Boomer and Davis on Co-operative Writing

What is co-operative writing? It’s a new kind of dictation, ideal for people with good ideas who are not very confident when it comes to writing.

It is quite common in newspapers. (Find an article where a well-known sporting personality tells his/her story to the journalist.)

To do it you need one person willing to be the writer and one or more ‘storytellers’ to co-operate in composing the story.

Together you decide what story you would like to tell and then you begin dictating to the ‘scribe’. The scribe keeps reading back what you have dictated and you add, or polish or go back and start again. The scribe can make suggestions about wording but must not interfere with the content of the story.

It takes time but it can be good fun. It’s also a good way of improving your own writing because you can observe how the scribe does it. Eventually, you may be so pleased with your story that you have it typed and published for others to read.


Boomer, Garth and Christine Davis. 1980. Reading and Writing, Book 1. Melbourne: Macmillan, p.48.


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