Foreword by Ashley Hickson-Lovence

Sharp turns, bumpy backstreets and unexpected diversions, bus journeys are very appropriate metaphors for life. We might make some new friends along the way, might come across some strange ones too. We’re essentially just plodding on until we reach our final destination hoping we get there safely having not embarrassed ourselves too badly en route.

It’s life-affirming to realise people from all walks of life – whether they live in a housing estate or a million-pound-plus mansion – share an intimate space when riding on a bus, sometimes sitting next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, as they are transported from their homes to the hairdressers or from work to the supermarket. So much happens over a short period of time: a dispute with the driver, a brawl breaking out at the back, falling in and out of love with a crush. Around every corner, the landscape changes.

This bus-themed brief was no easy feat but this anthology has talent in abundance. These perceptive pieces are full of flair and heart and leave you aching for more. My advice: savour every story. Congratulations to the winners and all the contributors and good luck to every passenger out there on this journey called life. You got this.

Lucy Campion              A Lie in Plain View

Nicole Chapman         Forgotten

Justyna Cuglewska      Easyrider

Chardelle Farrell           Stand

Lucy Grace                   Let the Waters Under the Sky Be Gathered to One Place

Abigail King                More than One Normal

Susan Keyworth         Everyday Dilemmas

Tara Lepore                 Stuck

Zoe Marchewicz          Last Bus to Wherever

Helen McElroy            In the Beginning

Lucy Murdock             Final Journey

Pasek-Atkinson           The Sherwood Arrow

Faith Pring                   The Final Journey

Chris Pryke-Hendy      One Going Clifton 

Allyn Richardson         Trig Takeover

Aisling Walters            Let Us Go Then, You and I


Ashley Hickson-Lovence is a writer from Hackney, London currently based in Norwich, where he is completing a PhD in Creative and Critical writing at The University of East Anglia. His debut novel, The 392, follows a bus on its journey from Hoxton to Highbury. The events of the journey unfold through a cast of charismatic characters coming from very different worlds. This stunning, explosive novel brings to life discussions about identity, race, sexuality, faith and family – and more.

Find out more about Ashley’s involvement with WRAP in the blog by Alessandra and Munashe.

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