Storytelling for a 21st Century Audience

Event Dates
Event Type
General Event
Event Location
The NSW Writers Centre

Storytelling for a 21st Century Audience

Who: Matt Finch
Saturday 9 November, 10am-4pm
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110

Location: The NSW Writers Centre

There is no-one in the library when the children arrive.
Blood is pooled on the front step.  Within, bookshelves have been knocked to the ground, their contents spilled across the carpet.
The children suspect a prank. “Is this a murder mystery game?”
Before anyone can answer, there’s a cry from outside.
The children run to the exit. Deformed figures are approaching: the walking dead.
Zombies attack!  The children scream as their teachers barricade the doors.
Only a storyteller can save them now…

In the age of new media, what does storytelling look like for communities at the grassroots level?

How can we combine traditional modes of storytelling with the narrative possibilities offered by digital technology?

What can we teach young people about the possibilities of digital technology with nothing more than a pen and paper?

This workshop will explore the use of pop culture in storytelling, relevant to work with children, young people, and community groups.  The course will address practical and affordable ways to explore multimedia and interactive narratives, and expand storytelling skills to include role-play and audience-led immersive activities.

The course will also cover immersive and participatory theatre. Drawing on Matt’s experience creating interactive role-play activities for education, participants will use a simple toolkit to develop their own immersive storytelling concepts.

This workshop is for anyone wanting to develop their storytelling skills, but will be particularly useful for those who work in education and community roles, such as librarians, teachers, education officers, playgroup leaders, performers, and community organisers.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students will learn how to create their own interactive stories and how to foster these skills in others
  • Students will learn how to outline and resource an immersive roleplay activity for a school, library, community setting, or storytelling event
  • Students will become aware of the latest research on using pop culture and multimodal storytelling forms (such as comics) at the community or classroom level
  • Expand creativity in drawing on low culture and popular media to reach out to youth audiences
  • Develop confidence to run audience-guided roleplay activities

Tea and coffee making facilities will be provided. Course participants are advised to bring their own lunch as there are no cafes within easy walking distance.

About the tutor
Dr. Matt Finch
is an award-winning British writer and educator who has taught and told stories for people of all ages, in locations as diverse as the mountains of Peru, the streets of Brooklyn, Shakespeare’s birthplace and rural New South Wales. Currently an adviser to Auckland Libraries, Matt has spoken on literacy in both the British House of Commons and Australia’s Parliament House, and taught in corporate, non-profit, community, and education settings at all levels from kindergarten to undergraduate. Find out more at


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