Creative WritingGCSE English student Sahra Abdi gets some creative writing tips from Marcelle Mateki Akita from Afrikult.

Aspiring authors had the chance to put their storytelling skills to the test when they took part in a series of creative writing workshops.

Around 100 students, from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), participated in the sessions in preparation for their GCSE English exam this summer.

The event run by African literature forum Afrikult formed part of Literature Week, one of several enrichment activities organised by the College each year.

Marcelle Mateki Akita and Zaahida Nabagereka, who founded Afrikult, led students through various practical exercises including creating a story around an object, understanding story structure, themes, description and characterisation.

English student Erin Cooney, 16, said: “The workshop was really good. Hearing about the books that the two authors from Afrikult had written was very inspiring.

“I often struggle with coming up with the idea for a story and they gave us lots of tips on how to do that, which will hopefully be useful for the exam.”

Another student, Fardeen Jisan, also 16, said: “It was fun. They did so many activities on description and techniques you can use as well as helping us to understand more about structure and ways to hook in the reader.

I really enjoy creative writing and it was good to get some ideas from other students when they read their stories out. It’s given me a lot more confidence going into the exam.”

CONEL offers both GCSE English and maths both as qualifications in their own right and alongside many of its vocational courses.

The College also runs English for Speakers of Other Languages courses from Pre-entry Level to Level 1

English tutor Pamela Dheer said: “The creative writing workshop was a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop their English skills and apply them effectively to storytelling.

“The session was interactive, engaging and fun and has seen many of our students produce more compelling and descriptive essays and stories, which form a key part of their GCSE exam.”

Call 020 8442 3055 or click here for more information on English courses and here for English for Speakers of Other Languages courses.

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