Celebrate Christchurch’s rich street art scene by writing a poem, some lyrics or a short story inspired by it. The Commuting Book presents Paint n’ Pen, a creative writing programme open to all ages, to residents and visitors from New Zealand and overseas. Submit your work as an individual or as a family group and in your own language. All submissions will be reviewed by a multi-lingual panel and they will select the works that fit the criteria and show skill.
The selected pieces will be part of the Commuting Book Scan & Read projects, they'll be published in the Stories catalogue and the best ones will have the chance to be featured on the Watch This Space map, the Augmented Reality street art app Plain Sight and in the summer exhibitions at Tūranga and New Brighton Libraries.
- Explore and discover Christchurch’s street art with family and friends or by yourself by creating your own itinerary using the interactive Watch This Space map and the upcoming Plain Sight app or book a guided tour and have an expert tell you everything about it.
- Once you find an inspiring mural, note down the exact location and take a picture of you in front of it (you will need to send this picture when submitting your work) and start writing!
- You can also sign up for Creative Writing Workshops to be held at Tūranga and New Brighton Library. They are free but bookings are essential. Phone 9417923 to book a spot:
- Sunday 2 June 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Tūranga
- Sunday 7 July 12.30pm to 3:30pm at Tūranga
- Sunday 4 August 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Tūranga
- Sunday 1 September 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Tūranga
- Sunday 15 September 12.30pm to 3.30pm at New Brighton Library
- Sunday 13 October 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Tūranga, opens a new window
- Sunday 20 October 12.30pm to 3.30pm at New Brighton Library
- Submit your work when ready. Submissions open on 1 July 2019 and close 28 February 2020.
Find out more about Paint n' Pen.
Q&A with Paint n' Pen organiser, Magda Lorenzo (project coordinator of the Commuting Book)
What gave you the idea for Paint n' Pen?
I met Lindsay Chan from interactive street art site Watch This Space for lunch in front of street art. We thought "Let’s see how the two projects talk to each other". I am always looking for ways to work with other organisations. Things that look unrelated can be quite related.
Street art can be a great basis for writing - there might be a lot happening in the mural. You could choose a character in the mural – a funny dog and use it as your main character, or write about the whole environment of the mural.
What is your favourite street art work in Christchurch?
Deow's work on Buchan Street and Owen Dippie's Ballerina (I see the Ballerina every day).
How will the Paint n' Pen Workshops go?
You will physically go and visit a mural, then an art historian / writer (Reuben Woods) and a writing tutor will talk about street art and the process of writing - how to use metaphor etc. It’s an opportunity to learn to write if you’ve never had any training. It could be the first step in upskilling yourself to write better and more.
It's important to physically visit the street art, not just use Google images. Being in front of the artwork is where you’ll get the most inspiration. Use Watch This Space. The soon to be released app Plain Sight brings it to life and might trigger ideas (see the clip below).
View this post on Instagram, opens a new window
??Thumbs up if you like Augmented street art! From the amazing “No Place Like Home” mural by @floxnz ... just one of many augmented street art murals in our soon to be released app: Plain Sight. #plainsight #augmentedreality #ar #streetart #streetartlovers #augmentedrealityart #streetartaddicted #art, opens a new window
Magda left us with more tips:
- It’s not a competition - your first ever written piece could be published.
- You can use any form - poetry, short story, flash fiction, or non-fiction.
- You can write in your own language.
Find out more
The Commuting Book presents Paint n’ Pen in collaboration with Christchurch City Libraries, The School For Young Writers, Watch This Space, opens a new window, Evans Taylor Digital and it is supported by Christchurch City Council’s Enliven Places Projects Fund and Publica.
The Commuting Book
- Visit the Commuting Book website.
- Follow the Commuting Book on Instagram.
- Follow the Commuting Book on Twitter.
- Like the Commuting Book on Facebook.
Watch this Space
- Visit the interactive Watch This Space map.
- Follow Watch this Space on Instagram.
- Like Watch this Space on Facebook.
See our page about street art.
Some street art faves: