A Thousand Word Photos


A little while ago I was invited to take part in a writing project run by A Thousand Word Photos, where a photographer gives three of their photographs to a writer, who then selects one which is used to inspire a 1,000 word short story. The story is then published online and read out to stroke patients around the UK, as part of the charity, Interact.

The photograph I selected (above) was taken by the renowned photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind, and without knowing anything about it, I wrote a 1000 word story called Intelligent Private Lines, which you can read here.

29 Jan 29

A Thousand Word Photos recently held their first live event in London, where six short stories written as part of the project, were read out to the audience by actors, and the image that inspired the story was projected on the wall. I was delighted that my story was selected to be read by the actor, Jessica Raine (of Call the Midwife fame).


The whole project has recently been featured in British Journal of Photography.

Short story: The Teacher

The pavements and plazas always swarmed with tourists – camera phones plugged into their faces, so that Edward named them ‘Pac-a-mac Cyborgs’.

On days when he saw knowledge light up one of his student’s faces, Edward walked around the backs of the picture-takers and didn’t huff at the crowds shuffling slowly past the monuments and sculptures. But other times, when his class had grasped nothing, Edward got a bitter delight in stopping to blow his nose, or pick at his teeth in between the photographers and their subjects.

Edward had already forgotten that he too had once been a tourist.


I’ve been ill this week so I’m a bit late with my story. But on Saturday I managed to meet my mother in London for a celebration of her 70th birthday. I walked from Waterloo to Victoria, past Westminster Abbey, and the number of tourists helped with some much needed inspiration.

This piece of writing is part of the Friday Fictioneers writing group. Each week writers from around the world attempt to write 100 words (or so) starting with a picture, this week from David Stewart.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in, with the group hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields.