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
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.