Tomorrow I begin my stint as a Roaming Writer on the trains of Ireland. I’m very grateful to the Irish Writers Centre for making this project possible and to Translink and Irish Rail for their generous support. Lots of you have asked what a Roaming Writer on a train actually does so I thought I’d write a quick blog to let you know what I’ll be up to and how you can get involved.
Sadly, I will not be driving any trains. Neither will I be spending the next three months sleeping in boxcars/in the mail carriage like a latter day version of Woody Guthrie. I don’t think I’m even going to get a train conductor uniform. However, I will be making train journeys across Ireland, (both North and South), chatting to fellow passengers and staff members and writing Postcard Stories inspired by my journeys and the people I meet. I’ll also be teaching writing workshops with creative writing students at a handful of different universities throughout Ireland so they can contribute their own stories to the project. I can’t wait to get started.
I’d love for all you to get involved in this adventure. I’ll be posting details of the trains I’ll be on, on my twitter feed @jancarson7280 or you can follow the Irish Writers Centre for the same information, (and fantastic up-to-date news of opportunities for writers) @IrishWritersCtr If you or someone you know happen to be on one of my trains please come find me and tell me a little about your journey. I’ll be writing individual, bespoke Postcard Stories for the people I meet. Everyone who shares a story with me will get one of these mailed out to them. I’ll also be posting my tiny stories on our Instagram feed @roamingwriterstories You can follow me there to read all the stories I write during the project.
If we’ve never met, this is what I look like, (see above), though I’ll most likely not wear the same outfit for the whole three months. I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of you and hearing your stories. Let the roaming begin.
I’ll be on the 10:20 train from Belfast Central tomorrow morning, (February 14th) traveling to Derry and returning on the 14:38.