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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

18 January 2021

Posted by Matt L T Smith

Genre Roulette, the New Board Game Everyone's Playing!

Welcome back to the Mayflower Creative Writing blog! Today I’m going to be writing about what we’ve been getting up to since returning for the New Year in our first two sessions (Happy 2021 everyone!) In our first session we discussed at length what kind of themes we’d like to look at as a group going forward, and for today Antosh has constructed a session around playing with genre to get us in the mindset of different ways we can write!

Today we’re playing genre roulette using a website that randomly generates genre names. To start, Antosh tasks us with picking a fairy tale we’re familiar with, with characters we’re happy to work with, and then once we’re ready he (metaphorically) spins the genre roulette wheel! Our genre for Round One: Dystopia, romantic drama, outlaw western, apocalyptic (points if you can mix all four!) Round Two: Historical period drama, ghost, road comedy, heroic bloodshed. Round Three: dictionary, journalism, surrealist, speech. If anyone fancies having a go at these, let us know about any dystopian road comedy speeches you write! A little taste of what we got up to, one writer “I’ve accidentally remade Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas but with pigs” and another “Party Press Conference from Goldilocks about how there is absolutely enough porridge in their school lunches for all Baby Bears, and absolutely doesn't need to be amended even though it's being created by GoldLocks and Co.” 

Returning to our themes we discussed from week one, Antosh had nicely boiled our options down into three themes: bodies, space and time, identity and traditions. After a quick round of voting, we settled on bodies as our theme to work toward for the rest of the year.

To finish I’ll leave you with two found poems I’ve constructed out of our weekly check ins, so you can get a feel for how us writers are getting on! Feel free to Tweet @MayflowerCW with what your week was like as a costume and as a board game. 

Our Week As a Costume

I am staring into the mouth of a theme park mascot 

and making eye contact. 

I am strapped head to toe with PC cases 

and poorly designed office chairs. 

I am covered in sequins, so many sequins,

and in every sequin there is a fraction of light.

I am in comfy warm clothes that are a bit on the big side,

but I’m going to grow into them. 

I am in the computer wires, again, tangled into an impossible knot, 

technical gizmos, lights and TV screens, 

and I’m the one on the inside

Our Week As a Board Game

We are: 

Anya Taylor-Joy playing Connect 4,

Mahjong, but I’m all four players,

Monopoly but I only ever end up in jail or Liverpool Station,

a Match II game where there’s a whole load matched, 

but there’s only one actual pair, and you keep turning them over, 

and you’re not sure how many have a pair.

Yahtzee on expert mode. 


Risk, but no one has touched the box in so long 

your brother has hidden a sock inside 

to see if anyone notices.


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