Kit was one of our participants at the Bournemouth workshop. Here is his account of how ‘Who is Foo’ came about….
In October 2016, a six-year old called Sydney drew and named the story’s characters (except Foo, who she named but didn’t draw because she ran out of time). There wasn’t time to tell the story for Sydney and Shane (her eight-year old sister), but I’d already said it would be about an eating contest. That afternoon I had a lot of fun writing an outline on my iPhone. The story emerged almost fully formed.
From the outset it was as though it wanted to captured and told: one difficulty after another dissolved with little effort from me. For instance, I happened to be at the right place at just the right time to get an early, and unexpectedly positive, review from a professional storyteller. She recommended the head librarian (Ian Tovey) look at it and consider if he might like to tell it some time. He was keen, and wanted to include it in the library’s 2017 summer holiday Storytime. Would I consider adding illustrations? I thought not – too hard.
Fast-forward to May/June – a good friend, Bil Leonard, told me about a 3-day digital story-telling project organised by Bournemouth University (www.readingonscreen.co.uk) – would I be interested? I enquired and was offered a place. Twelve of us learnt how to script, record and edit the audio of our own short story (with added visuals). It was a lot of fun and so creative.
Inspired by the experience, I asked Ian if he’d be interested in me making an audio slide show of the story – he was keen from the off. Bronwen Thomas and Ross Adamson (of Reading on Screen) offered encouragement and advice. Illustrations? Rather than try myself, I asked my artistic niece, Elly Webster. Would you do them? She would, and did – wonderfully.
On the day (11th August) the story, the masterful storytelling and the illustrations were warmly received.
The editing was troublesome but soon enough it was done. What’s next for Foo? A book, people ask? I don’t know. Maybe an e-book? Who knows? Or should I say ‘Foo knows’?