The Write Path - international collaborative writing
The Write Path started in 2008 as a 24 hour celebration of International School Libraries day which in my opinion is not celebrated enough in the U.K. I asked 5 established children's authors to write the first paragraph of a story and those paragraphs then travelled around the world by email to places as diverse as Louisiana and Newcastle where students aged 11/12 worked on adding a next paragraph to them for an hour. A few schools also had video calls to discuss their favourite books and I was up at 1.30a.m. in my pyjamas talking to wonderful boys and girls in Beijing.
The project has proved very engaging for students and has engendered a lot of interest from colleagues worldwide which has meant that in subsequent years the whole concept has had to be much expanded. The Write Path is now run via a ning (collaborative website) and all of the administration, communication and the running of the event happens via this site. Over 60 poets and authors donated first paragraphs or stanzas last year and students from more than 40 schools contributed to the writing. 6 stories or poems are worked on each day and the first paragraphs/stanzas being posted as blog posts early each morning. Continuations are posted as comments on the blog so it's possible to see the tales forming during each day, as in this example http://bit.ly/AaUtS5
Twitter updates are regularly posted to a hashtag and each school/group is asked to post an individual blog post about their experience after taking part. Many schools have video calls, either with other schools or myself mostly using Skype and there is a video story that schools can contribute to if they wish.
All of the Write Path stories and poems are published in proper books each year and the young people are really thrilled to see their names in print. Please do have a look around the ning and contact me if you are interested in participating this year.