The First, the New, the One and Only Peckham Writing Map



A guest blog post from the Literary Kitchen Festival team:

Literary Kitchen Festival 2015 is delighted to announce a new collaboration with Shaun Levin and Writing Maps. We have commissioned Shaun to produce the first, the new, the one and only (we hope) Peckham Writing Map for the occasion of this year’s festival.

So what is a Writing Map, and how is it being made? Here’s what Shaun Levin has to say:

“I’m a stranger to Peckham. Twenty years in London and yesterday was only my second time in the neighbourhood; the first was to do a reading at The Review Bookshop, but that was an in-out job about eight years ago. So this time I called a friend. For five hours, I ambled with the Peckham-born photographer, archivist and interfaith minister, Anita Mckenzie, gaining insight into what was, what still is, and what has changed since she bought her first bike at Wilson’s Cycles on Peckham High Street back in the 1970s.

My reason for being here was the Peckham Writing Map I’m creating with the illustrator Andrew Carter for the Literary Kitchen Festival. The Writing Map will inspire people to write their way around Peckham. I’ve been making Writing Maps for the past three years, and the Peckham Writing Map will be the first place-specific one. These fold-out maps include creative writing prompts and story ideas to inspire writers of all levels to deepen their engagement with stories, the craft of writing, as well as with people, characters and with the world around us. There’s a Writing Map for cafes and galleries, for developing character and point of view, for the beach and the family. Now there’s going to be one for Peckham!

It’s always been important to me that the Writing Maps reflect the discovery and surprise inherent in the act of writing. You start somewhere and don’t know where you’ll land up, no matter how much you plan. And that’s what happened on our recce for thePeckham Writing Map. We landed up talking to people in the Peckham Pelican, to the guy in Persepolis: For a Taste of Persia about fennel water and flatulence, to Jahson at Zionly Art & Books in Rye Lane Market about beads and writing, and to fabric and suitcase sellers there, where I bought a long-overdue wheely suitcase. And we stopped for tea and coffee and some excellent bread and tapenade (there was no cake at 7pm) at The Peckham Refreshment Rooms on Blenheim Grove.

Out of this walk, the Peckham Writing Map will be born. There’ll be prompts about visions and strangers, sampling food and art, and how to find stories in casual conversations. Peckham for us on that day was all about people, and with people come stories. We noticed how people shop and eat side by side, rarely venturing into each other’s worlds, but we discovered that when you get talking, the place becomes bigger and richer and a connection to Peckham deepens. So that’s what I’ll bring to the Peckham Writing Map: places to write, people to talk to, and ways to gather stories to deepen your writing but also to deepen your connection to the neighbourhood.”

And for the Literary Kitchen Festival we have devised a friendly self-led evet, called Walk + Talk, designed to help you meet other local writers, be inspired by your neighbourhood, and to get you writing. And you can then all reconvene at The Peckham Pelican to get a tea, eat a pizza, have a writers’ chat, and listen to a Fest Talk, join a Forum event or watch a Fest Film.

Walk + Talk runs Mon-Fri 12-16 Oct, 3-4pm.                                                   

Walk + Talk 3–4pm | The Peckham Pelican | Self-led | FREE | Want to meet other local writers? Share ideas? Or just take a companionable writers’ walk? Meet at The Peckham Pelican, pick up a Peckham Writing Map + off you go. Bring writing materials.

To view the full programme and to book visit:                                                      @litkitfest #litkitfest2015

For more information about Writing Maps see:                                                                       Twitter @WritingMaps                                                                         Instagram


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