All About Laura Watson
Laura Watson is a freelance scriptwriter and has written for television, radio and theatre; credits include EastEnders, Casualty and Radio 4. Laura’s play for teenagers (Angel In The Park) has been performed in Newmarket and Cambridge and she has had rehearsed readings for other work at Soho Theatre in London and ADC Theatre in Cambridge. Laura has recently been awarded a grant from the Arts Council to write a play, working with Menagerie Theatre Company and Gomito Productions.
Laura also runs a Scriptwriting Evening Class, teaches drama as an after school club and provides editorial and story advice to a variety of writers and organisations. Laura has run projects and workshops for Red Balloon, Suffolk Artlink, Children’s Discovery Centre and Cambridge Wordfest (amongst others!).
She has been a Writer in Residence for the charity Action For Children and for her local middle school, St. Felix in Newmarket, Suffolk. Laura runs an annual summer holiday project for children, Create A Play!
Laura Watson’s School Visits
Laura’s visits can be adapted to the specific requirements of the host school/organisation. She can spend the whole day with one group or do a shorter workshop with several.
Laura works with a wide range of age groups and abilities. The youngest age-group that Laura works with is usually year 3.
As well as working with primary and secondary schools, Laura has worked with charities, colleges and universities. Laura can adapt her workshops for children and adults with learning difficulties or emotional needs. She can work with a variety of numbers though usually no more than 40 in any one session.
Laura describes her school visits in her own words:
‘I usually start my sessions with a drama activity to kick start energy and imagination. I encourage discussion with the students about their own tastes in books, television, film and what they think works or does not in terms of story and character.
‘With primary age children, I will give the students three basic things they need to bear in mind when structuring a story and will use a fun exercise around fairytales to demonstrate this.
‘At secondary level, I provide a comprehensive understanding of story structure (through examples and hand-outs). All students will then divide into groups (of 4-6) where they will be encouraged to mind-map and structure their own mini-plays.
‘After a whole group discussion and brainstorm on character and dialogue, the students are given the opportunity to develop their plots into active scenes. Primary students usually choose one scene to focus on whereas secondary students may create their entire play (depending on time) or come up with a trailer to advertise it.
‘The plays can be developed through improvisation or more detailed writing, whichever suits the students learning needs. During this process I spend time with each group, discussing ideas and providing guidance where necessary.’
At the end of the session Laura provides the students with an opportunity to perform to each other, (usually there are no more than 30 students in the audience), encouraging constructive feedback. Laura also opens up the floor to any general questions and answers for the students on the subject of script-writing. Teachers are encouraged to be present during the workshop and there may be opportunities for follow-up exercises after the session.
Laura is happy to link her workshops in with current themes in the curriculum or to devise something herself. Previous themes include Remembrance, Mystery, Magical Objects and Power. Laura’s workshops are designed to be lively, informative, inclusive and inspiring!
Recommendations & Reviews
‘Laura is able to communicate at all levels and is able to enthuse and inspire young writers. I have always found her to be extremely well prepared, adaptable and versatile in her approach. Laura’s workshops are always fun, differentiated and exciting.’ Andy Thorpe, Director of Arts at Bushfield Community College, Peterborough
‘She has worked with the children as a class and in groups, as well as responding positively and constructively to them as individuals. She has integrated drama and shown good management skills while different activities are taking place. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Laura and been grateful for the very positive impact her visits have had with the children. She has the capacity to open new doors, to broaden horizons and, most importantly of all, to inspire……..’ Annie Freeman, Head of Literacy at Fordham Primary School, Cambs.
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Laura Watson, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org