Fortunately for me I had friendly library faces to work with. Mrs Mac at Thirroul Public School and my own children's librarian extroadinaire, Jane Pretty. So lots of help there to begin with. And the kids were very keen.
I sent out an SOS to my writing colleagues. And I have to do a thank you speech here because I am truly indebted to these friends for their advice, notes and shared exercises. Drum roll. Red Carpet. Janeen Brian, Sally Murphy, Sheryl Gwyther, Dee White, Claire Saxby, Lorraine Marwood, Julie Nickerson, Katherine Apel and Sally Odgers. What a name dropper I am.
I have to detour here for a moment and talk about Sally Odger's wonderful e-book (Giving our Kids) A Reason to Write. It's an absolute treasure trove of information about how children (and adults) write - from their different approaches and thought processes to how to best manage their writing strengths and weaknesses. I began by flipping through the pages for exercises I could use in my Workshops and ending up reading it from cover to cover. Thoroughly recommended and at $7 for the PDF - it's the best value for money resource you can buy!
But back to the workshops. Two out of three are complete with the follow up/evaluation still to come. They were wonderful fun. They didn't go perfectly - the video conferencing was a new experience all round - but the end result was absolutely golden. The kids enthusiastically produced heaps of writing. OK. Not all of them. There was one child who I suspect was waiting for a real author to show up. It's not quite as magical when it's mum even if you are really proud of her! Here are some sample efforts - ebooks created based on the workshop sessions.
You can visit the project at Thirroul Public School's blog.