An opportunity for children of Armed Forces families

Coloured pencils illustrating Paperchains

Entries close on 17 October 2020 – make sure you don’t miss out to make history!

Are you aged between 10 and 19 years old and a budding poet, artist or author – Paperchains need a piece of your work!

When the history books are written about the events of 2020 and particularly the UK Lockdown, there will be voices missing. We know we will hear from the politicians, the sport stars and the celebrities, we may even hear from the everyday person in the street – but what of the communities that are often less heard including our Armed Forces, our homeless and prisoners.

Paperchains was created by A.G. Smith and co-founded by David Kendall with the aim to change that. From May until July 2020 they provided a platform for those three communities to exclusively submit creative work – work which would be seen by bestselling authors, artists and poets. The project became an acclaimed success and Paperchains featured on British Forces Broadcasting Service, BBC Radio and in articles in Soldier Magazine, The Big Issue, Inside Time and The Bookseller. It is going to be a book in 2021, a touring theatre production and an event at Hay Literary Festival.

Detachment from families is felt throughout all three communities. When the UK Lockdown was first announced A.G. Smith came up with the idea of Paperchains because he was thinking that for the first time in most people’s lives they are getting a flavour of what that detachment feels like. Most of us can’t imagine being deployed somewhere away from our families for months, or living on the streets separated from the rest of society, or locked up for up to 23 hours a day with no family visits permitted.

Author A.G. Smith

In September 2020 Paperchains will return for a unique coda, and offer this same opportunity to children and young people of serving Armed Forces and Veterans alongside teenagers living on the streets and children in Pupil Referral Units and Secure Children’s Homes.

From September 14th until October 17th Paperchains will be accepting submissions from children and young people aged between 10 and 19 years old. These can be in the form of short stories (max 1000 words) journal entries, poetry, rap, lyrics, or a sketch, drawing or painting.

This work can be a reflection on the events of 2020 or a creative piece of your own choice.

Entries will be judged by a panel of children’s authors including Anthony Horowitz and a selection of the work may be included in the Paperchains book and theatre production. The work will be discussed at Hay Festival 2021.

Everyone will receive a commemorative Paperchains wristband and lucky winners will also receive a certificate.

Further details including a submission form can be found at paperchains.org from September.

Follow Paperchains Twitter: @paperchains5

Top image by YEYEQINQIN from Pixabay

Back to news