Over the autumn, our Citizen Writer in Residence, Eleanor Thom visited Streetreads to deliver story-sharing and creative writing sessions. Streetreads is a library in central Edinburgh which is open to people who are experiencing homelessness. Read on to find out more about the project and listen to audio versions of two stories created by the group.
Following a successful visit to the Streetreads library with author Ryan O’Connor during the August Festival, Eleanor visited the library over five weeks to run drop-in creative workshops offering library-users a space to share their own stories; imaginative and real. Using a range of stimuli, including paragraphs from Edinburgh-based novels and prompt cards that posed questions about experiences/beliefs, Eleanor encouraged the group to talk and write about their lives and personal experiences of the city. During the project the group also took a fieldtrip to the museum at Surgeons’ Hall to delve deeply into historic Edinburgh. The trip inspired one of the group to explore writing horror/ghost stories. Two members of the group, James H and James C, worked with Eleanor to record audio versions of their stories.
Scroll down to listen to the stories
In Tabitha, James C shares tales of his cat Tabitha, who travels on his shoulder, as she has adventures around the city. As James C explains, Tabitha leads a very cultured life and became a local celebrity at the Book Festival last August. James H, takes an entirely different tone in his ghost story A Time You Were Afraid of the Dark, when a young boy’s nightmares come to life…or do they?
Listen to James H and James C tell their stories here
Citizen is our long-term creative programme working in partnership with organisations across Edinburgh and Musselburgh, offering local people a platform to explore identity, connection and place. The project is part of Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Communities programme and is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and through the PLACE Programme (funded by the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council, and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland).
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