February 2021: A socially distant outdoor photoshoot spread across 3 days, involving travel across most of Tyneside and Northumberland to capture photographs of the participants of the Words and Worlds project. I met some fascinating people along the way, as well as some great cats too.

The Words & Worlds project was commissioned by Newcastle City Council in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and led by artists Natasha Haws and Elijah Young from September 2020 to March 2021.

The intention of this residency was to help people from different community groups share their lockdown experiences through creative writing.

Over the course of six months and several versions of lockdown, all those involved have participated in weekly workshops, phone call sessions or via email and all of their written work has culminated in the creation of an anthology titled “Listen for The Birds” which has been made digitally accessible on this website.

Over 40 people were involved in the project with the youngest participant being 13 and the oldest being 85. All of different ages, backgrounds and writing skills. They have shared their experiences of the pandemic but also given us, and you as a reader, an insight into their own life stories.

Some work in this anthology is deliberately unedited to celebrate the uniqueness of every individual voice. Some pieces are credited with pseudonyms or anonymously  to allow the participants to write freely and honestly. We believe each and everyone of them are now writers in their own right.

Find out more, and read the antholog work on the Worlds and Worlds website.