Maz’s Story Stew definitely had all the right ingredients: plenty of inspiration, a good helping of creativity and more than a dash of humour. Everyone, (children and adults), had a great time.
Brighton Festival 2016
Your contribution to our first Festival of Children’s Literature here at Kestle Barton was simply wonderful! The energy, enthusiasm and skilled facilitation of children’s groups you displayed was inspiring for children, teachers, parents and everyone else who heard your voice down the path to Frenchman’s Creek! The children really thought you were great and so did we. Story Stew brought a very well developed workshop to our programme that made a significant contribution to our event. In addition to that you were extremely professional to work with and helped to cast a positive view on our whole experience as first-time festival organisers. We hope to have an opportunity to work with you further in the future and wish you all the best in your story stewing adventures.
Kestle Barton Festival of Literature 2016
Mary was a joy to have at our STORYSTOCK festival. The children were totally engaged in her hilarious and educational show about how to make the perfect story stew. Great for all the family.
Our boys have attended your Story Stew Workshop three times now (South Bank Centre, a school in Richmond and at Wilderness Festival). I just wanted to give you some positive feedback. I think you really got through to them. My eldest, just starting year 4, improved so much in his creative writing last year it was amazing to see. And my youngest, just starting year 1, got 'highly commended' in the Wimbledon Bookfest Young Writers Competition. Even I learnt something about creative writing and feel that I am in a better position to help them improve now. I also use your strategies for writing stories to guide me when I ask them questions about the books that they read. All very useful indeed. You are great!"
Mary’s family workshop was engaging, fun and useful to parents, children and teachers alike. Everyone was enthralled throughout and all left feeling inspired by Mary’s well thought out, professional and most of all fun story writing activities. Mary was a master at humour that hits multiple levels and had children and parents laughing all the way to the end. Not often can you say that something is as fun AND educational as this!"
Richmond Upon Thames Literature Festival
"As a primary school teacher, I attended Mary's story stew workshop to get inspired on presenting creative writing to children and it certainly did that! Mary's passion and energy made the room come to life and the children involved couldn't wait to scribble down their wonderful story ideas!
"As story writers, children need an enthusiastic role model facilitating their wonderful imaginations and spurring them on to get creative and Mary was that and more! I can't wait to take some of that energy into my year one class next term, I just know their stories are going to be full of life! Thank you Mary, what a wonderful job you have!"
Lindsey Bailey, Primary School Teacher, Hay Festival 2014
"I worked alongside Mary at the Imagine Children's Festival 2014, and absolutely loved sitting in on her Story Stew workshop.
"She was one of the most hilarious, engaging and entertaining workshop leaders I have come across - the only way I can describe her is like an energetic CBBC presenter meets laugh-out-loud comedian, Miranda. Part-teacher, part-comedian, part-entertainer, Mary had the children completely engaged with her original and hilarious form of teaching, and she had the parents laughing throughout, too!
"With plenty of singing, throwing stuffed toys and animals into a pot, and a ridiculously catchy poem that will stick in your head all day, Story Stew Workshops are ideal for any young writers in the need of some inspiration!"
Mel Taylor, Little Star Writing Workshops, Imagine Festival, Southbank Centre
"Thank you for your Story Stew event. I have three children and they all enjoyed it immensely, as did I!! My eldest daughter, aged 8, found real inspiration and imagination from this and is now happily writing stories, poems and comic strips following your 'recipe'."
Leann Willis, Mum-of-Three, Bournemouth Festival of Learning