The Story Development Process

The development of Faith & Play Stories has been a joyful, Spirit-led, and collaborative process among the Friends serving on the Faith & Play Leadership Group. Here in brief is how it works for us:

Listening for Stories
Holding this work in our care, we listen for stories to arise that need to be told. In some cases, we have identified the need for a story on a particular topic related to Quaker practice or Friends witness. Even then, listening is our first and most faithful step; stories come to us when the time is right.

Each story has an originating author, who has discerned a story idea and drafts the story, researching as needed, and releases it to the group for input and feedback. This feels similar to what happens when an idea is presented to Friends Meeting for Business. It is held by all.

In editing and rewriting new stories, we ask questions such as:

  • Why this story?
    • Does the story come from Spirit? Is it a message for others?
    • Is the story connected to an aspect or example of Quaker faith, practice or witness that feels important to explore?
    • Will it speak to a wide variety of people, of differing ages and backgrounds with Quakerism?
  • Are proposed story materials effective?
    • What objects, colors, images etc. are needed?
    • Are materials both simple and visually pleasing? Will they be appealing for children to work with and encourage exploration? Will they be safe and durable?
  • Is the script strong and engaging?
    • Is there anything we could leave out and still have all the story we need?
    • Are the spoken words balanced with movements and materials?
    • Is there a refrain or repeated action that can be a thread through the story?
    • Is there language in other Faith & Play or Godly Play® stories that can be repeated as a connection to the story we are working on?

At some point, we find the story draft “settles” into its near-final form, and we test it with circles of children and others familiar with this kind of story. This can reveal bumps and open new possibilities, which may lead to new insights and necessary changes to both language and materials. The whole process, from inspiration to publication, can take 1-3 years. Throughout the process, we practice listening and stay open to where Spirit leads us.

We welcome working with Friends who have a leading to write and develop a story. Should you be inspired to experiment with this method and create and tell stories of your own, please be mindful that while they may be in the style of Godly Play and Faith & Play, neither label should be applied to them. “Faith & Play” refers to Quaker stories developed, tested and approved by Faith & Play Stories, Inc. Godly Play® is a registered trademark and refers specifically to the curriculum developed by Jerome Berryman.

Note: This is an abbreviated version of approved copy for “Advices and Queries for Creating Stories in the Manner of Faith & Play.” Click button below to view/download a PDF with the full text,.

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Flame in hand
Two Quaker Figures