New Story Collaboration Website That Aims to Ignite a Child’s Creativity Launched

The first two pages of the story are already there on the website for children to read, but it is up to them to decide what happens next. Following the guidelines given, children are invited to create and submit their version of what should happen on the next page. The best submission will be chosen and become part of the story.

Chair and Book

Over time pages created by children will be added to the story until it is complete.

The children who wrote the successful submissions will be named as the author of their page on the website and printed copies of the story will be produced naming them too.
The project aims to encourage reading and writing among children and to help them to express their creativity and imagination through submitting their own version of what should happen next.
Paul, the Creative Director of Beyond Theatre, the company responsible for the initiative, said: “Reading and writing is so important for children; for their education and for their future. We really hope that this idea will make children feel more engaged and involved with the story and the whole creative process.”
According to the National Literacy Trust 7.1 million adults in England can be described as having ‘very poor literacy skills’, which locks them out of the job market and significantly affects their quality of life. The following is a list of statistics related to childhood reading and writing developed from research carried out by the National Literacy Trust:
  • One in eight disadvantaged children in the UK say they don’t have a book of their own
  • Children who enjoy reading and writing are happier with their lives
  • The longer children keep and enjoyment of reading going, the greater the benefits are in the classroom
  • Children born into communities with the most serious literacy challenges have some of the lowest life expectancies in England
  • Three in five children in the UK enjoy reading
  • Only half of children in the UK enjoy writing
“It is so important that we, as a society, do everything we can to encourage our children to develop a love of reading and writing,” added Paul.
“By putting children in the driving seat and allowing them to decide where the story goes next, we hope that more children will engage with our books and explore the wonderful world of storytelling.”

Paul’s team are more usually to be found creating exciting immersive musical theatre productions, where even the venue, food and drinks are part of the show. But in the current situation, where coronavirus makes live theatre something we can only dream of, Paul found himself with time on his hands and a need to create something new.
“We’ve been creating these wonderful immersive theatre productions with our company Beyond Theatre for a few years now and they’ve been very successful. We thought that if you can go beyond theatre, why not go beyond a book and so the idea of our online collaborative storytelling website was born.
“I believe this is the perfect time to launch this project,” said Paul. “People are spending more time at home with their children and are looking for things to do with them. At the same time, this is an online activity, which appeals to the younger generation, but it is more educational than playing computer games, which appeals to parents and teachers.
“The impact of coronavirus was a huge shock to everyone and for companies in the entertainment sector, like Beyond Theatre, it is a nightmare some will be unable to wake up from. However, it is also providing us the opportunity to launch a new concept that we love and we are extremely proud of; and we hope it is one that children everywhere will also love and have fun with.”

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