Tag Archives: City Project

2013 – our highlights in words and images

Happy New Year to all our followers and friends! 2013 was (again) a busy year for ME4Writers.

ME4Writers was started in 2009 by Sam Fentiman-Hall and since then, the collective has worked with over 500 members of the Kent community (focussing on Medway), on over 40 literary projects and events, with the aim of bringing more words to Medway.

ME4Writers is a loose grouping of Medway writers who work on different projects, also doing their own writing projects individually, though is held together by Sam and Barry Fentiman-Hall. Writers and creatives will join us for one or more projects at a time, and most of our projects and events are open and accessible to all. (ME4Writers is now part of Wordsmithery, a literary development company set up by Sam, which also encompasses 17Percent, an organisation which supports female playwrights. www.wordsmithery.info)

Some examples of the sort of events we have run are:  poetry open mics in alternative venues; new writing shows at the Dickens Festiva;, an open exhibition about memory and place – ‘Letters Home’ – in two Medway libraries; a Medway-wide poetry treasure hunt game for National Poetry Day; creative writing workshops and tutorials; took ‘possibly the world’s smallest writing retreat’ to the Fuse Festival 2013; published an anthology of creative writing about cities; and created a walking-writing tour of Rochester and other events for the inaugural Rochester Literature Festival.

A few highlights from this year:

  • May-June: The WordShed at Fuse Festival – we received a Spark Commission from Medway Council to pilot our new writing shed. We lead four creative writing workshops in Strood, Rochester, Walderslade Village and Chatham libraries in advance of the festival. We also made a printed booklet The Seed Catalogue with highlights from the workshops, which was given out at the festival, and online we published The Seed Compendium, a collection of everything (legible) from the Fuse Festival weekend. Find out more about the WordShed on the WordShed blog.
  • July and October: Rochester LitFest – we created a number of literary delights for the new festival. In July at the Garden Party we did a version of WordShed lite in the garden at The Good Intent. Then in October, at the festival proper, we played Poetrymon – our poetry treasure hunt game (in the pouring rain) on National Poetry Day, launched our first full-length book (published by Wordsmithery) City without a head, and led a walking/writing tour of Rochester. For 17Percent, Sam also produced a theatre show; She Writes – What’s through the door?
  •  City without a head: This is the culmination of a long standing ME4Writers’ project. Extracts from the anthology were published in parts as part of a guerilla distribution scheme, where we hid issues of a limited edition fanzine around Medway and further afield (some went to Sweden, Australia and America!) Wordsmithery launched City without a head on 8 October 2013, you can still buy a limited edition issue from Wordsmithery. In November we read extracts from the book on Fizzer’s Radio Show, which you can hear here.

    “this anthology is wonderfully enthralling and the passion that oozes from each page is unquestionable. It’s not an easy read – some of it will make your head spin in the sheer density of its intimacy (I now feel like I know each author personally) but it is rewarding.” **** Female Arts

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City without a head to launch at Rochester Literature festival

We are delighted to announce that we will be launching the long spoke of collected version of ‘City without a head’, (aka Encyclopaedia Citaecephale, aka The City Project,) at the Rochester Literature Festival on 8 October.

More details to follow nearer the time, but we will be holding a launch event with readings from the book, music and more.

The book features a selection of ME4Writers regular contributors from our zine project ‘Encyclopaedia Citaecephale’; including writing by Barry Fentiman, Sam Hall, SM Jenkin, Anne-Marie Jordan, Sarah March, Tara Moyle and Roy Smith. It will contain specially commisioned illustrations by Victoria Wainwright.

The book will be published by Wordsmithery Books, the publishing arm of ME4Writers founder Sam Hall’s Literary Consultancy. New website coming soon with more details!

Issue 5 – Encyclopaedia Citaecephale

Cover picture of Issue 5
Issue 5

Hot off the press we have Issue 5 of our encyclopaedia – covering the letters KLMN. *Please note – the Encyclopaedia contains some swearing, and should only be read by those of an open-minded persuasion.

kudos (2)You will respect me
Got Hackett on my jacket
Shiver in the cold

loneliness

Is a cowboy without any shoes, riding a three legged horse to a nameless town, by a river that runs nowhere.

Latest issue of the Encyclopaedia Citaecephale produced

Issue 4 cover
Issue 4

We have produced the latest issue, Issue 4 – covering H-J in our definition of the city. Words we define include:

isolation (2)
The seams between the cupboard walls transmit no light into my tiny room. Sweat droplets sooth my heated skin as I lose my balance, brushing against the sides and right myself, reminded of the fall. He put it up high, above the musty place and no way my feet will touch the ground this time. So I’m perched, claws out waiting for release, but then there is a sound. He thinks too much about what’s happening here, when he could take a look and feed me for a change. Does he think I’ve got something going on in here? Is there a party or does he just suspect I know the way out?

And:

invisible
I saw an attractive young man, head bowed, fringe covering his face like a curtain, stooping, tentative gait. The teenage girls sat giggling, not even noticing as he passed by. He was quite overweight.
When you are fat, you have a disguise. If you are only slightly overweight they can still see you. They can giggle and whisper, so you eat more. Obesity makes you disappear into yourself and lets you hide from them.

There are also some short fictions based around the words – haven and isolation (1).

These FREE limited edition issues are rare, but you can find them in The Deaf Cat, and around town, so keep your eyes peeled!

A flavour of ‘Acts of mild rebellion’

Roy reading '52 weeks of rejection'
Roy reading ’52 weeks of rejection’
Barry reading extracts from the City Project
Barry reading extracts from the City Project

ME4 Writers presented new writing on the theme of ‘Acts of mild rebellion’ on 5 March. Here is a flavour of the event.

We had readings from Roy Smith ‘52 weeks of rejection’, a collection of publisher’s rejection letters. ‘…it was decided that rather than waste untold amounts of money and effort collecting rejection letters from publishers, potential employers, funders and other patrons that I should skip to the chase and write them myself. ‘

Barry Fentiman read extracts from the ‘Encyclopaedia Citaecephale’  or ‘The City Project’: a collection of musings on the nature of city-ness written collectively by the writers.

Sam Hall gave a ‘lecture’ on the trend of tattoos. We were treated to a preview of Maggie Drury’s new play ‘The eyes have it’, about the English abroad with guest readers Natalie and Vanessa. Clive Radford’s poem ‘A little light rebellion’ was also read by Vanessa. Guest readers Sarah Jenkin and Philip Kane read 3 of their own poems in an impromtu open mic session.
We also had a quiz on the theme of rebellion with some books as prizes, and the usual mini-cupcakes as baked by Coco. £19 was raised for Comic Relief from the raffle. Thanks to Simply Italian for the venue.
We also made a little film of the evening and you can see Roy, Sam and Barry reading extracts on Youtube.