When we started the Messages Project in 2003, it was all about our shared passion for writing and the creative process. We devised a simple formula over coffee one day. Using email, we would exchange 300 ‘messages’ of exactly 300 words, with each one returned within a time limit of 72 hours. Links between each message were made with words, themes, character, form, or even mood. The project took eighteen months to complete and the original Messages was published in July 2006.
From the first hit of the Send button to the final message appearing in our Inbox we enjoyed the energy attached to the project – the excitement of reading new work, meeting the looming deadlines, as well as the challenges and discoveries in language and form. With the new edition of Messages due out in January 2008 we thought we could share some of that excitement with you by creating a mini ‘Your Messages’ project. And we hope you enjoy what we enjoyed: the connections and loops, the playfulness and seriousness, the journeys through the familiar and strange.
For each day of November we’ll post a message from the book and you are invited to make your own link and write your own response. The only thing we ask is that you stick to 300 words and post your response the same day (see note below). 30 of the most interesting and creative responses will be published in an accompanying booklet, the profits of which will go to charity. All the contributors will be invited to read at a special Messages Event in 2008.
Messages was about generosity from the beginning: about gifts of writing, commitment and enthusiasm. We hope you’ll join us in continuing with that generosity. And of course, have fun because we intend to!
Lynne Rees and Sarah Salway
Note: We’ve had a number of queries about the deadline for posting responses so in order to be fair to everyone, particularly people posting from other countries, and continents, we can consider your response for publication if it’s posted on the site before 8am GMT the following morning.