Now & After Lockdown: Opportunities, Ideas and Inspiration


Helping you get creative in the strange new normal…

Recently, we were invited by the brill Writing on the Wall to take part in their Enterprise Hub (via Zoom, natch), to talk about what we do at The Double Negative. For the session, we pulled together a bunch of opportunities, inspirations and funding pots that we’ve found helpful or interesting, that we wanted to share.

We also posted this on Twitter, but we thought it might be helpful to have them all in one place, too. So, here – in no particular order – is our run down of some of the good stuff that you can access right now to help stay connected and get creative (including news of a couple of festivals that have moved online). Obviously, this is the tip of the iceberg – if you want to give anything or anyone else a shoutout, please feel free to do so in the comments.

Wild Women Writing Challenge We love these free online courses and writing challenges/prompts, using ecological principles to unleash your creativity (especially like the Wild Women Writing Challenge idea!).

Awesome Liverpool If you have a creative idea that solves a problem, has a budget, keeps it local and brings joy to the people of Liverpool, the Awesome Liverpool charity could give you a grant of £500.

Art & Education Flying off to another country might not be on the cards right now, but there’s no harm researching and applying for international residencies and academic posts at Art & Education, a joint venture between e-flux and Artforum, while you’re stuck at home.


Arts Emergency The brilliant national mentoring scheme for 16- 25 year olds who want to access the creative industries, Arts Emergency (co-founded by Josie Long, above), is coming to Liverpool later this year. Sign up to be mentored, or become a mentor, now.

The Real Story Non-fiction writer development project and online journal, The Real Story, established in Manchester, post seasonally about international writing commissions and callouts, and they’ve recently been posting a bunch of new stories by a spread of famous and underground authors.

Nikesh’s Writing Tips “Don’t bore them dude!” Novelist and all-round great human Nikesh Shukla (editor of 2016′s The Good Immigrant) will send you a free, weekly writing tips, newsletter. It’s just been announced that his book, Your Story Matters: A Practical Guide to Finding Your Voice and Telling the Stories that Matter to You, follows next year.


Comma Press Masterclasses A fortnightly masterclass to get your teeth into from the excellent Manchester-based publisher, Comma Press. Live streaming a raft of contemporary short story writers talking about and responding to the work of a classic counterpart – how they learned from them, and what you can learn, in turn, from them both. Free to view on Facebook.

WOWFEST: Lockdown For the rest of the month, Writing on the Wall’s celebration of literature, WOWFEST, is happening digitally. Events and speakers include You Clap For Me Now: BAME experiences from the front line, Building A Better World: Arts and Civic Responsibility, Jeremy Corbyn, Life of Grime, Nikesh Shukla, Noam Chomsky, Resist: Stories of Uprising, and Stuart Maconie.

Comics Youth Radio: Lockdown! at the Disco Young People’s community organisation Comics Youth recently launched Lockdown! at the Disco, “to help nurture a sense of connection and community during these extremely challenging and uncertain times.” Read our interview with CY’s Amy Roberts.


LightNight Liverpool: Home Before coronavirus necessitated a lockdown, LightNight Liverpool had named its theme for 2020: Home. Now, with added poignance, the one night festival becomes a stay-at-home exploration of that motif and all it entails. Includes FACT Liverpool’s online programme, The Living Planet. Tune in from 5pm on Friday 15 May.

Jean-Luc Godard Masterclass Jean-Luc Godard’s Instagram live masterclass with English subtitles has been uploaded to Vimeo. The iconic filmmaker discusses his as yet untitled new film, talks about Cahiers du Cinéma, and the role of the auteur, etc.


Highlights from Bluecoat’s Archive Community hub, Bluecoat, have been sharing some of their rich treasure trove of an archive, including that time the incredible Afrofuturism pioneer, Sun Ra (above), visited from space and rocked up to Liverpool.

Self-Isolation Culture Special Don’t miss our Self-Isolation Culture Special, a grab bag of free film, music, art, essays, books and more to enjoy online during and after lockdown.

Laura & Mike

Images, from top: Nikesh Shukla; Josie Long © IDIL SUKAN DRAW HQ; Resist (published by Comma Press); The Living Planet Bat © Hugh-Clark; Sun Ra, courtesy Bluecoat

Posted on 12/05/2020 by thedoublenegative