No more suspension bridges, easy on the balloons! Inspiration for October’s #StorySunday

So with submissions open for Tales of Our City, here’s a blog post from Ali Bacon who has been looking for some visual inspiration.

The tag line ‘no more suspension bridges…’ is taken from a project which began a year ago when Bristol photographer Colin Moody and community arts group the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft found themselves bemoaning the restricted and stereotypical images of Bristol seen in holiday postcards. A competition was mooted and Bristolians invited to send in alternative images.

A set of finalists was chosen and the winning entry (Big Jeff by Paul Blakemore) decided by a public vote last January.

However I was lucky enough to be invited a few weeks ago to the public presentation of prizes and the first chance to buy postcards, singly, in sets or as bigger prints.

There was a really good vibe at the launch event with a piano player helping things along as slides of all the competition entries, not just the finalists, were projected above him. This was a nice touch that recognised everyone’s contribution and showed the quality and range of the entries, upbeat, downbeat and off-beat, from conventional city views with a twist,  to ironic juxtapositions and downright craziness.

Chatting to Colin after the official speeches he was at pains to emphasise the democratic and accessible nature of the project with the official judges as diverse a group as possible and final voting spread around city venues so that anyone could get involved – no internet required!

Several of the finalists were also at the show  including Daniel Durrans – (whose  Bristol July 2017 and Bristol July 2018 both made the final selections) and Phoebe Flint whose M32 Comfort Break was one of three adult runners up.

Phoebe Flint and ‘M32 Comfort Break’

Finalists were each presented with a parcel of postcards which it’s hoped will be posted far and wide and start to change the image of Bristol around and beyond the city. Postcards will soon be on sale very soon from the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft Shop and hopefully city tourism outlets.  

So if you are looking for writing inspiration that goes beyond the obvious, we think Proper Bristol Postcards are a great place to start.

Here’s a selection for starters. More can be found on the Proper Bristol Postcard page or maybe in a shop ner you!

Intimacy, Roo Morgan
The Silence of Maes Knoll by Edward Field
Surveillance, by Rebecca Doe
It’s a wall, Dave Beech

From the Spanish Civil War to Snakes and Ladders

Book launches

Two book launches in the last month! It’s been a bumper summer for Writers Unchained members.

A Forbidden Love

Kerry Postle launched her fabulous second book A Forbidden Love at Max Minerva’s Marvellous Books in Bristol this July. The audience were fascinated to hear about where Kerry’s research had taken her – into the intricacies of the Spanish Civil War and, in particular, the experiences of women caught up in it. We’re all looking forward to reading this gripping and heart-rending historical novel.

Buy A Forbidden Love

The Undoing of Arlo Knott

This was followed in August by the launch of Heather Child’s second novel The Undoing of Arlo Knott (Orbit), about a man who has an ‘undo’ button for life, at Storysmith books. At this sold-out event, Heather talked about themes of regret and hindsight, snakes and ladders and quantum physics.

Buy The Undoing of Arlo Knott or read an excerpt.