26 Writers in Residence is a new project launched at this year’s Wordstock. It’s inspired by this painting of the famous Algonquin Round Table in New York. Here, a group of 20-something writers met every day for 10 years and got drunk, gossiped and traded insults.
This picture got me thinking about writers and particular spaces. And the relationship they had with those spaces. So the idea for the project is to write about a space: to bring it to life by writing about its physical environment and the people who pass through it.
Writers in Residence are usually invited in by companies and organisations who want to be seen to promote the arts. That’s good. And well done to them. But in this project, you’ll write about an everyday or overlooked space. So write about your battered old shed, not the Bank of England. Your book club, not the Bullingdon Club. Your local barber shop, not the Barbican.
If you take part, you’ll be given a letter of the alphabet. Then you’ll need to choose somewhere that begins with that letter and write about it. Choose somewhere different. Somewhere that holds a special interest for you. Somewhere you love or hate.
You need to actually go there, not just look it up on Google or Wikipedia. And it will help if you can go back two or three times.
You should also team up – with a photographer, vlogger, designer or artist. You could also make sound recordings or just record a podcast and publish the transcript.