I’m Joanna, Paper Nations’ Engagement Manager, and like most or likely all of you, I’m finding myself struggling as my life changes on a daily basis in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of us are isolated in homes that may not offer us a room to ourselves, let alone a quiet creative space. Anxiety levels are high, the news increasingly worrying. Many of us have day jobs that are under threat. Those in the at-risk health groups, like me, are facing larger restrictions. In a sense, we are now all writers on the margins, vulnerable to isolation and loneliness.
One of the things that has kept me afloat is the ability to do some good in all this through my work at Paper Nations. Thanks to support from Arts Council England and Bath Spa University, we’re in a position to use our resources to help others, especially during this time of crisis. We’re doing that through our project, The Great Margin.
Right now our most basic human behaviour is limited by necessary lockdown procedures. In response, we want to return to that ancient human tradition – storytelling. The Great Margin will share stories and poetry written from isolation, during a time of global crisis, when people need connection more than ever before. The first of these stories is now live on The Great Margin and writers are invited to submit their stories on our submissions page.
We will also be running a series of flash initiatives through The Great Margin, which will emerge rapidly to support the evolving needs of the writing community at this time. Head to our feature page on the Great Margin to find out more about our first initiative, the Stay-at-Home! Festival.