Online collective Nothing in the Rulebook has launched the first instalments in its new ‘Rulebook Readings: Lockdown Lit’ series. The playlist features videos from authors, artists, poets and writers from within the Nothing in the Rulebook community, sharing their stories of life under coronavirus-related lockdown.
“One of the best things about being part of the Nothing in the Rulebook community is having the chance to meet people doing creative things,” says NITRB editor, Ellen Lavelle. “Often, we only speak over email or Skype but, with everyone now relying on the power of technology to unite and protect, we thought we had an opportunity to bring contributors, readers and supporters together to create something good in a world gone weird.”
Featuring contributions from around the world, ‘Lockdown Lit’ is intended to run as an ongoing curated video anthology, which will run ‘live’ over the course of the lockdown. Meaning anyone interested in getting involved in a (virtual) conversation with best-selling authors and other creative artists can do so just by submitting a video to the NITRB gang.
One of the early contributors to the new Lockdown Lit series was acclaimed crime writer Mark Billingham. “It’s sobering to think about what so many people have lost in these strange and terrible times,” Billingham says, “but one of the most significant losses has been the joy and power of simple human connection. As usual, Joni said it as well as anyone: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Thankfully, we now have ways of trying to address that loss and Rulebook Readings is a fantastic way of bringing people together online to share their stories and experiences; to connect.”
In his video, filmed in his London home, Billingham shares an extract of his current work-in-progress: a standalone crime novel set for release next year.
Also featured in the launch is Superkitty illustrator Paula Bowles. In her vlog, filmed from her home in Bristol, Bowles talks us through the way her post-lockdown working day; she shows us her new ‘studio’ (her kitchen), takes us on her daily run and introduces us to friends, family and colleagues via Zoom.
Chris White, a children’s illustrator and author, shares lockdown-inspired poems, after a school visit tour to Russia was cancelled.
Some writers discuss books due to be launched during lockdown, now limited to efforts online.
Billingham, Bowles and White are joined by a number of other creative artists, including Lisa Marie Simmons, the lead singer of Italian jazz band Note Speak, novelist Carolyn Kirby and Apeksha Harsh, an education facilitator and aspiring writer based in India.
“It’s been so brilliant to see people from around the world getting involved in Lockdown Lit,” says Nothing in the Rulebook co-founder, Samuel Dodson. “What we’re all going through right now is totally unprecedented, and yet it’s incredible how people are able to respond to these events with such creativity.”
“The whole point of the site is to spread the word about creative projects and foster a community of collaboration,” adds editor, Ellen. “We know the coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on people’s creative careers and we want to help in any way we can.”
If you’re interested in submitting your video to the Lockdown Lit playlist; you can visit the site’s ‘Lockdown Lit’ launch page. You can track the progress of the project by following us on Twitter(@NITRB_Tweets) and liking us on Facebook, or spread the word using the hashtag #LockdownLit