Hundreds of children converged on London South Bank University (LSBU) for a three-day creative writing and illustration workshop this November.
The ShoutSouth! festival, organised by Children's Writers and Illustrators in South London (CWISL), aimed to provide a positive experience of stories and books for children who may not have a culture of reading at home, as well as presenting illustration and writing careers as an attainable goal.
LSBU supported ShoutSouth! as part of its Aimhigher programme which encourages local children to consider the benefits of higher education.
Over 200 children from the south London area (Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth) took part in sessions on the craft of story-making, which were led by 20 authors and illustrators from CWISL, and assisted by LSBU students.
Lambeth Mayor, Dr Neeraj Patil, attended on the final day to congratulate all those involved and to give out certificates to the school children who took part.
Beverley Birch, children's author and chair of CIWSL, said: "We passionately believe this project has the power to change lives. Those chosen to take part were selected on the basis of their creative ability, rather than their academic achievement, and were those not ordinarily selected to take part in an out-of-school creative writing project."
Mark Ellis, Schools and Colleges Outreach Manager, said "We understand the importance of working with children at a very young age if we are going to influence their aspirations.
"Research shows that the best way to pass on information about higher education is to provide young people with the opportunity to meet current university students, so we arranged for LSBU student ambassadors to work with the children in each of the workshop sessions."
He added: "We offer a range of Creative Writing courses, and it would be fantastic to see some of the young people who took part in the ShoutSouth! festival return to LSBU as students."
The children's finished work is being compiled into a colour magazine by LSBU students, and will be printed and distributed in January 2011.
Posted: 21st November 2010