Tom Lynham, curator of Wordstock, had a wonderful idea. As part of the Throw Away Lines launch, why not get our 65 writers out onto the streets of Clerkenwell? The purpose? To break free from typical writing habits – hunched at desks, scratching heads and staring out the window for inspiration. Movement, said Tom, ‘brings a physical / visceral edge to our writing’. But Tom, what if it rains? ‘It’s a festival and we expect to get a little bit wet at some point.’
Good man for the sticking to the plan. It turned out wonderful, not just weatherwise. We scrunched up 65 small sheets of paper in the spotted bins. Pink for boys, blue for girls. Some were themes, some were story titles, some were song lyrics. Each writer picked one and left the Free Word centre in a neat orderly, single file, just like we did at school.
Andy Hayes lead with a Bubble Wand just to get into the festival spirit and to ensure we didn’t lose any stragglers. We cut through Clerkenwell Green then up through Exmouth Market and back again. Each writer had to create a 26-word story while walking. Some found it tricky, a few nearly got run over. We were out for 15 minutes and came back to a lovely Throw Away Lunch.
We’ll post a selection of the stories on the Tiny Tales page over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, why not write your own story on your way to work? On the bus, train or tube if you have room; or just create stories in your head as you stroll along avoiding dog poo and Chuggers. Have fun…