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Under a Northern Sky, April 2015

This article was written 6 years ago.

In April, I took part in a project run by creative writing organisation 26, as an editor of pieces of creative writing inspired by a train route and Nick Drake.

“We gave 26 writers from 26.org.uk the name of a station on the long route between Newcastle and Glasgow and the title of a Nick Drake song,” explain 26. “These two elements became the inspiration for a creative piece. We didn’t set a form but asked that each piece should be able to be read aloud in under 3 minutes and 44 seconds – the duration of Nick Drake’s Northern Sky – which gave us the project title.

On finding there were actually 27 stations on route, we added another writer, and an introduction, to create a collection of 28 pieces.

On 25 April, a selection of the writers got together to take the actual railway journey and performed all the pieces plus the introduction, as they travelled along the route.

Nick Drake was a singer songwriter whose work failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, but who has since earned wide recognition. He died from an overdose of anti-depressants in November 1974, when he was 26 years old.”

I edited six of the pieces of writing, giving feedback to the writers to help them meet that brief. Find out more about the project here.