Sharing Personal Stories

This resource is great for:
Empowering you to write your own personal story.

Watch interviews with authors who took part in Edinburgh International Book Festival’s LandWords project, and use their words as inspiration to tell your own stories.


In spring 2016, the Edinburgh International Book Festival invited a host of wonderful authors and storytellers to Falkirk’s Callendar House to take part in the Booked! LandWords project. Before they left, some of the authors were asked about their experiences of writing, reading and the project.

As you watch the video, think about what the authors took from their LandWords experience. Why is uncovering and sharing personal stories so important? How does literature contribute to a shared sense of place and belonging?

Activity – Writing Your Own Story

In the video, you see authors and performers talking about the power of storytelling. They talk about celebrating stories and how everyone has a story to tell.

Have a go at writing YOUR story. It can be about anything you want it to be – the story of your life, the story of a place that’s important to you, or the story of a friendship shared.

Use the advice of the authors in the LandWords video:

  • At 3 minutes 50 seconds – Gill Arbuthnott talks about Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. She speaks of the sense of place that you feel as you read the book – how you are fully immersed and taken away into another world. When writing your story, think about what techniques you can use to transport people into your world. Use plenty of descriptive language so that the reader can really feel that they are there.
  • Watch from about 6 minutes 30 seconds – Sara Sheridan and Janet Paisley discuss their reading workshops. Janet talks about writing fiction, even if what you’re writing is based on fact. When writing your story, feel free to let your imagination run wild. Use your experiences as the basis for your story, but then add in extra details and information to add drama and excitement.

Once everyone  in your class or group has written a story, gather together and share your stories with one another.

Further information:

LandWords was a special collaboration between Edinburgh International Book Festival and Falkirk Community Trust, in which Falkirk’s Callendar House provided space and inspiration to explore questions of place, identity, history and story. For more information on LandWords, visit the Booked! blog: