May 26, 2011

Rock Thought for a better world...

Rocks may not be an obvious source of inspiration for many writers, but Rock Thoughts — a US-based creative writing project — believes that the application of a little paint to otherwise bland stones could help inspire a new generation of wordsmiths.
I guess this is Sponge Bob Monster!

There are a number of ways to become involved in the project, set up by mother of three Karla Valenti. The first is to take a rock and paint it to look like a monster. This rock is then assigned a code by Rock Thoughts, and placed in a public place for a child to find. When it is discovered, the child is then encouraged to write a short piece of creative writing, using the rock monster as a focal point for their plot, to be submitted, along with any photos, for display on the Rock Thoughts website. The rock is then re-hidden and the process is repeated. Alternatively, for those who can’t wait to discover a stone of their own, there are a number of rocks available for “adoption” on the Rock Thoughts website, which are featured as a source of inspiration for any visitors. The site also hosts a communal story creation project, which invites visitors to the site to create a rock story collaboratively.
The real focus of Rock Thoughts is, in Karla’s own words, is “to empower children through creativity” and to “use their creativity to connect with others”. This simple, innovative idea has every chance of succeeding on both fronts! (Related: A combination of books and cookies to keep kids sweet — 'Monster supplies' store hides creative writing workshop.)
Rock Thoughts - a collaborative art and storytelling project from Karla Valenti on Vimeo.

Rock Thoughts is an international collaborative art and storytelling project designed to empower children through creativity. Participating individuals paint "monster" rocks and hide them in public spaces for others to find. The rocks serve as plot devices for the finders who submit a story for that rock. The rock is then re-hidden for another to find and continue the narrative. Users are encouraged to submit comments, feedback and suggestions on how to further develop the story.
How does it work?
Participants paint rocks to resemble “monsters” and hide them in public spaces for others to find. The rocks serve as plot devices for finders of those rocks who are invited to submit a story to our site for the rock they found. Once the stories are uploaded, the rocks are re-hidden for someone else to find and continue developing that rock’s narrative. We also provide crowd-sourced storytelling as well as opportunities for visitors to adopt rocks that have been previously painted and are awaiting stories. At the moment, Rock Thoughts is in effect in various parts across the United States, Switzerland and Mexico and we are working on expanding the reach of this project to other countries.
We will feature a number of series of limited edition rocks. The finders of these rocks will receive age-appropriate gifts courtesy of Rock Thoughts. In addition,frequent storytellers receive prizes and all storytellers who submit stories to our site will be eligible to participate in an annual contest to select pieces for publication in a Rock Thoughts anthology. 

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