Here at Sacred Heart, we are lucky enough to have our very own Writer in Residence, Susan Mulholland. Susan has an English Literature degree from Leeds University and a Master's in Film from Newcastle University. She is a freelance playwright and creative producer: her work has been staged locally and nationally with a variety of theatre companies. Susan also develops narratives for large scale outdoor events such as Enchanted Parks, 11 Arches Park and last year’s Saturnalia festival along Hadrian’s Wall. She is currently managing the creative programme celebrating The Angel of the North’s 25th Birthday.
This year, Susan has been working with our Year 7 classes on a Story Making course that she has devised. Students learn a variety of writing exercises and examine the structure and ingredients of all sorts of stories before starting to create their own.
Susan is also working with a selection of our Year 9 students who are already very able readers and writers and can cope with an extra challenge. These students have been exploring the subjects and themes that they care about and then using this to create character and dialogue.
Some of our Year 9s attend Susan’s lunchtime club and they are working on a murder mystery play together – we can’t wait to see the results.
We caught up with Susan recently and asked how it was going:
“I am passionate about stories, whether we're reading, watching or writing them ourselves and want this programme of work to spark that passion in the students. It’s important to me that they have the tools to put their brilliant ideas onto paper and it’s been so exciting to watch them tap into their creativity and begin to view themselves as writers.
Working at Sacred Heart is wonderful! The Year 7 students are smart, funny, imaginative, and so creative, it's been my pleasure to work with them and I love watching their stories evolve over time.
With the Year 9 students it’s been great to push them a bit further, exploring how to write good dialogue. I’m learning too - these sessions are already making me a better writer!”