#foundfiction Launch. A Guerrilla Publishing Experiment that Connects Readers and Writers Across the World.

The Leeds Library which celebrates its 250th birthday this year will be hosting the launch night of #foundfiction – a guerrilla publishing experiment that connects readers and writers across the world. The event will run from 7-10.30pm on Thursday 8th February.

The Project

The concept behind #foundfiction is simple. Writers across the world send in their stories, which are printed out, folded up, put in an envelope marked READ ME, and left in a public space for someone to find. When someone stumbles upon one of these pieces of #foundfiction, they are instructed to share it on social media under the hashtag #foundfiction. Since beginning in 2014, around 100 stories have been found across the world as #foundfiction has grown a network of writers and distributors – throughout the UK and Europe, and as far as the USA, Canada and Australia. It’s also printed stories in Polish and hopes to publish in more languages in the future. As the project has developed, it’s picked up coverage in the i newspaper, the Yorkshire Post and the York Press.

#foundfiction is keen to hear from any creative writers – emerging or established. You can email fictionfound@gmail.com with stories up to 500 words, which will be printed and distributed for free.

The Launch 

After receiving funding from Leeds Inspired, #foundfiction is hosting a launch event at the Leeds Library to promote the project further and encourage more writers, readers and lovers of literature to join its community.

The event is taking place on Thursday 8th February 2018, and will be an evening of talks, film and spoken word. Among the presenters on the night are:

Carl Hutton, Chief Executive, the Leeds Library
Lewis King, writer and presenter
Owen Clements, writer and founder of Open Letters

Spoken word poets include:

Phil Pearce
Colleen Pilkenton
Rose Drew

There will also be three other notable events on the night:

• In a unique creative experiment, artist Jay Sillence, from York, will be drawing a visual interpretation of the spoken word poems as they’re being read.

• A film montage featuring people in the #foundfiction community across the world about how the project has touched their lives will be screened.

• To promote the event, #foundfiction will also be touring a ‘live writing desk’ in January across locations in Leeds. A sheet of paper will be placed on the desk and members of the public will be encouraged to take turns writing consecutive lines of a story, which will be read out on the night. The same concept will be played out on the launch night involving members of the audience.

Steve Clarkson, founder of #foundfiction, said:

“The project began when I was chatting to a friend who was a writer and really wanted his work to be read – however, he was shy so he didn’t want anyone to know it was him responsible for the words. We started thinking of ways we could get his work out there anonymously, and came up with #foundfiction. I never dreamed it would grow into the project it is today, with so many writers involved and stories turning up as far away as Brisbane and Los Angeles. The primary purpose of #foundfiction is to connect writers and readers across the world – and we’d love to think we brighten someone’s day in the process. If we’re going to make the world a more positive place, it will be one envelope at a time.

“We’re hoping the launch event will be an opportunity to celebrate the amazing work we’ve done so far, and bring together a community that has so far only been connected over social media. I’m really looking forward to meeting and hearing from some of our #foundfiction writers and distributors who are so passionate about the project – and with a stellar lineup of greater speakers and poets, it will be an entertaining and engaging night for anyone interested in literature.”

Carl Hutton, Chief Executive, the Leeds Library, said:

“As part of our 250th anniversary we’re keen to support and celebrate writing and literary projects – so we’re excited about the launch of #foundfiction taking place in the library. We hope lots of people can come and check out what should be an amazing, one-of-a-kind event.”

Anyone interested in attending the #foundfiction launch event should sign up on Eventbrite: www.bit.ly/FF_launch

For all enquiries and further images, email fictionfound@gmail.com or call Steve Clarkson on 07907 311 545

Fiona Gell

Fiona is a lifelong reading enthusiast and book lover. Her career started as a bookseller and has never really veered away from the written and spoken word. It was a dream for her to be a founder member of The Leeds Big Bookend Festival. Fiona is the Festival's Coordinator, helping to bring the whole festival together.

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