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Novelist Kevin Brooks worked with 240 Year 8 students from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School.

During his workshop he focused on Pietro Longhi's 'Exhibition of a Rhinoceros at Venice'. He described how during the creative process of writing a story ideas can be sparked off from many places. He encouraged the students to jot down the first thoughts that came into their heads when they looked at the unusual painting, and to expand their writing from there.

Click here to view Kevin Brooks's instructions to the students.

This is what Kevin said about the students' final pieces, produced back at school:

"The follow-up work produced by the students of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School is wonderful. Full of feeling and emotion, well-written, and extremely expressive. It's superb!
All the stories I've seen so far are very touching, but I think my favourite is 'The Black Rhino-Thing', by Yazmin Kimal. I love the sad feeling of this story. My favourite line is: 'It was as if all the happiness had been sucked out of it (the black rhino-thing) with a syringe and it wouldn't stop sucking until all the happiness was gone. Every last drop.' Genius!

The Articulate project is a stunningly good idea, and I think it's getting better all the time. The simplicity of the project gives it the scope to achieve almost anything, and I think that's the key to it. When we're given the chance to achieve almost anything, that's what we do. I love being part of it, and I'm always amazed at the incredible quality and thoughtfulness of the students' work.

The initial work, produced at the Gallery in a very short time, never ceases to astonish me. It's so refreshing and honest, so strong - and it continues to back up my belief that anyone and everyone can express how they feel in words."

Image of student.Click here for Student Responses.
Image of 'Exhibition of a Rhinoceros at Venice' by Pietro Longhi, probably 1751.Click here for About the Painting.
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More about Kevin Brooks