T: 0151 703 0020

T: 0151 703 0020

Super heroes: Words Are Our Power

The Superheroes: Words Are Our Power Project was made possible by funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Super heroes stand up for what is right and change the world for the better, with this WoW literacy project doing just that!

'As a result of working with Writing on the Wall, the pupils developed and expanded their existing vocabulary and continued to apply this to their future pieces of writing in school.'

Super Heroes: Words are our Power sees children across Merseyside create brand new super heroes that reflect them and the world they live in. An exciting take on a school literacy project the children create stories and comic strips that are then published into a professional comic book, with each child receiving their own copy. With the likes of Marvel comic artist, writer and editor, Tim Quinn flying in to teach a class, this literacy project has been inspiring thousands of children across Merseyside. 

Moving on from our 2016 project in which we spent 5 weeks in schools to create comics and stories, Super Heroes: Words are our Power is now a pioneering four-year project (2019-22) funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) through their Arts-Based Learning ‘More and Better’ fund. 

The next four years we will work with eight schools in Merseyside. 

The Super Hero writers we are working with this term are...

Cheryl Martin
Cheryl was Guest Curator for Liverpool’s Homotopia 2018, the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ festival.  A Co-Artistic Director of Manchester’s Black Gold Arts Festival, Cheryl’s worked as a poet, playwright and director, and was a former Associate Director, New Writing/New Work at Contact and Director-in-Residence at Edinburgh’s Traverse.   Her new solo show One Woman, R&D-commissioned by Made at HOME, has just won an Unlimited Wellcome Collection Partnership Award main commission. It’s planned to premiere at Manchester’s HOME  in Spring 2020 and tour nationally, including the Unlimitd Festival at the Southbank Centre. 

Ginni Manning 
Ginni Manning is a playwright, theatre maker and writer from Liverpool who co-wrote Dipalo, the ASSITEJ Award winning play, with Lalu Mokuku. She completed the Higher Education Certificate of Creative Writing at the University of Liverpool from 2009-2013 concentrating on Screenwriting and Writing for Performance. She was an inaugural participant in the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres Playwright Development Programme in Liverpool in 2015 and completed the M.R. Advanced Playwright Programme in London in 2018. Ginni has worked alongside the Lantern Writers, based at the Unity Theatre for five years. She is a member of Write Local Play Global, the playwright organisation associated with ASSITEJ (The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young Audiences) and performed at the Assitej 2017 Cradle of Creativity.

Mandy Coe
Prize-winning poet and author of six books,  Mandy Coe has been featured on BBC radio and television (Woman's Hour, Poetry Please and CBeebies) as well as the Radio Times and the Guardian. Based in the North West of England, Mandy writes poetry for adults and children and as an educationalist has been commissioned to write poems and educational material for the Barbican, the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf, National Poetry Day, National Galleries, the Write Team (Bath Festivals), The Poetry Society and Booktrust. She reads at poetry and literature events throughout the UK and her work as an educationalist has been featured in the TES.



Jon Mayhew
Jon Mayhew is an award-winning author of 26 books for children and adults including the Mortlock and Monster Odyssey Series. His work for children includes retellings of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet as well as Hamlet. He also writes High age interest/ low reading age books for teens. He has written articles for various writing and educational publications. He been a contributor to the Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook since 2014. A teacher for twenty-five years, Jon taught English in high schools and in the special sector. He has worked as Specialist Autism Teacher for Cheshire Authority and held Senior Teacher and Head of Department posts in school. He is a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow and has worked with students at Aberystwyth and Chester Universities. Jon delivers writing workshops for children and adults. He visits schools both nationally and internationally and is very-much in demand on the school workshop circuit: http://jonmayhem.blogspot.com/

Alan Gibbons
Alan Gibbons has been writing children's books for twenty three years. He is the winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2000 'The book I couldn't put down' for his best-selling book Shadow of the Minotaur. He was a judge of the 2001 Awards. He has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2001 and 2003 and twice for the Booktrust Teenage Prize. He has won the Blue Peter Book Award 'The Book I Couldn't Put Down', the Catalyst Award, the Leicester Book of the Year, the Leicester Short Novel of the year, the Angus Book of the Year, the RED Award (twice), the Stockport Book Award, the Birmingham Chills Award, the Salford KS4 Award, the Hackney Short Novel Award, the Salford Librarians' Special Award and the Lower Canada College Award . His books have been published in Japanese, German, Italian, French, Thai, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Swedish and other languages: http://www.alangibbons.com/ Alan was a teacher for 16 years, working with KS1, KS2 and KS3. He has made numerous visits to schools and libraries, colleges and education conferences in the UK and overseas, speaking at the AISA and ECIS conferences in Nairobi and Istanbul. He is a popular speaker at the Edinburgh Festival, the London Book Fair, the Northern Children's Book Festival, the Hay-on-Wye Festival, the Cheltenham Festival and many others.

Pippa Pixley
Pippa loves creating and making beautiful books for little people to enjoy. Her superbly engineered fairytale pop-up version of The Princess & The Pea was published in 2011 by Tango Books and MacMillan. Since then she has written, illustrated and designed more than thirty original picture books and activity packs for museums, cooperatives and educational organisations. Pippa is also an accomplished storyteller and performer with experience of designing and delivering successful pre-school theatre programmes.

The project will continue to develop children’s literacy skills and help them unlock their writing potential through working with professional writers and illustrators in the classroom. WoW staff and lead writers and artists will deliver writing and arts activities one day a week during an entire for a three year period.  

WoW will help children find the Super Hero within, addressing issues of confidence and engagement, and putting creativity and imagination at the forefront of their learning.

This project will support teaching staff through continual professional development and enhance their own creativity. Our first CPD day was held in June, where 25 teachers came along from all eight schools. Workshops were led by Ash Nugent (rap), Jon Mayhew (creative writing) and Kay Dales (Comics Youth) to encourage the teachers to participate in arts based learning. 

During our first three schools launches we appeared on the Merseyside Upfront Show on 25th August, ITV Granada, Liverpool TV and BBC Merseyside Breakfast Show, as well as appearing in the Liverpool Echo

We had a great reaction from schools that are involved with this project. What's your super power?



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Are the children in your school struggling with literacy? Can it be difficult to feed creativity into the curriculum? Are you looking to increase literacy within the classroom in an engaging and fun way? Then Super Heroes: Words are our Power can help your school!

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