Monday, 15 August 2016

Storm and Brook's Wondrous Water World Adventures

What a water wonder it was!

We're entering a water world of mythical rain forests and a kingdom in the clouds..Hooked yet? Well I was, reading and listening to the works and imagination from pupils from Darnhill.  Five talented primary schools recently took part in a creative writing project to produce a radio play about the water cycle, as part of Darnhill Festival.  
The schools involved were Harwood Park Primary School, Heap Bridge Primary School, Hopwood Community Primary School, St Luke's CE Primary School, Hopwood Community Primary School, St Lukes CE Primary School and St Margaret's CE Primary School.  They worked alongside professional writers Louise Wallwein and Martin Stannage, and visual artist Isobel Pickup to create the  illustrations to  help make the worlds come to life. Once the play was written and illustrated, Jason Cook from ALLFM recorded the episodes with young people from M6 Theatre and they a pure audio delight.

Listen in here:
The Mystical Rain Forest
Written by pupils from Heap Bridge Primary School & Louise Wallwein.

The Cloud Kingdom
Written by pupils from Hopwood Community Primary School & Martin Stannage.

The River Roch Monster
Written by pupils from St Margaret's CE Primary School & Martin Stannage.

Aquarium Adventure
Written by pupils from Harwood Park Primary School & Louise Wallwein.

A Drop in the Ocean
Written by pupils from St Lukes CE Primary School & Louise Wallwein.


Let's find out what the young people thought of the project?

"I liked the writing because it made me think of and feel all different things and emotions"

"As I was writing my ideas were floating"

"It was fun and exciting and because we daydreamed and it made my brain exploded of ideas"

Big thanks to all involved in this creative project.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Members Meeting

A well deserved meet up!

The Tell Us Another One project facilitates several writing groups in Rochdale, Darnhill, Middleton and Oldham, look us up! ( or just click here)  We try and organise an annual catch up with representatives from each group, and this time round was no different. Deep discussions were had about the future of the groups and their sustainability after 2017. Valid concerns were raised about registering the groups, 'To be or not to be (constituted), that is the question' - Sorry couldn't help it, Happy Birthday! William Shakespeare.  Back to script... Great ideas were shared, like producing writing materials they could all use, and dovetailing other groups to promote fresh and creative concepts. All in all it was a great visit, they are an inspiring bunch of people who just love writing.

Here's what they had to say about their different groups:

Whilst talking about their workshop writer..
"He works us hard, we get home work! We hate him" Said in jest, giggling. Shortly followed by "He's encouraging and inspirational"

"Share your heart and soul"  "Gives you confidence"

"It's great socialising with people"

Discussing the Middleton group..
'It's not political but they need somewhere where they feel safe and come together and maybe share difficult and different stories.'

After a well earned lunch and caffeine fix, the group did an impromptu, round robin, presentation of their work. You can listen in to stories and poems of love, celebration, relationships and a lapse in concentration, intrigued? Well, tune in here.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Budding authors on the write track

New free creative writing sessions

'Wannabe writers are putting pen to paper thanks to a new novel project' Gill Pots, Oldham Chronicle, April 1st 2016.

Gush! Yes, we were in the papers, and yes I stole/borrowed their title. Tell Us Another One is happy to announce our new creative writing group in Fitton Hill, facilitated by published author Michelle Green, and a talented lady, she is that.   On the first session she had the group of 11 local residents open up and share something about themselves through the visual aid of postcards; Past, present and future.  

I thought long and hard (2 mins later) and this is what I drew out.
My past represented some guys in tight pants? Actually I use to love gymnastics and my claim to fame is that I was once came 5th in a big competition, Yep! not, first, second, third, fourth.. but fifth and I'm still clinging onto that glory, not much has happened since then as you can guess. My present was a slug, horrible creatures, but it's not for the slime ball its self but for the tag line 'legless', which is an oxymoron really because I'm not legless in drinking terms, I have been teetotal for three whole months - part of my fitness drive, I digress... On a serious note I also picked Nelson Mandela, he represents my interest in politics and social justice. And finally, the last card is a lady sunning her self on the beach, no surprises there, and quite a few of the group dreamt of ending their days somewhere warm by the sea. I really loved this activity and it was the great to see the group get stuck in, I can't wait for  the next session.

The group are next meeting on Tuesday the 26th of April at 2 O'clock at Fitton Hill Neighbourhood Centre. Just ask for the 2'oclock group, they gather in the side meeting room. 

My final words come from Michelle Green "It doesn't matter if your spelling is a bit rusty or your handwriting a little messy - These sessions are all about ideas and being creative with words. If you can speak, draw or even sing a song you can write".

Written by Danielle Porter, Tell Us Another One Project Co-orindator.

Monday, 11 April 2016

International Women's Day!
With its origins dating back to 1909, International Womens’ Day is celebrated annually across the globe on 8th March. The day honours the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and in many countries has become an occasion for people to simply show their appreciation and love of other women.

To mark the occasion local community radio station Allfm curated a day of all female presenters, and in partnership with the Tell Us Another One project produced a one off special show showcasing the work of several members of our creative writing group members. The programme was hosted by Tell Us Another One Co-Ordinator Danielle Porter, with special guests, Katie Haigh, Shaista Nawaz, Karen Porter, Carol Keys, Elaine Morris, Kathleen Proctor and Shellah Tasab.

The women, representing different writing groups from across the region, had the opportunity to share their written work live on air, select their own music and to discuss other women who were inspirational to them. Highlights of the show, including poetry, short stories and an interview with Cartwheel Arts Wellbeing Co-ordinator Kerry Bertram are available to listen to at

The show was great fun and jam packed with our very own inspirational women who, afterwards, continued to discuss what the writing groups meant to them, and how they’ve been influenced and spurred on not only by writing group leaders but by other participants within their groups.

What was clear on the day was the confidence of the women and how they thrived on writing, and sharing their work, but they didn’t all start out like this. “I was dragged into it! I’d never written anything before”. Shaista Nawaz chatted about her reluctance to join a writing group and how she did so begrudgingly to accompany a friend. Now Shaista can’t imagine not going, and finds herself coming up with new ideas for stories when she least expects it.

Everyone at the International Womens’ Day celebration showed great support towards each other and produced such an eclectic range of stories and poems. What was especially noticeable was how inclusive the groups were: poems were read in Urdu as well as English and this soon sparked a discussion amongst the group about differing cultures and how appreciative they were to mix with women they may not have had the chance to outside of the Tell Us Another Project.

Towards the end of the day the women began to consider the importance of the creative writing activities on their health, there seems to be a strong belief within the group that art is vital in providing relief from a variety of issues, and many of the women have found respite from depression and anxiety as well as finding the confidence to overcome barriers put up by difficulties such as dyslexia and more physical impairments.

The whole day was an inspiration and we can’t wait to do something like this again.  Be sure to check out the audio highlights of the day and look out for more interviews with our writing groups in future posts.

This post was written by our resident writer Hayley Flynn. You will see more of her work throughout the year as she documents the people we work with. Photo's were produced by Katie Haigh one of our Tell Us Another One Participants.