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words 2008 – a collaboration based on new writing

words 2008 was a collaboration based on new writing from the Edwin Morgan Centre for Creative Writing at Glasgow University. It was organised by Lucy Adams, Susan Kemp, Fiona Rintoul and Adrian Searle in conjunction with the public artist Nicola Atkinson.

The focus of the collaboration was the words 2008 exhibition, which took place at the Mitchell Library from 9-13 September. The exhibition was unique in that it took the normally solitary process of writing out into the public domain. By so doing, words 2008 sought both to promote new literary talent in Scotland and to engage a wide range of people with contemporary writing.

The exhibition’s goal was to involve as wide a cross-section of the public as possible with the creative process and with the writers, who were on hand to share the skills they’d learnt at the Edwin Morgan Centre with the wider community through a series of prose and poetry workshops, readings and writer-in-residence slots.

In addition, the exhibition featured a half-hour film about new writers directed and produced by former BBC producer Susan Kemp. There was also a reading room featuring an extensive collection of as yet unpublished work by new writers on the Glasgow University MLitt, a writing room where members of the public could pen a poem or piece of prose and either pin it up on the noticeboard or enter it in the Best of Words 2008 competition, as well as an art installation inspired by the writing produced by the Glasgow-based public artist Nicola Atkinson.

A collection of short stories by new writers at the Edwin Morgan Centre for Creative Writing, entitled Let’s Pretend – 37 stories about (in)fidelity, was also previewed during the exhibition. The collection was launched officially on 9 October at Waterstones, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

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