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(copyright: Akademie für Kindermedien)

Workshops and panels

I am driven by the desire to pass on my own knowledge and learning more about creativity by connecting to others. Through the years I have collected a lot of advice and am able to offer helpful input to anyone interested. Also this way of teaching help me hone my own writing skills since I am constantly questioning seemingly ultimate methods and truths. Also is is a way for me to make a positive impact socially if I can allow people without money to be culturally active or kids from different social backgrounds to gain access to the arts.

Theatre pedagogy:

I have specialized on working with kids when doing creative classes and managed to build a wide network of contacts with school, teachers, community centers etc. Most of all, I have been planning and leading workshops for 14 years with my artist collective THEATERBOX, mainly for the Wilhelmsburger Wintermärchen in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein / Northern Germany.

We are also working with kids with disabilities and f.e. cooperating with a school for blind and visually disabled kids. I like working together with colleagues of all kinds like stage designers, costume designer, musician etc. and we are offering rehearsal visits for children so they can really be a part of the theatrical process.

“Grandma goes online” with Kristina Bremer and Stephan Möller title

(copyright: Azizah Hocke / THEATERBOX)

Esther-Kaufmann-Writing Workshop-Elbschule-DGS-Monster Tales

(copyright: Esther Kaufmann)

Writing and film classes:

I am doing writing and film classes online f.e. on Zoom or the VHS Cloud as well as in real life. Children and grown-ups can get an enthusiastic glimpse into the world of writing, start writing their own texts and I share all of the tricks up my sleeve with them. I work for different institutions and can do different formats starting with a little impulse workshop up to a whole week of classes, live as well as asynchronous.

I like working with special clients such as kids with hearing disabilities, refugees or teens with addiction problems in recovery. My main topics are creativity, pitching, script writing, short stories, writing for children as a target group, Finish your short in one week and animation writing. One of my achievements is building the online platform “Bettermakers” from scratch and organizing a film competition as well as political film workshops.

Moderation and panels:

Ever since I was giving my first presentation at Wisag about my final exam concerning “Fight Club”, I love being a speaker and doing panels to discuss my main topics with others and give as well as receive new impulses.
Since 2016 I’ve been planing and moderating various literature events on- and offline for the
German writers guild / Verband Deutscher SchriftstellerInnen and the Writers for future, f.e. the Literatrubel and political readings against racism. Since 2018 I am also internationally engaged at the Childrens Media Conference organizing and moderating panels and in 2022 I have organized as well as moderated the Hamburg edition of the public film knowledge event “FilmPerlenTauchen“. I was also involved in developing workshops and panels for the initiative “Stage moms” and havbe talked about my work with them with the  NDR on TV.

(copyright: Childrens Media Conference / Jennifer Booth)

“It was a pleasure having Esther giving a script writing class for us. Esther has an inspiring way of teaching young participants about how to tackle screenwriting and was guiding them through the whole process with lots of patience and knowledge. She even managed to make the youngest participants understand some really complex theories and concepts. The public reading of the final scripts was a highlights during our festival and you could immediately notice Esther positive influence on the impressive results of the participants. We are very thankful for Esthers addition to our festival and would without hesitation recommend her for future workshops.”
(Lina Paulsen, director of the Mo and Friese Children’s Short Film Festival)
“Esthers work for us was outstanding. Through great attention to detail and inspired invitations to interesting guests, a set of welcome lunches were created and that made all the difference: In our annual Conference surveys, newcomers to CMC no longer mention feeling left out, as the lunchtime events created by Esther are thoroughly welcoming while also being interesting and informative at their same time. What I appreciated most is the fact that Esther is a “self-starter”. Once you set her off on a task it is researched, pursued and set up with no fuss and 150% delivery. Esther always adds a little more to her enthusiastic embrace of her role.”
Greg Childs (Director of Childrens Media Conference Sheffield)
“For creative writing workshops at schools in Hamburg we are happy about writers who can help the young people write their own stories within a week. Esther Kaufmann managed this challenge due to her immense knowledge and endless empathy and had most of the students finish a full story at the end of the workshop.”
Annette Pauw (Fantastische Teens)
“The big challenge with our project “school novels” is channeling all the crazy ideas and very different approaches of a writers collective of a whole class of pupils and helping them start to write a novel. Thanks to Esther the results were amazing: A wonderful novel, a thriller-romance with most interesting characters and places. Esther is characterized by her impossible creativity mastering storytelling challenges, her personal attentiveness, her gift to make everyone feel valued and motivate the kids.”
Katrin Weiland (Project Manager for Schoolhouse Novels at the Young Literature House)
“I liked the enthusiastic approach by Esther Kaufmann – because she is on fire for the topic, it is easy to become engaged as well.“ „I had a lot of fun and learned some techniques that will definitely help me both with my private writing skills as well as in my job life. Esther has a very positive and professional appearance and got the content across easily through interactive games.” “Esther is very friendly. She explained everything very well and with easy language. The tasks were very relaxed and interesting at the same time.” “This class was so much fun, I learned a lot and there was some excellent feedback provided. I really hope you will do more of these classes so many other children can profit like I did. I will for sure finish writing my own script now. Thanks for having my in this wonderful workshop!” “Many thanks for this class motivating me with great practical hands-on tools as enriched by Esthers generosity sharing her knowledge. Maybe now I will finally start my own book project. It was so inspiring I could have gone on forever.”
Voices from VHS course participants
“I really love the project writing week. From start to end it was a well structured class with lots of interesting input.” “I had fun working with Mrs. Kaufmann and I honestly wish there were more classes like this one in my school.”
Students from the IVK classes at the Fantastischen Teens writing workshop (Alter Teichweg Dulsberg School)
“Thanks to Esther we developed a wonderful humorous play about friendship, consisting of my small scenes by my pupils who created, wrote and performed the play with Esthers help. I admire her openness to the ideas of the young people and how she really cares about their suggestions taking every single person serious at all times. Also she has such a warm manner and is excited about language, writing and theatre. Also she always provides a clear structure (but is also always willing to change things on the fly). Many thanks!'”
Marcus Sander (teacher at the Goetheschule Harburg)
“Esther is reliable, extremely engaged, brilliant in her expertise and it is a great pleasure doing seminars and workshops together with her.”
Frank Scheerer (museum educator, Jewish studies expert and author)
““For a writing workshop with teenagers I had to find a fitting expert – and there she was! She helped the kids get an insight into creative writing and enjoy an interesting workshop. I especially love Esthers open-minded and easygoing character.”
Henrike Lehmann (Head of the Wandsbek Book Hall)
Esther started a very innovative and till today extremely successful digital writing class – even before corona in 2019. The classes are always well booked and additionally Esther offers live writing classes as well which we are delighted about. Working with her is a creative process, very professional, goal oriented and simply delightful!”
Bettina Lohse (Head of Culture at the Hamburg Adult Education Center)
“Thanks to Esther we got a amazing holiday workshop for 14 kids who learned how to do creative writing and production of audio plays in a hands-on approach. Esther is bringing a high knowledge and lots of empathy to the table while planning, doing and evaluating our classes.”
Christian Bartels (Program Manager Young Adult Education Center Hamburg)