldn’t get this image out of my head. “I wonder if I’ll survive this,” I muttered to myself. I happened to glance to my left. I noticed people playing team sports. I could hear the distinct tweets. The birds were singing. The smell of flowers in the mystical field. The taste of honey stung me like a wasp. I could feel something furry next to my leg. It appeared to be a little badge. I must’ve acted immediately, because the next thing I remembered was the badger in my arms. Lucy Richards (Aged 12)

I was sitting on a large old bench drowning in thick layers of moss and mould. I could hear the damp wooden legs creak in protest. The sound slicing like a knife through the deafening silence. I felt a leaf gently brush against my rosy cheek. I looked up to see a huge oak tree towering over me, its branches swaying in the wind like arms. By Carys Williams (Aged 12)

Darkness. That was all she could see. Tina flocked her long black hair as she walked down the path. She felt like the path was leading her nowhere. Then she heard the river, rushing through, which made her afraid that something was going to happen. She suddenly looked in the river at her reflection. Her blue streak in her hair was fading away. Tina’s sea blue eyes were glistening by the moon’s brightness. Katie Jenkins (Aged 12)

As I sprinted down the road, I came to a russet brown, dusty, dirt pathway. The orchard and meadow rye grass swayed as the gentle sea breeze swept across the endless fields. Looming willow and moss-coloured ash trees cast shadows, making my skin shudder as I strode through the cooling shade. The soft trickle of the river beckoned me, tempting me to run my fingers through the shimmering water, like soft silky hair. By Chantale Davies. (Aged 13)

After throwing the witness’s body into the incinerator, Amethyst turned around to see something shocking. Senpai was standing right behind her. “What the hell are you doing?” asked Senpai. “Wait!” replied Amethyst. “It’s not what it looks like!” Without hesitation, she stabbed Senpai with the syringe and dragged him to his classroom when no one was looking. “It was all a dream,” said Amethyst. “Just a dream.” Oliver Jones (Aged 13)

It was a bright vibrant day after the rain storm the other day. When Mike was walking through the Archwood forest where he would walk every day. He would always notice that there were no animals in the forest or even bird song but when he thought he saw an animals he wouldn’t’[t be able to find it a second later which he would be quite used to so he would just be carrying on walking. The next day he found something very exciting, he found a large dog or cat print but it had three toes which was quite odd. “Yo, Mike!” yelled a voice in the distance. “Oh, hi Brad, how did you know I’d be here?” “You’re always out here! Anyway what are you looking at?” “Oh, it’s a paw print.” Anon

One day I walked into a wood. I saw loads of trees, flowers, spiky flowers, people and butterflies. Then I heard an alarm go. I was scared and I did not know what to do. Suddenly I fell down as if I’d landed in the woods. I could heard screaming and people were shouting E-M-I-L-Y. What? Who’s there? And how do you know my name? I am a ghost. I know everybody’s name including yours, which is Emily. Then she went off dancing and then someone pulled Emily back into the woods and she let go of the ghost and then she fall back into the grass. She found a little puppy. They lived happily ever after. The end. Rachel Harris (Aged 12)