Peter Ball is a storyteller and author of The Adventures of Pea and Bean series of childrens' books as well as being a classroom teacher with over ten years teaching experience.
Peter was born in 1958 in Sydney, one of eight children. He grew up with bedtime stories told by his dad about the adventures of Pea & Bean, characters that were invented to help the kids eat their vegies.
Peter ate his vegies and grew up big and strong and became a Primary School teacher. In no time at all, he was telling his own brand of Pea & Bean stories to his students. Over the years the stories grew, developed and were refined, until there was a whole heap of them! Storytime in Peter's classes were about the best time of day for teacher and students. To this day, when encountering past students, the first question they ask is "Do you still tell Pea & Bean stories?"
Peter loves school visits, where he gets the opportunity to introduce Pea & Bean and to explain how the stories became books. Peter is now retired from teaching to write full time.
In 2020 he completed the first three titles in a historical fiction/fantasy genre series for young adults. The series is called Qui Magi and includes the titles: Alchimia, Silentium, Benedicta Mater and Jinn. The series is set in both Italy and the Levant in 1228/29 and includes fantasy elements in a real historical setting.
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Children's Writing Workshop Outline
The central ideas of the workshop are based on the following theories:
That if you have good characters with a compelling purpose then you have a story.
That written stories are still storytelling, therefore it helps to tell the story first.
Children can learn to redraft, edit, redraft and become critical of their own work.
The main teaching / learning goals would be:
How to develop a strong, believable character central character who is driven by a worthy purpose
The elements of good storytelling as well as some specific writing strategies for bringing their tale to life and keeping the reader wanting to turn the pages
The story outline is developed through storytelling and then a brief outline
The importance of being flexible to change parts of the story that don't work
The first page of the story is discussed Do's and Don'ts of starting a story and hooking the reader in
Editing and redrafting by children themselves. At least three to four drafts are recommended. Using computers is encouraged to enable easy redrafting.
Publish the finished work, making it available to others to read
The sessions can suit up to 60 children but smaller is better.
They can be compressed into 2 x one hour sessions or spread over 4 x forty minute sessions.
If you prefer, Peter also offers a 'live' storytelling experience where, together with the students, he creates a character, puts them in a setting, gives them a purpose then creates a unique, brand new story on the spot!
The students and teachers were very impressed with Peter and should funds allow, we would like to have him back again next year.
Peter Ball - The Springfield Anglican College, March, 2014.