MPA Awards Winners 2018

The Writing Story Project

The Writing Story Project

The Writing Story Project was cooked up in my kitchen at home, one afternoon when my brother and his kids came round to visit. I had left my old typewriter on the table and when my nieces entered the room, they launched themselves at it. Without saying a word, they immediately started to type, taking turns on the keys. What struck me in that instant was the way in which the writing tool (in this case an old, turquoise Hermes Baby) had triggered the writing process. There was no head-scratching or wondering what to write about—they just did it!

From school to the workplace, writing is often seen as a chore. Day in day out, people repeat the same phrases, sit in the same places, and, yes, use the same tools. There are of course great advantages to this. Conventions in writing are very important. They not only facilitate communication, in a certain sense they make it possible in the first place. However, that’s not to underestimate the way in which the very conventions that enable you to communicate can often lead you into a (writing) rut.

To challenge this, The Writing Story Project is piloting a series of bespoke writing and communication sessions for schools, students and professionals (in short anyone who writes). Each session uses as its starting point the tools of writing themselves. Imagine a room filled with writing objects from across history—Roman wax tablets to electronic writing pads. These will be used to disrupt and defamiliarize the everyday act of writing and address questions around your writerly habits, your motivation and your creativity. In short, The Writing Story invites you to look at the way in which what we write on and with changes what and how we write.

The Writing Story offers a unique approach to creative writing aimed at a range of different audiences who wish to develop new ways of thinking about writing and communication and each lab is carefully planned and designed with the specific group of participants in mind and provides extensive opportunities for collaboration, discussion and exchange of ideas.

Article written by
Dr Martin Kratz, Associate Lecturer, Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University

The Writing Story Project has been created by Dr Martin Kratz from Manchester Metropolitan University.

His PhD on poetry and haptics (the sense of touch), inspired the link The Writing Story Project makes between creativity and the physical object. The Writing Story Project is currently being piloted with a limited number of free spaces available.

Further details about these workshops are available by emailing