Finally, the Out on a Limb website is here. Hooray! If you click here you’ll be taken by the magical power of the interwebs to a web of stories about the Wirral – the fruit of a project I worked on at the beginning of this year. The website is beautiful (that map was HAND DRAWN by Elaine) and if you click through to the participants’ blogs you’ll be able to comment on their stories, ask them questions about their writing process or anything else you can think of (they are looking forward to taking questions / compliments through their comment forms, so don’t be shy to weigh in with feedback for them) and see how the stories link together through images, themes, characters and settings.
I think the most rewarding part of this project, for me, was working with a small group of beginner writers and bloggers to create a permanent record of their memories, thoughts and experiences. Some of the stories are autobiographical or started out that way – and all of them capture authentic Wirral voices that, in some cases, we are publishing for the first time. If you like the stories, I’d also recommend you dig about in the blogs that all the participants kept as a record of the evolution of their story. The dead-ends, rejected ideas, eureka-moments, frustrations, abandoned drafts and alternative endings are a fascinating record of what it is like to invent a story and work on a collaborative project like this.
Now the ‘behind the scenes’ bit of the project is over, the site is also accepting new stories / poems and photography set in the Wirral. You don’t need to live there or work there to submit – but your story does need to be set there. We are hoping that over time the site will evolve into an on-line library of tales that will put a little-written about area on the map. Since I started tweeting about the stories last week (what you mean you don’t follow me on twitter?) I’ve already had a few submissions. Top Banana!
You can submit via the site, or you can email me about it. Stories will go up in batches and I’ll be tweeting lines from them over the coming weeks to generate some traffic. Your story should be under 1500 words, although we’re not going to be super strict about that – and it should stand on its own two feet, although if you want to link it to any of the original stories written by our first set of project participants (if you click on the links within my story you’ll see what I mean by this) then we’d hop with glee.