“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
Whether we realise it or not, we tell stories all the time. When someone asks you how you are, you answer with a story, whether it is a rant about your latest tutorial or a short and polite “Fine, and you?” When you discuss last night’s clubbing with your friends, gossiping about who got with who, you are exchanging stories with them. When you email professors with excuses for late papers, when you tell your flatmate that your throat hurts, and when you call Mum and Dad to tell them about your week (neglecting, of course, to mention that under your bed are three empty wine bottles and a pair of black pants that belong to someone else), you are telling each of them a kind of story as well.
Even though there is no undergraduate writing program at Oxford, there seems to be a buzzing undercurrent of closeted writers in this city. Why is it closeted? My theory is that it has something to do with how much writing is required for the average academic week. But then, you may ask, how do I know it is buzzing? Because whenever I (loudly, belligerently, defensively) discuss the fact that I want to write for a living, I find myself in conversation with someone who used to write, actually still writes, actually should write more often, actually would write far more if they had the time.
Sometimes, all a writer needs in order to write is some encouragement. Well, here it is. Dust off those hipster typewriters that sound so lovely when you bang on them, break out that fountain pen, or spend just a bit more time with your trusty computer – and instead of writing for your tutors, write that story which has been zooming round your head for years. Put that haunting character into words. Describe the landscape that keeps recurring in your dreams. Let imagination and inspiration take you over for a while.
When you have something ready, something you’re proud of, share it with us.
For the first time, The Oxford Student is giving writers of fiction of every kind (be it literary or genre) a place to showcase their writing. The Arts & Literature section will publish a short work of fiction (500-600 words), every week of HT13. The piece can be a self-contained excerpt, a description, a story – as long as it is not poetry, non-fiction or a script.
Email [email protected] with the word “Fiction” in the subject line to submit your piece.