A panel of children’s authors, including Liverpool-based Natalie Reeves Billing, are to help choose lockdown stories, poems and pictures from children aged 3-17 for the digital project. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool-based children’s author Natalie Reeves Billing is to help choose lockdown stories from young people to be preserved in a digital time capsule.
Children aged between three and 17 are being asked to reflect on and share their experiences of life during the COVID-19 lockdown. The chosen submissions will be displayed on a dedicated Children of Lockdown website to be preserved as a digital time capsule by the British Library in the UK Web Archive.
The submissions can be in a number of forms, including stories, poems or pictures. It will enable children in the future will be able to see and understand what life was like during this unprecedented time, through the eyes of the children of today.
There is also a competition to find the most creative response in each age category, to be judged by five children’s authors: Natalie Reeves Billing, Nicola J Rowley, Janey Jones, Sandra Horn and Rhys Brisenden. Winners in each age category will receive National Book Tokens.
Natalie, author of My Mummy is a Monster: My Children Arte Monsters, published in May, said: “Having a record of how we lived and how we coped as a nation will inspire generations to come. Our children will become a recorded part of that history. Children have so much to say, and expressing themselves subconsciously via storytelling is the perfect way to unlock that message they wish to deliver.
“Not every child can find the right way to frame their feelings about lockdown but art and creative writing can give them that outlet and the digital time capsule gives children a platform to share their feelings on the world right now.
“My social enterprise, Split Perspectivz, explores the importance of self-expression via storytelling of all forms. That ability to download information from our heads onto paper helps promote a well-balanced young person.
“Holding onto our feelings can be damaging, and many people forget that children feel worry, depression and anxiety too. With this project, children have that opportunity to put their experiences in one place, recounting and sharing it, and subconsciously, making sense of things.”
The project is the brainchild of Charlotte McMillan, founder of the digital scrapbook app Storychest. Charlotte heard about the British Library’s UK Web Archive, so she approached them with her idea of creating the Children of Lockdown digital time capsule.
Natalie urges all teachers and parents to encourage their children to start creating now, to be a part of this historic Children of Lockdown digital time capsule project.
Poems, stories or pictures can be submitted up until 7pm on July 31. For more information about submitting entries to Children of Lockdown, click here.