Children can be writers at any age

SHARJAH - Tom Banks, a playwright, performer and author of an adventurer story, believes that kids at any age can write any story as they are all imaginative, creative and interested in stories.

By Lily B. Libo-on

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Published: Tue 30 Apr 2013, 12:56 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:56 AM

Author of The Great Galloon, Banks said that his experience in the theatre throughout his adult life and telling stories to young people and adults have inspired him to write his first book, the first of a series came off the press in March 2012 and the next in August of the same year. “It is just great fun. I have always great stories in my mind, and writing is just one of the ways to get them out of me and let other people see it.”

Banks chose to write a funny adventure of the enormous airship, The Great Galloon, because children respond positively to humour. “The Great Galloon is built and manned by Captain Anstruther and his crew, who are able to fight off invading marauders whilst drinking tea and sweeping floors.”

“There is no specific age for anyone to write a story. All kids love stories as story-telling is for them, a way to express themselves,” he added.

Banks said that kids can afford to read and write a story because they can be creative, they can be imaginative, and they are accepted without any fear of being right or wrong.

He said parents should inspire their kids by getting involved with their children’s story-telling and writing efforts, showing them they are reading and writing, too. “If they don’t reach out, their kids cannot see the importance of story telling, writing and reading,” he said.

Banks, who started writing and directing plays at 18, said that children are intimidated when they are asked to read school books but are interested to read what they want to read. “Lots of kids read only what they want to read. They react to teachers asking them to read so many school books.”

Banks spoke in the book forum “Inspiring Children To Write” with panelists Bruce Coville, Ibrahim Sanad and Dr. Haidar Waqeulah.

He said that the only way to inspire children to read and write stories is to give them the opportunity to write without judging them. “Kids want to be creative and are not keen on whether the spelling is correct. Parents have to show them how to write a story and how to tell them.”

Banks also said there is not much difference between play writing or directing and writing a book. “But, I will devote more time now to writing more children’s books and participating again here at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival.”

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