My name Is Dan Lewis, I’m a writer based in Bristol and owner of Morpheus Workshops. Morpheus Workshops are creative writing and storytelling experiences centred around inspiring children with engaging and informative activities and exercises which amplify their urge to write.
I have acquired these skills over a variety of professions, firstly as a primary teacher myself, being head of Creative Arts at a school in South Bristol. After this I went on to work in journalism, publishing a wide range of articles and photography in South America, mainly Chile.
At this point I started working on my first novel, and moved back to the UK. I began working at Aardman Animations on the feature films Early Man, directed by Nick Park, and also Shaun the Sheep 2: Farmageddon. Through working in film I further developed my love of stories and now I hope to use these skills to inspire creativity in children.
The boys were so excited after the workshop and chatted about it for ages!
So nice to see them being enthusiastic about creative writing and getting the opportunity to try something totally different.Jude, parent.
What can kids expect to learn?
I try to be as flexible as possible depending on the age of the children and what they are currently studying in other subjects/reading in English – but my basic structure revolves around the following three principals of creative writing:
- Descriptive Language – Atmosphere, Objects, Senses, Speech and Grammar.
- Characters – How to bring emotion and depth into our characters. Naming techniques. Archetypes and how characters link with story structure.
- Narrative – How to create conflict through our characters. The Hero’s Journey. Our Story.
I’ve developed a number of fun and engaging tools over the years to help make creative writing exciting and not feel like traditional lessons for kids. Some of these include:
- If the Shoe Fits: to help with character development, I bring a range of weird and wonderful footwear, and get the kids to imagine who might have worn them, and what they have been doing. This is a great way of demonstrating empathy to younger kids.
- Sensory Deprivation: to help train descriptive skills, I encourage exploring the senses by removing some of them temporarily with blindfolds and just using touch, or ear defenders and using body language. We might watch film scenes without sound and describe what should be hearing, or identify trees with our hands and try and remember which is which, and much more besides.
- Meta Quest: a physicalised, dramatic creation exercise where we play out the Hero’s Journey, experimenting with the main character types and their relation to the narrative, diving much deeper in to how structure works in storytelling than kids generally get to go.
Where can my kids do these workshops?
All my creative writing workshops are available in and around Bristol and the South West.
**NEW VIRTUAL SERVICE**
Morpheus Workshops Online
Using group video software, Morpheus Workshops are now available online! Get that classroom feeling back and enjoy some engaging ideas and activities which can be continued well after the lesson has finished. Using a range of props and short tasks, I fire up children’s imagination and get them thinking about the three areas of creative writing as well as some general English warm-up exercises. I also set optional tasks for them to carry on with after the lessons, so parents have some extra ideas to keep kids busy at home.
£5 for a 30minute lesson, held every weekday at 10am, or, £12 for a 1 hour lesson held at 11am every weekday. All you need is a pencil, a piece of plain, and a piece of lined paper.
Take pictures of your work and send it to my Instagram page for feedback and look out for other talking points and ideas to keep the kids busy! Also see what other children have been working on in the lessons and share ideas. Every week one piece of work is selected for the Wall of Fame!
Please contact me here to arrange bookings and payment, also instructions and guidance for using the ZOOM video service can be provided.
Morpheus Workshops (for schools)
Morpheus Workshops can be structured in a number of different ways to fit around a school day. The workshops can be done by year group, across key stages, or over multiple days. They can also be incorporated as PPA cover sessions.
In my experience, these workshops work particularly well with reluctant readers and writers, or children who are hesitant with their imagination and creativity.
If you would like to book a Morpheus Workshop for your school, or find out some more details and prices, contact me here.
Quest Club (for parents)
Quest Club is the holiday format of these workshops with more fun, more time and more depth to explore the themes of stories and the power they can bring.
The next Quest Club is Tuesday 18th February
Held at Westbury Park Primary School
£40 for the day
Bring a packed lunch and a coat/hat/gloves!
Meet at the front door @ 10am. Pick up @ 3pm (Can extend until 4pm to suit pick-ups if needed!)
A fun mix of Creative Writing activities involving Music, Drama, Film and Shoes!
Or contact me to discuss setting one up, further details and prices.
It was amazing, with loads of fun and unexpected activities – especially when we were blindfolded!Joe, age 10
Don’t be shy! I am happy to answer any questions you might have about Morpheus Workshops.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you within 48 hours.