The LITMUS Creative Writing Project

An exciting new creative writing project in collaboration with author Ali Smith


Are you a writer? Do you want to write?  If YES: good. Continue reading this message.

Are you a student interested in writing – fiction, or non-fiction, or poetry, or maybe graphic novel writing, or blog writing, or in writing and storytelling in any shape or form you want?

If NO, then this invite isn’t for you.  Pass it on to someone who wants to write and would like to be published.

If YES: Good.   Continue reading this message.

What comes into your head when you hear or read or think about these two words: IN COMMON?

Anything?  Something just did.  Something always happens, when words get put together.  Even just two words that look like they’ve got nothing much in common, like the word in and the word common.

The Litmus is a new writing initiative for UK-wide school students.  We’re looking for student writing of every sort, and this year we’re inviting submissions up to 500 words which consider, in any way you like, the phrase: in common.

Write down what happens when you hear these words.  Make something of them.  Send us what you write or make, we’ll publish it in our online magazine, and you’ll become part of a writing collective like no other, a collective that reaches all across the UK and will act as a touchstone for readers interested in what your generation is doing and writing right now – because you’re the people about to inherit the planet, make it your own, and make your own story and history happen.

Put the words together.  We’ll be proud to publish you.

At the end of the school year, we’ll host a day of celebrations in the company of a host of visiting novelists, poets, and writers of every form, at the first Litmus Festival.

You’re the future.  Write about what it feels like to be in the present. Write about what we have in common, the good, the bad, anything and everything the phrase brings to mind.  Send what you write to us.

Be part of The Litmus.


Email or submit your work to The Litmus through this form.


School students are invited to submit a short piece of writing of under 500 words, in poetry, prose or any other format, and/or a piece of art work, based around the theme ‘In Common’, which will be showcased on a special website launching in the new year. We’ll also hold a celebration day at Trinity for selected students and teachers or parents/carers in July 2020.

This project will be open to students in Year 9 (S3 Scotland, Year 10 Northern Ireland) upwards (or equivalent), at all UK schools.

The Litmus: Creative Writing in Schools

To kick-start the project, Trinity College will be running free creative writing workshops in schools across the UK in December 2019 and January 2020. This is aimed at students from less advantaged and underrepresented backgrounds, and will help students to develop works to be published as part of The Litmus project. We are particularly keen to engage with those with little knowledge or contact with universities, and particularly Cambridge.

If your school and students meet these criteria, and you are interested in receiving a workshop, please email to register interest, including your school name, location, and when might be suitable dates for a workshop.