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The Story Makers Company

storymakers@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

The Story Makers Company

 Working with children to make stories that matter.

At the Story Makers Company we believe that the stories we tell define us and the world around us. We aim to give young people the power and the opportunity to create their stories through drama and creative writing. This approach to education aims to reengage young learners by building their confidence, developing their emotional literacy and creating an imaginative community they can belong to.

The Press

The Story Makers Press is a publisher focused on encouraging children’s voices and creativity. We aim to publish underrepresented narratives and issues and make sure that every child can see themselves in the books they read. Our goal is to help children become engaged and compassionate readers prepared to interact imaginatively with the world around them.

We use drama and storytelling with children in order to get them to explore different narratives with us, which we then aim to transform into engaging fiction books.

The Hub

We work in partnership with some of the most innovative and cutting edge Drama and Theatre Practitioners, artists and authors in the North; offering them the opportunity to work with universities, schools and community settings. The hub facilitates arts practitioner research and celebrates shared creative practice through conferences and the Story Makers Dialogues publication. 

The Youth Group

At Story Makers we invest in young people’s development in and through the creative art processes and production using theatre, film, drama and creative writing. We give voice to underrepresented groups and inspire young people to express themselves through the arts. We develop learning pathways through the arts.

The Festival

Celebrating the power of story to transform ourselves and others, our festival brings together creative story makers from across the region: young people, families, educators, artists, mental health experts, museums, drama and theatre specialists, artists and authors. Come and make your voice heard!

The Core Team

Lisa Stephenson, Ana Sanches de Arede, Dr Tom Dobson, Dr Mhairi Beaton, Professor Jonathan Glazzard, Yinka Olusoga.

Development opportunities

We are committed to developing creative academic pathways and courses with our MA Drama and Creative Writing in Education, Masters by Research Professional Practice and EDd Professional Doctorate in Education. In addition to this we offer we offer a suite of creative arts and learning opportunities to teachers and young people, in schools or community settings such as Creative Writing, Drama, Oracy and raising aspirations Days.

Our offer focuses on addressing real life situations, themes and human dilemmas through engaging story making workshops. These workshops take three forms:

  • Bespoke Drama and Creative Writing artist educator programmes: This programme is aimed at drama, theatre artists and writers working in Primary, Secondary and Special Schools. The workshops can culminate in creative writing published through the Story Makers Press, performances or films.
  • Drama and Creative Writing Residencies for children:  This programme offers a contextualised creative arts week at the University or in Educational settings. These culminate in a published writing output or performance. 
  • Raising Aspirations Day: These university-based days are an opportunity for primary and secondary school children to experience a bespoke creative learning experience, combined with aspirations to develop a career through university study.

 

What do Children say about our work?

“No one can tell you what to do, you can make up stories by yourself or in a group.”

 “I feel like my mind’s escaped from captivity. I like imagining and I have a big imagination.”

 “I feel excited. I want to get on with it.”

“Your learning that its ok if you have this idea. Your learning that it’s ok to make a mistake.”

Our ethos

It is through story making and remaking that humans make sense of the world and themselves. We value story as a social, cultural and artistic craft through which to develop a deeper sense of self and community. The act of making, sharing and responding imaginatively to story offers an inclusive emotional and intellectual learning space. 

Creative network and The Hub

We work in partnership with some of the most innovative and cutting edge Drama and Theatre Practitioners, artists and authors in the North; offering them the opportunity to work with universities, schools and community settings. The hub facilitates arts practitioner research and celebrates shared creative practice through conferences and the Story Makers Dialogues publication.

Our research focuses on the following areas:

  • Critical and Creative Pedagogy
  • Identity, Agency and Wellbeing
  • Social Change
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