Whether it’s Creative Writing or any other subject, learning should never be boring, says Sharon Lesley Le Roux.
I think it’s fair to say fate brought me to Lantau. Since 2001, I’d been visiting an old school friend in DB every year. The two of us used to regularly do the DB to Mui Wo walk and I often told her, ‘I’d love to live in Mui Wo one day’. Then, during my Christmas 2005 visit from South Korea (where I was teaching at the time), we ended up at the China Bear and there I met the man I was to marry. The rest (as they say) is history. I say, be careful what you wish for.
I’ve been teaching Creative Writing in Hong Kong for nine years now, and I’ve noticed that very few courses approach the subject with creativity as the main focus. Most seem to use it as either an English as a Second Language tool, or a means for helping students improve their technical writing skills. Of course, that’s fine, however I do believe a genuine desire exists among Hong Kong children to learn how to write stories well, just because they love writing stories.
Last year, a friend encouraged me to teach the kind of Creative Writing I wanted to teach. I sat down and designed a 10-week programme, a website and a poster and took it from there. I’ve now got workshops running in Mui Wo, Tung Chung and Discovery Bay.
With 10 years’ experience of teaching Creative Writing, an Honours degree in Creative Writing and a Master’s degree in teaching English, I believe I can offer students real insight into the art of storytelling. Children have such fantastic imaginations, they just need to know how to channel all that creative energy.
I do, of course, include the technical side of writing in my classes. A few months ago, I was watching one group clearly enjoying a task I’d prepared on writing speech – where the speech marks go, where the punctuation goes – and that was really gratifying. Whether it’s Creative Writing or any other subject, learning should never be boring.