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Listening and walking – can you write about them in a few words?

Strange but true, that in the English language vocabulary for words describing listening or hearing, there are fewer than 1 in 10 of the number of words that we have for describing seeing or looking. Some other languages offer us a handful more. We humans walk about with our ears always on. Each of us is an ‘ear-witness’ to activities taking place around us, many which are not even visible to us. Yet we struggle to describe the act of listening. And what about describing walking? Well we are not short of vocabulary here – the Museum of Walking glossary has over 140 entries.

This summer we are inviting you to write about listening and walking, sharing your discoveries or stories, in prose or in poetry.

Write About Walking and Listening is what we are inviting you to put your hands to in the next 6 weeks. The pandemic has opened our eyes to what is within walking distance of our homes. Restricted both in time and distance, each of us have had to find ways to endure lockdowns, and for many of us the daily walk has been a saviour.  However, we are not wanting to restrict you in what you write about walking, it can be fiction, factual or memoire, travelogue, reportage and not be limited to your lockdown walk, we are only seeking to have you consider what you might have listened to while walking, and keep it to just 250 words (or fewer).

Register to participate!Competition page

We will publish, in association with Sampson Low Publishers, an illustrated chapbook anthology called WALKING that will include the best poetry and prose submitted, as part of this year’s Sound Walk September, the month during which we celebrate everything about audio, listening and sound walks. The anthology will also be made available as an audio book. Proceeds from the anthology will go towards funding future walk listen create Write About Walking competitions.

On Sunday 26 September, we will showcase the winning poems and stories by inviting the winning authors and poets of this writing competition to read their work.

We have recruited a posse of volunteer judges: authors, poets and editors from the world of walking, who will sift through the submissions and announce a longlist that will be published here on the walk · listen · create website at the beginning of September, with a shortlist being announced a week later. There are prizes including the honour of becoming on-line Writer-in-residence for walk · listen · create and for the 2022 Sound Walk September. You can read more about the competition and how to enter here – look out for the deadline set for Midnight UCT on Sunday 8 August.

Good luck!

Excited? Get all the details, and sign up, on the competition page.

Andrew Stuck

Andrew is the founder of the Museum of Walking, created to bring people together and to make and showcase walking pieces and performances. Andrew also is a podcaster, interviewing creative people who use walking as a catalyst for their practice. Talking Wa...

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