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Nottingham Primary Academy

Free Writing Friday

Free writing Friday launches this week for all year groups at Nottingham Academy Primary

This week at Nottingham Academy we are launching Free Writing Friday, a campaign set up by the Author Cressida Cowell in conjunction with the Literacy Trust to inspire children to write for pleasure. Every Friday, children will get an allocated slot of time where they can write in a special notebook, whatever and however they choose, without the fear of criticism. Writing for enjoyment boosts a child’s writing behaviour, confidence, motivation and academic attainment.

A letter from Cressida Cowell

My name is Cressida Cowell, and I’m the author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon, and The Wizards of Once series, as well as the Emily Brown picture book series. I’m also an Ambassador for The National Literacy Trust.

I’ve been an author now for twenty years, and hundreds of kids, teachers and parents have asked me what I think is the one thing they can do to encourage creativity and develop stories. My answer is always: have a notebook to draw and write just for the fun of it.

What makes this notebook special is that NO ONE is allowed to correct it. Your spelling and grammar and handwriting doesn’t matter in this book. What matters is that it’s a place for ideas and for FUN. Spend 15 minutes a week (or longer – it’s up to you) writing, or drawing in it. You can write stories, or notes from any exciting facts that you’ve found, or drawings, or comic strips, or ideas for films or little pictures of characters. You can write about books you’ve read or films that you’ve watched. This is YOUR notebook, and you can put whatever you like in it.

I started writing and drawing when I was very young, and I’ve kept notebooks ever since. Some of the story ideas I had about Vikings and dragons eventually became the How to Train Your Dragon book and film series. I still keep notebooks now – for my most recent series, The Wizards of Once, I kept a big A3 scrapbook for five years.

Here you can download some tips and starting points, because sometimes being faced with a blank notebook can be a bit daunting. If you don’t need them, that’s OK, you can start by yourself. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing.

Keep writing, drawing, and creating!

Cressida Cowell