London Libraries, in partnership with Spread the Word, is pleased to announce the publication of City of Stories Home, a unique anthology featuring short stories on the theme of home written by over 70 London writers.
The anthology is the culmination of a pan-London project celebrating London’s libraries as places to make and share stories in our local communities. During February 2022, Londoners were invited to take part in 33 free online creative writing workshops run by talented professional writers from London hosted by each London library service. Over 1400 participants signed up to take part in the workshops, and 300 workshop participants went on to submit stories on the theme of home to the City of Stories Home writing competition. The anthology features the winning and highly commended authors from the competition representing each London borough. The competition was judged by the project’s lead authors Natasha Brown, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Jarred McGinnis and Amer Anwar.
The 33 winners are invited to attend a Writers Lab – a day of specially curated masterclasses run by authors and publishing professionals – in May 2022.
Ruth Harrison, Director, Spread the Word, says: “Spread the Word is delighted to be launching, with London Libraries, the City of Stories Home Anthology in libraries across London. Readers will be able to pick up their own copy of the Anthology and discover new and original stories on the theme of home from local and commissioned writers. City of Stories Home celebrates the essential role libraries have in our lives, particularly during the pandemic, supporting communities and as places of creativity where local writers and readers can make and share stories.”
Caroline Rae, outgoing President of London Libraries, says: “London Libraries are delighted, in partnership with Spread the Word, to celebrate City of Stories Home. With the largest network of public libraries of any city in the world, this project is a celebration of placing creative writing opportunities into the heart of neighbourhoods across London. Libraries are both venues for Londoners to discover culture on their doorstep and hubs of creativity where many artists and writers begin their journey.We look forward to celebrating the creativity and talent displayed in the City of Stories Home anthology and encourage people to attend one of the 33 events taking place across London throughout June and pick up a free copy to take home.”
Jarred McGinnis, City of Stories Home competition judge and lead author, says: “The entries for the City of Stories competition always makes me love London a little bit more. As ever there was a variety of stories, voices and worlds I get to visit all within one town. There’s no city like it in the world.”
Amer Anwar, City of Stories Home competition judge and lead author, says: “It was great that so many people got involved with their local library and took part in the City of Stories Home competition. There was real talent on display and everyone who entered should be really proud of themselves. I hope the experience will spur them all on to continue writing.”
City of Stories Home anthology contains original commissioned short stories on the theme of home from Writers-in-Residence Natasha Brown, Amer Anwar, Jarred McGinnis and Caleb Azumah Nelson and short stories from emerging writers, Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, Ruth Goldsmith, Iqbal Hussain and S. Niroshini.
Londoners are being invited to celebrate stories at their local library by taking part in any of the free 33 City of Stories Home anthology launch events led by writers, including Tice Cin, Maame Blue, Amita Murray, Arun Das, Charlotte Heather and Lorraine Brown amongst others. Theywill be able to pick up a free copy of the anthology, take part in a free creative writing taster workshop, hear winning and highly commended writers read their work and discover more about how libraries can nurture their writing.
The Anthology is available for readers and reading groups in every London library service alongside an accessible collection of short story titles from London’s independent presses curated by librarians.
City of Stories Home’s partners include Libraries Connected and RNIB Library and is supported by Arts Council England and Cockayne Grants for the Arts.
Source: Healthy Duck.