Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Hello everyone,

Our event at the Bath Literature Festival went very well. You may have spotted us and taken part. We thank you, for everyone who joined in with our activity and gave time for a little creativity in their day. We hope we have inspired you to be more creative, for yourself, for fun and maybe for your career in the future.

If you were unable to attend, here is a little peak at what happened that day...

This was the opening we created to start the story chain off... 

Mazz, Lorien (both in the photo) and Ben spent their Saturday at Green Park Station encouraging the public to be a little creative with us. We asked them to write one sentence, or as much as they wished, for our story. Therefore together we all created a story chain.

Here is Lorien again, with our stall we had set up. We decorated it with our banner, toys, a globe and blankets to attract the public. 

And here, a fellow university (and Creative Writing student) is taking part in our event. She added to our story chain and took our Penguin to ... actually I won't tell you, read below for the full story.

So, for what you've been waiting for.. what did happen to our little penguin?

Well today, we are revealing the story to you... enjoy.

This is a story about a penguin. In many ways she is an average penguin, yet she holds a peculiar desire to travel and is on a quest from her home in the South Pole to the North Pole. A pole undiscovered by penguins. Elise’s journey begins by sliding down an iceberg. This is when Elise stops being an average penguin. This penguin is going straight to New York City!
However, on the journey across the sea, the boat gets hi-jacked. The only thing around her for miles is an iceberg. It was gigantic, frozen and hardened over centuries – But Elise was not daunted! She made her way confidently towards it, determined to conquer it. She sits alone, abandoned.
On meeting some of the local birds, a pair of magpies, she felt bewildered. She couldn’t understand how they could fly and she couldn’t. After all they were black and white too.
            She dreamt of being able to whistle through the blue skies. Elise decides she is going to ask the magpies to see if they can help her learn to fly.
“Of course we can help you!” the magpies exclaimed, “But where do we start?”
The magpies begin to teach Elise how to fly. Elise finds this very difficult. She would soar into the air and then splash down into the sea. This is because penguins are very, very heavy!
            After a splash that took her deep into the blue depths, she met Gerald, a friendly octopus. Gerald had an awful headache, so Elise gave him a head massage. Gerald was grateful, and for this, he allowed Elise to borrow his submarine to get back to the surface.
            Elise is exhausted after all the hard work of attempting to fly and massaging Gerald’s squishy head. She fancies a chocolate bar, to boost her energy. Worse than naughty cravings, Elise fancies a penguin bar! That doesn’t make me a cannibal, she thinks. Little did she know, actual penguins are used in penguin chocolate bars! However, she goes on to eat it anyway, to satisfy her hunger.
“Hey, this doesn’t taste half bad!” she cries.
            The magpies that taught Elise to fly spotted her climbing out of a little yellow submarine, surrounded by chocolate bar wrappers. It was a terrible look for Elise, how her white chest was now spotted with flecks of melted chocolate, the food sticking to her feathers like glue. As they drew close, they noticed the wrappers were in fact Penguin bar wrappers!
            But don’t worry, it was all a ploy, Penguin bars are not really made out of penguins. Gerald the octopus had simply played a joke on Elise! He chuckles, then bellows with laughter until all of his tentacles shook like jelly.
Elise was furious and decided to seek revenge on Gerald. She dived into the sea and told all the fish and other sea creatures about what Gerald did to her. Fish swam across the sea, a great black mass of an indescribable number, all gossiping about the great, big octopus, Gerald.
Rumour spread and soon, no one in the sea would talk to Gerald. Elise left before she suffered his wrath. She swam the rest of the way to the USA, leaving Gerald’s submarine deserted on the seas surface.
In New York she bought a coffee from Starbucks, and felt so energized she gave flying another try.
It worked! She was up in the air, high above the billboards and the skyscrapers, so high the Statue of Liberty was in view.
Elise landed in Orlando and decided to visit Harry Potter world. Why not? She thought. However, Hogwarts was too intimidating for a little penguin, so she waddled on her way. Elise waddled all the way to the airport, purchased a ticket and boarded a plane to England. On this plane she met a seal named Jimmy.
“Well!” The casual looking seal said.  “If you want to find your way to the North Pole, I can tell you, you are heading in the wrong direction!”
“I want to visit as many places as I can on my way,” Elise blushed.
“Well, I’ll tell you, Bath is a lovely place to visit in England,”
            Elise decided to take Jimmy’s advice. She hadn’t been to England before and needed a place to start. She landed in Bristol airport and hopped on a train to Bath.
Her first stop in Bath was Beyond the Kale, a great health food shop and juice bar. Feeling the need to replenish her energy she bought a ‘blissful blend’.
After slurping up her blend, Elise headed for the river Weir, a favoured point of interest in the town. She missed the water, and although it was thrilling to fly, she was born to swim. When she found the river she dived in, surfing the gentle waves with her belly.
Elise decided that it had been a long day, full of binge eating of chocolate bars and gossiping sea creatures; she just wanted to reach the North Pole. The only adventure she wanted to go on and conquer today was reaching there. So, will a belly full off will power, and probably some chocolate still, she found the Atlantic Ocean once more and she swam and swam until her flippers ached. She told herself she would only stop to perch on an iceberg when her flippers gave in.
            Night had fallen. Elise thought, I’m not going to make it today, and with resent turned towards the nearest iceberg. She heaved herself up with the last bit of strength in her flippers and fell – unflatteringly – on to her big round belly.
            She didn’t open her eyes until morning. The sun shone down on her smooth, black coat, warming her. Awakened by the creak and groan of ice, a light ‘thud’ shot Elise to her feet. She squinted, wondering how close she was to her destination.
When her eyes came into focus, there, she saw the unbroken edge of the Arctic. Her trusty iceberg has delivered her through the maze of broken ice, right to land’s edge! Elise had almost reached the North Pole after all. Stepping onto the land, she waddled dolefully through untouched snow. She looked over the horizon. With a bowed beak, Elise could smell adventure ahead.
Home is where the heart is and now Elise is there too. She heard a low groan in the distance, and with a flap of her wings she saw large white figures come dancing across the snow to greet her. Friends!


We hope you enjoyed our story and that we have inspired some creativity within you. Why don't you try a story chain of your own and see where it ends up, or even just write your own little story. If you want to leave any links/stories in the comments we would love to read them.

A big thank you to all the people who took part:
Tino Prinzi
Ockle Bockle
Finn and Phoebe G
Pete Hunt
Sarah Sailsbury
Emma Hurley
 Sophie Lee
Connor Hawthorn

and the members of the group who 
helped the story reach its end
Mazz, Lorien, Ben, Jordan and Lucy!
Creative Writing students from Bath Spa University.

Also a huge thanks to Voices in the City (Bath Literature Festival) who let us take part this year.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Hello world,

We are a group of students who study Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. We are hosting a street event at this years Bath Literary Festival on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of March. On the 1st you can find us at Green Park Station where we might ask for a moment of you time. Then on the 2nd we may be in SouthGate or wandering around the city centre trying to find you!

Our event is a story chain. A story chain which we would like everyone to get involved with, people of all ages and interests. You don't have to be a writer to help us finish our story.

Our story is about a Penguin who travels from the South pole to the North pole. This is why we have named the event 'The Upside-Down Penguin Adventure'. A name is yet to be determined for our character, or we may leave that up to you to decide.

We want you to write a sentence or maybe just a word to add to our story, so that our penguin can travel all the way up to North pole. Will our Penguin visit Spain on his way? Will our Penguin be in Bath during the Literary festival? What he finds, where he travels... it is all up to you! 

Decide the fate of our travelling Penguin!

We'll be at Green Park Station from 2pm to 5pm Saturday 1st March, wearing Bath Lit Fest T-shirts and probably calling out for everyone to join in.

We hope to see you there,
The Upside-Down Penguin Adventure Team

Find us on Facebook here.
And Twitter here.