Literacy workshop

Following on from their recent work on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Year 7s took part in a literacy workshop with Alan Ward, Hastings Library Writer in Residence. 

Alan worked with the students on some creative writing pieces around the theme of love potions. These were no ordinary love potions: the focus was on the creative use of language. Together, they discovered that a love potion doesn’t have to be all petals and rosewater. It could, for example, involve Raffety Amor’s “chiselled wooden dice dunked in gallium”, or Samuel Morris-Segal’s “shattered LED light rubbed with acid”.

They learnt about the power of specificity in language: rather than just saying “bone”, they’d say “tibia”. Rather than “coin”, they’d say “twenty pence”, so that the reader could more easily summon the image.

Alan said that he really enjoyed working with the various groups.

A few examples of work produced by students.

My transformation potion is made from:
A griffin’s front left foot dipped in lava,
A dragon’s ear used to stir a litre of old pond water,
A demon’s horn filled with the blood of a lizard,
A devil’s tooth kept for three years in a jar of mercury,
An old 2cm rusty screw left in a cup of red food colouring,
A shattered LED light rubbed with acid,
A shard of green glass made in 1905.
Throw it all in a large pot, 
mix with the bone of a deer killed on the night of a full moon.
by Samuel Morris-Segal, Year 7

My Potion
My love potion is made from:
1 dragon’s fang boiled in blood.
A fairy’s wing, sprinkled in ink.
3 long wizard hairs soaked in teardrops.
A dove’s wing damp with pure water.
A chiselled wooden dice dunked in gallium.
3 pieces of a golden necklace dipped in oil.
by Raffety Amor, Year 7

My love potion is made from:
a tongue from the craziest goblin engulfed in a layer of bleach,
the spine from the minotaur marinated in boiling pond water,
the jaw from a red and green dragon melted in the lava it breathed,
a speck of dust found under boxes in an attic, dissolved in human blood,
a £1 coin stuck to three strands of 2.4cm long hair dipped in lava.
All combined together in some orange juice.
by Louis Clark

My love potion is made from:
a vampire’s head – the love for love is like lust for blood,
a spleen dissolved in sulphuric acid – love makes you sick,
a shard of a silver spoon made in 1748 that has been polished every other day,
the shatter of a grain of salt from a salt plain in America that closed in 2003 and doesn’t have any salt left.
by Hal Banks

My destroyer potion is made from:
cyclon’s armpit soaked in acid,
leprechaun brain mixed with honey,
dragon ribs washed with washing-up liquid,
shards of toy car soaked in coffee,
pieces of 20ps, and ripped parts of a basketball.
by Dara

My love potion is made from:
a minotaur’s kneecap soaked in orange juice,
a centaurs arm soaked in slimy milkshake,
a unicorn’s hoof dipped in the water from a waterfall,
an ogre’s ear immersed in cloudy lemonade,
a chipped rubber soaked in bleach,
a splintered 20 pence piece,
a crumbled battery in the blood of a dog.
by Tom