Friday, 23 March 2012

London, by London...


le cool is joining the Guardian at its Open Weekend. We’re writing the story of London; and we have lovely prizes to offer in return for your help

As you’ve probably noticed the Guardian is throwing open the doors of its rather swanky London HQ this Saturday for the Open Weekend, a festival-cum-open day featuring the likes of Steve Coogan, David Miliband and Charlie Brooker.

It’s also going to be home to a team of le cool writers — we’ve teamed up with the Guardian travel team and its expert sub-editors to run a collective writing experiment called London, by London. We invite the public to trawl the vast world of words that’s been written about the capital in search of choice sentences. We’ll take these sentences and chop, rearrange and reframe them to create a new story: the story of London, by London.

So far so conceptual. What are you actually doing?We’re going to be at the Guardian HQ, on a barge, with a typewriter and lots of books, typing out sentences about London copied from elsewhere then mixing them all up to create a new story.

That’s cleared that up then. Sorry, did you mention a barge?Yes, we like boats, and the Guardian’s Kings Place offices back on to Regent’s Canal, so it seemed a natural progression to do our event on a boat. This boat, to be precise.

How will you collect the typed sentences to create the story? Once typed, they’ll be handed to a Guardian travel sub-editor to mix up and create our story.

What’s in it for me? le cool and the Guardian will choose our favourite sentence of those submitted. If this is your sentence, you win 12 classic world-changing books redesigned and re-issued to celebrate Picador’s 40th anniversary; a printed poster of the final story we create; plus le cool’s Weird and Wonderful Guide to London. Ten runners up will get a printed poster of the story and the Weird and Wonderful Guide.

I haven’t got a ticket to the Guardian Open Weekend – does this mean I can’t collaborate? You can! We’re also collecting sentences submitted via our @lecool_london Twitter account. Hashtag: #LdnByLdn. Start searching and tweeting your sentences now. You’ll enter the competition for a copy of London Unfurled by doing so.

Bring on the word-copying, chopping, mixing, boat-based London, by London fun…


To get involved: Tweet sentences about London using #LdnByLdn. Guardian Open Weekend pass-holders — come and find our barge this weekend. Either bring a sentence with you or select one from the texts we’ll have available.

The rules: Submit as many sentences as you like but they must be singular sentences (use two tweets if necessary) and they must have been written before. Our story will be highly original; its parts must be properly plagiarised.

Suggested texts: Everything from the Doomsday Book to newspaper reports on the London riots. Down and Out in Paris in London, Dickens, Pepys diaries, sentences from news broadcasts, websites, blogs, twitter…

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