From audio walks and activity books to the taboo world of toilet graffiti, we explore how words and story lines have the power to transport us beyond the page.
Behind the lines
We began with the idea of breaking boundaries. We wanted to maintain in The Lit’s central focus – storytelling and showcasing new forms of writing. So we began exploring instances where boundaries were being challenged and new lines where being drawn within modern storytelling. From the increasingly ekphrastic nature of social media to the rise of audio books, we felt these broad movements hold great potential to reveal as well as encourage new modes of expression.
“Lines” encapsulates not only our collective desire for social connections, but also makes space for us to explore new forms of storytelling. We felt the word provided this air of ambiguity, and from that a sense of freedom that perhaps we all needed after the claustrophobia that Covid instilled. We found our exploration functioning on two levels; not only did we we want to showcase writers that were redrawing the future of storytelling, we also wanted to provide a space for creativity and connection in a world of increased isolation.
From here we strove to create a user experience of multidisciplinary engagement, and include a variety of media and art. We wanted our users to have the ability to flick between a variety of forms of writing, as well as play a role in their creation through our call for submissions. This gave us the opportunity to hear from writers from across the globe and see their own interpretations and imaginings of what the term “lines.”
Visually, we wanted our Issue to play with this idea of lines. Here our Assistant Art Director, Rosie Hearne produced illustrations of bold sweeping lines that overlay soft colourful brush strokes. Her dream like aesthetic and illustrative style encapsulated this initial feelings of freedom and lightness that we felt the term lines expressed. Each illustration is delicately held together by crossing lines of scribbled text, and sparks of confetti like scribbles that further give our issue an interwoven and collective feel.
We invite you to delve into the world of lines. Listen to Ellen Wiles discuss the importance of audio walks, get lost in a poignant photo essay on a Vietnamese funeral party by Maxwell Gutteridge, and read a memoir that explores starting a life lived at the end of the line. Each one of our features blur boundaries and interpret the theme of lines differently; but each story – be it a photo essay, a poem or a podcast – shares a commitment to finding connections between those lines. We hope you will enjoy reading this work as much as we enjoyed editing it; We’d love to hear which thread you connected with, and which storyline reeled you in.