The Story Makers Company

Promoting inclusive and creative learning in education through story.

Image of an outdoor Story Maker session, delivered by two staff with three young people
Abstract image of sun coming through trees

We believe that the stories we create, and share should celebrate diversity, promote global citizenship and critical thinking.

Story Makers Company was established in 2017 by academics, teachers and artists concerned with the lack of creative opportunities for young people inside and outside school, particularly those from socially underrepresented and economically disadvantaged communities

Our academic and practice-based research focuses on creative learning in education, researching with and alongside children through the use of drama and creative writing. In collaboration with children, teachers, artist educators, education leaders, cultural and community groups we seek to create meaningful learning which relates to children’s lived experiences. We aim to challenge policy which advocates narrowing curricula and the marginalization of the arts, in addressing issues which support the holistic learning and wellbeing of children.

Our research aims to advance knowledge of the ways creative processes work and in which creative learning can support young people and equip them with the capabilities for living and thriving together in a changing world.

We seek to work with educational and arts professionals from across the sector from early years to further education, empowering them to create imaginative and creative learning and curricula. This approach to education aims to reengage young learners by building their confidence, developing their emotional literacy, critical thinking and creating an imaginative community they can belong to. Through our research and CPD we create learning resources for and with schools which advocate an integrated curriculum approach to learning. We also work with theatre, drama practitioners, children’s authors and illustrators.

  1. We are committed to nurturing a love of story for and with children.

  2. We are committed to developing opportunities for marginalised young people.

  3. We work in partnership with children and artistic partners as co- researchers to capture work that is already happening.

  4. We work in an organic way which is not predetermined by goals.

Postgraduate study

We are committed to developing creative academic pathways and courses with our MA Drama and Creative Writing in Education and Professional Doctorate in Education. Our MA Drama and Creative Practice in Education draws directly from our practice- based research and placements are facilitated through Story Makers.

Study with us

the graduate school

Study for a research degree at Leeds Beckett and you'll join a thriving academic community in an inspiring and supportive environment.

other links
Clock tower at Leeds Town Hall
Image of a male student sat down

  • Daniel Ingram Brown (PhD) – Exploring adoption through creative writing and participatory research
  • Jeanne Dickinson (PhD) - An Exploration into the Impact of Dramatherapy Techniques with children aged 11-13 in a Guernsey Secondary School Drama Class
  • Susan Rook (EdD) – Using drama to develop children’s reading comprehension

  • Dobson, T., Stephenson, L. (08.11.19) Story Makers Press: involving children in the writing and publishing of children’s literature. National Association of Writers in Education, York, 2019
  • Dobson, T., Stephenson, L., and Sanches De Arede, A. (10.09.19) Pursuing the ‘might’ in aetonormativity: involving children in the writing and publishing of children’s literature. British Education Research Association International Conference 2019

    Dobson, T., Stephenson, L., and Sanches De Arede, A. (13.07.19) Seeing themselves in books: involving children in the writing and publishing of children’s literature. United Kingdom Literacy Association International Conference 2019
  • Dobson, T. (08.06.19) Seeing themselves in books: involving children in the writing and publishing of children’s literature. Story Rebels: A New Type of Hero. Story Makers Company, Leeds Beckett University
  • Cremin, T., Eyres, I., Dobson, T., & Stephenson, L. (08.07.2018) Exploring writer identity and communities of writers. United Kingdom Literacy Association International Conference, Cardiff
  • Stephenson, L., (08.06.19) The Nightmare Catcher: Co creating stories with children Story Rebels: A New Type of Hero. Story Makers Company, Leeds Beckett University
  • Stephenson, L. and Dobson, T., Stories from The Wall: Using Process Drama to Promote Agentic Writing with Primary School Children. (08.07.2018) United Kingdom Literacy Association Conference, Cardiff
  • Stephenson, L. and Dobson, T (17.06.2017) Drama & Creative Writing: Developing Curious Learners, Reclaiming Pedagogy, Northern Rocks, Leeds Beckett University
  • Stephenson, L. & Dobson, T., (13.07.19) Releasing the Socio-Imagination: Children’s voices on Creativity, Capability and Mental Wellbeing. United Kingdom Literacy Association International Conference 2019

Be part of the Story Makers Company and let us explore together