Finding the final fictional foundlings

– by John Simmons

With just a few days left to put yourself forward for our latest project, John Simmons shares what it’s all about.

At the beginning of the month we invited members to sign up for our new project 26 Orphans with the Foundling Museum.

Our inspiration for this new project is the work curated by the poet Lemn Sissay (himself brought up ‘in care’) now displayed on the walls of the Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury, London. His idea, to raise awareness of children growing up without their birth parents, was to display the names of fictional characters who were ‘looked after’ in childhood. There are many of them including David Copperfield, Harry Potter and Superman.

Since then we’ve had lots of responses and have an almost full house. Our writers have been choosing characters from Lemn’s list or, even better, from their own reading. But we’ve kept two places open until the deadline we set for responses – 31 May. If you haven’t yet applied, please do so quickly to claim one of the two remaining slots. We’ll give priority to those who are new to 26 projects but you all have a chance of being selected. It will help if you select the fictional character you wish to write about and let us know when you apply. Send your application to John Simmons

The 26 pieces of writing (you’ll have until August to write) will be exhibited at the Foundling Museum during the Bloomsbury Festival in October and on websites. There will almost certainly be a 26 event at the time. To whet your appetite and find out more about the Foundling Museum, watch this lovely little film the museum made about our last collaboration.

– John Simmons

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