Writing Utopias | World Building & Fictional Storytelling

Utopias are imagined places where everything is perfect. For this project, students created their own brand-new world.

We live in uncertain times and are learning to adapt to changes around us. Sometimes the world can move so fast that we feel like we want to get off. Writing gives us space and time to reflect and explore our feelings.

We can reconnect by focusing on what matters to us – by designing a world where we do what makes us feel what we want to feel when we want to feel it. Using creative writing, we can build a world that helps us control the pace of our lives. We can slow down, step back and learn more about ourselves and what we need and want.

Mentored By: Sarah Davy – Writing Mentor

Project Contributors: Katie Hale – Poet and Novelist, Dr Ian Thompson– Reader in Architecture at Newcastle University

The Brief:

Have you ever dreamed of a better world? Of a place where everything is just how you like it? Or imagined an adventure where you write the rules and draw the maps? Writing is a way into these worlds. If you can dream it, you can make it happen.

The students on this project did exactly that. They immersed themselves in utopias, exploring and researching within the fields of creative writing, film and architecture to build ideas for a world entirely designed by them.

They began to map their ideal world, collecting their thoughts and dreams. They considered how they might make their world a reality and thought about what matters most to them. They used everything they have learned to write a short story set in their very own utopia. Their stories aim to invite readers into a world they have built with their imagination.

The Process:

As part of the TICE experience, students were encouraged to share some ‘behind the scenes’ footage of them working on their projects. Take a look.

Project Results:

Please view the final results of the students’ work from George Stephenson High School and Kazakhstan International School.

What did the students say about their TICE experience?

What was your favourite part of the project?

“It’s hard finding my favorite part because I enjoyed all of it. But if I had to choose it would be having the opportunity to do it in the first place and being chosen for it.” Caitlin, George Stephenson High School.

“My favorite part of the project was probably creating documentaries and building my world when I had to write descriptions of how it would look like. Since I’ve never really created my own world it was quite difficult. Well of course writing the story itself was important too and I loved it.” Mariya Kurmangaliyeva, Kazakhstan International School.

Was there anyone or anything that inspired you on this project?

“Everyone within the project and people I’ve met. From my friends who were within the project. My teacher being there and recommending some books to. My mentor Sarah and Megan (from TICE) they were really inspiring. And meeting people on trips. Like when we went to Newcastle University, that was amazing and it was lovely seeing different ways of ideas being brought up. Then Live Theatre where I had a director and two actors say they loved and would want to read my personal story outside of TICE, which was great to hear.” Caitlin, George Stephenson High School.

What do you think you will take away from doing this project?

“I think I’ll take away the importance of preparing for writing your story with drafts and how it would look like, are there any specific rules. I enjoyed watching videos that Sarah (TICE Mentor) made for every single part since she gave her own comments on how to build this Utopian world.” Mariya Kurmangaliyeva, Kazakhstan International School

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing TICE next year?

“Keep on writing and no matter what people say, it’s up to you what you write and how you write it whether it’s fiction or non fiction.” Caitlin George Stephenson High School.

And Finally… Thank you

Thank you and well done, not only to the students but to the teachers at George Stephenson High School and Kazakhstan International School. A big thank you to North Tyneside Learning Trust, to the companies that have supported and contributed to this project, and to the TICE team that plugged away at the project week after week.

To the students – we hope you have enjoyed this project, we hope in years to come that you can proudly present an industry written project you did, achieved, quite frankly smashed. Well done and congratulations from everyone here at TICE.