Mystery Box Magic – In the Dark!!

Today was one of the more interesting workshops I’ve run… the power went out about half way through the workshop!

This was the school holiday workshop at Monash Public Library in Mount Waverley, a regular group I’ve been working with for the last few years. School holiday workshops are usually larger than the workshops during term time, so I try to make them a bit more structured and a bit different than the usual group. This particular group was booked out!

This time, I was inspired by Masterchef and came up with a Mystery Box Challenge. I bought some boxes from KMart and set them up on the tables. Underneath was a random selection of goodies from my Writing Prompts collection, and the kids toy box. Each table had a box and the contents were slightly different for each box.

Most of the kids who had booked in had never been to one of my Imagination Workshops before. I introduced myself and explained the role of the writing prompt items – they could use any or all of the items, as well as any aspect of them, to write a story.

After some playing with the goodies inside the Mystery Boxes, the kids got into writing. There was a great variety of uses of the writing prompts, however before we were able to stop to share stories, the power went out!! The room we were in was plunged into darkness and the air conditioner went off. The power was off in half the library downstairs too.

We simply moved to sit on the floor on the landing at the top of the stairs where there was still light, and the kids asked me questions about writing, editing, publishing, and books. This included questions about where I got my ideas, how to get published, and what I’m currently working on. The discussion was great and many kids were able to ask questions that they had probably been wanting answers to for a long time.

By the time parents arrived to pick up the kids, we were getting quite warm without the air conditioning, but we had all had a good time. I hope the kids will keep working on their stories during the remainder of the holidays.

The next session of Young Writer’s Group is in a fortnight and I’m looking forward to seeing some new faces there.

If you would like to book a workshop for your school or library, you can find details here.

A peek inside one of the Mystery Boxes

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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