This week saw the launch of 26 Steps the latest creative writing project from 26. It’s an idea inspired by writing in the landscape and uses the 100th anniversary of the publication of John Buchan’s famous novel ‘The 39 Steps’, as a starting point.
Together with co-creator and fellow writer and editor, Sandy Wilkie, I invited members of 26 to join us on a creative quest. We identified 26 short walks throughout the UK, going from a place name beginning with each letter of the alphabet to somewhere starting with the next letter in the sequence.
The challenge for each writer was:
- Do the walk
- Take a black and white photograph to represent the journey
- Draw a sketch map of the route
- Write a sestude (62 words exactly) inspired by the experience
The walks took place between March and May 2016. The journeys cover a wide range of landscapes from the Scottish Isles to the Cornish coast, from the Giant’s causeway to the hills of north Wales and draw a wonderfully rich and eclectic portrait of the landscape and its effect on us.
You can see the first five virtual postcards online now, with more steps being revealed each week until 17 October. The first steps take us from Herefordshire to Scotland and onto Surrey and through the alphabet from A to F.
Step 1: Aymestry to Byton, Herefordshire by Aidan Baker
Step 2: Boarhills to Crail, Fife by Linda Cracknell
Step 3: Carbasserie to Dunadd, Argyll by Keira Brown
Step 4: Dorking to Epsom Downs, Surrey by Sue Evans
Step 5: Edinburgh to Fife, Fife by Laura Clay
Enjoy dipping into the images, words and maps. I hope they inspire you to explore these walks or others in your own landscape, and to use them in your own creative way.