Stellar Quines invite you to write Letters to…a Woman Who Brings Me Hope in the Dark
For our first edition of Letters to… we are celebrating our support of the Scottish Drama Training Network’s upcoming Fringe production Propeller, by The Network Ensemble, directed by Caitlin Skinner.
Propeller is a devised piece looking at political activism and the things ordinary people can do to bring about social change. Inspired in part by Rebecca Solnit’s book Hope In the Dark it got us thinking about the many women who have done inspirational work to resist oppression.
There are also women working to change policy and laws at national or local level like the team at Glasgow Womens’ Library.
And there are the women you might know personally who maybe have zero profile, but whose actions have brought about small but very real changes for you or people you know.
This is your opportunity to tell us about an activist who gives you the energy and determination to keep on going, whatever your struggle is and however they encourage you.
What do I have to do?
- Write a letter to a woman whose activism brings you hope. She could be someone from history, someone you know personally, or someone you’ve made up.
- Write a letter designed to be read aloud, by a single performer.
What kind of thing are you looking for?
- We’re looking for something which both gives a sense of the difficulties of trying to bring about social change, and also conveys optimism and hope.
- The focus is on political activism – we are interested in geopolitical darkness rather than personal despair (whilst recognising that much personal despair is caused by geopolitical oppression); similarly we are looking for forms of hope that may come through activism at community, national or international level.
- We are looking for something heartfelt and that’s meaningful to you.
I’ve never written anything like this before, can I enter?
- The whole point of this opportunity is to encourage people to write. So please do. If you’ve got more questions, please contact Catherine.
How long should it be?
- It can be as short as you like and up to about 1000 words. 1000 words equates to roughly five minutes of performance time. We can’t look at texts that are much longer than that.
When’s the deadline?
- The deadline was 10am on Thursday 28th June. Thank you to all who have submitted a letter and the selection process will start very soon and we will announce the successful contribution.
How do I submit?
- Please use our online form.
- Or send an audio recording to firstname.lastname@example.org Please don’t worry about the quality of your performance. We’re interested in what you’re saying, not how you’re saying it.
- Or send a written letter to: Letters to…, Stellar Quines, 30B Grindlay Street, Edinburgh EH3 9AX.
What happens once I submit?
- Catherine and Jemima from Stellar Quines together with Caitlin Skinner will select one letter that we find particularly interesting or inspiring.
- We will be in touch will everyone who submitted to let you know if your letter has been selected. If your letter doesn’t get selected this time, please do submit again.
- The letter will be performed by a professional actor, directed by Stellar Quines’ Artistic Director Jemima Levick and filmed.
- The filmed reading will be shared online (on Stellar Quines’ website and social media) at the end of July 2018 to celebrate Propeller’s opening at the Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) at the Fringe.
- The writer of the selected letter will receive two tickets to see the Network Ensemble’s production of Propeller in August.
- You can read the full submission terms here Letters to submission terms.
Can you give feedback on my letter?
- No, we can’t unfortunately. We are a very small team and simply don’t have the capacity to offer feedback on individual texts.
Further sources of inspiration:
- As well as Rebecca Solnit’s book, Propeller’s Director Caitlin Skinner was particularly inspired by Matthew Bolton’s book How To Resist which includes steps anyone can take to bring about change in their community.
- Staying Alive Through Brexit – a powerful piece by Aisha Mirza about the psychological impact of Brexit.
- To my husband’s girlfriend– a stinging edition of the Guardian’s regular A Letter to…
- Or how about Oprah’s Golden Globes speech on the importance of women speaking their truth to power?
- Please contact our Creative Learning Associate Catherine
We look forward to receiving your letters.
Propellor Previews on 1 – 3 August at 1pm. Performances: 4 – 27 August at 1pm (excluding 13 and 21 August). Tickets are on sale now.