The Whole Story

The Whole Story is a project-based course that provides a wonderful opportunity for keen young writers to spend consecutive days honing their writing skills – all under the expert eye of a creative writing mentor. Whether your child is a novelist in the making, or they have brilliant story and character ideas but can’t yet get much down on paper, this course has been designed to equip them with strategies to become more confident and inspired writers. We aim to spark their imaginations and enthuse them with a love for writing and reading: writing is, after all, fundamentally great fun!
On The Whole Story course, we teach children how to effectively structure a story based on a classic literary genre, such as mystery, adventure or fantasy fiction. Our writing resources, designed by our in-house professional writers, provide a narrative framework from which the children craft their stories. In a small group setting that allows children to focus and interact constructively, their writing tutor will provide guidance, advice and individual feedback to each child. At the end of the course, you will receive a detailed written feedback for your child highlighting their strengths, progress made and suggested areas for improvement.

Course content

In each session, children will learn and practice different elements of story plotting while building their story:

  1. The exposition (i): Set up the problem, develop a compelling character and start creating your main plot.
  2. The exposition (ii): World building – Develop a powerful setting.
  3. Rising Action & Climax (i): Create an effective midpoint – find the point of no return.
  4. Rising Action & Climax (ii): Raise the stakes.
  5. Falling Action & Resolution: Final conflict. Obligatory scene and denouement.


Children spend three hours each day working on their story, providing them the space and time to develop an understanding of how to weave more complex narratives into their work, and allowing them to become confident in structuring their stories clearly from start to end. 

Children are encouraged to develop their critical thinking and peer-review skills throughout the course – developing not only their writing, but also their ability to articulate constructive feedback. Expressing yourself through writing is just one way of learning how to communicate effectively and with empathy. Each of our workshops contains elements of collaboration, discussion and debate in order to cultivate the broader life skills that will set our writers up as sophisticated and compassionate learners/thinkers.

  • Holiday Club: 17–21 December 2018. The Whole Story. Let it Snow: A Christmas Eco-Mystery! – (8–12 Yrs)


    You wake up with a start, and sit up, sweating and out of breath. You try to concentrate on remembering the dream from which you woke – something about lava? – but, as dreams so often do, it slips away before you can recall what happened. Bright morning sunlight leaks into the room through gaps in the curtains to illuminate a bulging stocking at the end of your bed. You breathe a sigh of relief: it’s Christmas Day! Still feeling a little hot and flustered from the dream, you spring up and draw your curtains to see if any reindeer have left tracks in the snow (coming from a family of ecologists means that nature is always at the heart of your Christmas). What you see makes your mouth gape open. There are no tracks. There is no snow. The two feet of snow that had been accumulating for the past few weeks has completely gone… wait, not gone… is going. The air above the ground seems to wobble and blur as steam, endless streets of steam, evaporates from the tarmac for as far as you can see. No wonder you woke up sweating. Christmas Day has reached boiling point overnight!

    Environmental science meets Christmas magic in this festive adventure with a twist! Young writers will be turning up the heat as they unravel an environmental disaster that could change the world as they know it. In their stories, children will uncover clues about what caused the earth to heat up so quickly, and find a solution for reverting it back to a ‘white Christmas’ before it’s too late. Luckily, given the time of year, they know just the man to help them out…

    This workshop will be focussing on pacing a mystery story. Underpinned by discussions around ecological and environmental concerns (like pollution and global warming), writers will look to develop a structure and narrative voice that keeps their readers engaged throughout their plot’s twists and turns.

    Holiday Club: 17–21 December 2018. The Whole Story. Let it Snow: A Christmas Eco-Mystery! – (8–12 Yrs)

    • Age Group: 8-12 Yrs
    • Duration: 5 days. 15 hours.
    • Start / End Dates: 17–21 December 2018
    • Time: 10:00-13:00, Doors open at 9.50am. Early arrivals please wait to be invited.
    • Venue: St John’s Notting Hill Church of England, Lansdowne Crescent, London W11 2NN
    £369.00 Book now