‘Long, long ago, when I was small,’ is when Julie Sharp remembers starting to write and tell stories.
Julie, a retired English teacher, is Learn to Love to Read’s Story Spinner. She’s written 15 stories for us, each one based on ten words chosen by local children. Three of the stories now form the basis of our Story Walks: brand new interactive adventures starting from 1 August. The walks begin at Putney, Southfields, and Wandsworth Town libraries: scan the QR code to see an illustration and hear a chapter read aloud. Each story has 5 chapters. Find the first code in the library window, the rest in local windows a short walk apart.
Does Julie have any advice for the budding writers of Wandsworth?
Why not start with ten words suggested by friends and family.
‘I’ve found it helpful,’ says Julie. ‘It can be quite difficult to actually begin a story so it’s really brilliant to have ten words to begin with. Sometimes one of those words will spark something.’
She also suggests using a mixture of your imagination and your own life experience. ‘Take a walk, look at your road, think about what you know. Maybe an idea for a story will come to you.'
And finally, she says, stories don’t have to be something you write, or something you create by yourself.
‘Make them up on the spot, tell stories with other people, you tell a bit then pass it on to somebody else and see what comes out.’