Once upon a time there was a big bad wolf

St Ives Library which on 18 October will host a two-hour look at fairy tales as a possible way into creative writing

Those who have been part of my creative writing groups know that it is those that join who decide how the details of the course are structured.

It will be different this year. Those who might be interested in joining a course are being invited to a free WEA taster on fairy tales that looks into why we tell stories, what they might mean and how over the years the stories change and develop.

The two-hour session in St Ives library at 7 pm on 18 October will also look into the work of the Grimm Brothers who collected and wrote down stories that had over the centuries been passed from one generation to the next, often to children sitting on the knees of their parents or grandparents.

Their tales included Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin and Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.

Some of the tales were snapped up by Hollywood and the likes of Walt Disney popularised and glamourised them with handsome princes and beautiful princesses living happy ever after in romantic castles. There were dark, intimidating forests, too, but often the frequently-dark original meanings and some of the sinister details were lost.

Finally the session will take a deeper look into one of the lesser known Grimm stories, put it into a modern context and see how it might relate to the world as it is now.

Participants will then be able to choose the ground that a more detailed writing course might cover.  They can analyse the different forms, from poetry to plays, produce tales of their own or look at how other writers have told stories.

If your community would like a free taster session, please call Heather White, area education manager at the WEA, on 01832 320036 or email hwhite@wea.org.uk

Meanwhile, the group in Looe that came together last year following two WEA creative writing courses, are getting ready for their second appearance at the Looe Literary Festival.

They will be joined by writers from Falmouth-based Telltales to read stories and poems at Looe’s Millpool Centre on 18 November. Don’t miss it, and not just because admission is free!