The Litmus Creative Writing Project 2020-21

Introduction to The Litmus

Here at Trinity we are delighted to launch The Litmus Creative Writing Project 2021 – an opportunity for year 9-11 students currently attending state school (or on a full scholarship to a fee-paying school) to submit a short piece of writing of under 500 words in poetry, prose or any other format (including artwork) based around a theme for publication.

In this its second year we’re following on from last year’s brilliant response to the prompt ‘in common’, which saw us receive hundreds of creative, original submissions from young people all over the UK, with a new prompt announced by Trinity artist in residence, acclaimed author Ali Smith (which you can discover below).

Using our submission form you can submit your work, but we’re also going to be hosting free creative writing workshops in early 2021 during which students at participating schools will have the opportunity to try new things, learn techniques and gain confidence.

But whether you take part in one of our workshops or not, and whether you’re already a creative writer or have never tried before, we’ll be delighted to read and publish your work. Everyone who submits will receive personalised feedback and have their work published on our website, while our favourites will appear in a published anthology in summer 2021.

More information on how to sign up for workshops will be released early next year as we navigate life’s current uncertainties. Fear not, though, we’ll keep you updated.

A letter from Ali Smith

litmus banner


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

Are you between the ages of 15 and 17 and interested in writing fiction, or non-fiction, or poetry, or maybe graphic novel writing, or blog writing – or writing and storytelling in any shape or form you like?

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 words: THE GREEN LIGHT?

What does the word green mean? It’s a really versatile word, one which can refer to the colour of leaves and grass, or to a colour there are so many different shades of that it’s astonishing, or to the colour of envy, to the colour of someone feeling off-colour or seasick. It’s a word that can mean naïve, and at the same time it’s a key word behind a savvy and urgent environmental revolution. These are just a few of its meanings.

What happens when the word green, with all its possible resonances and implications, meets the word light?

The Litmus is a new writing initiative for UK-wide school students, launched in 2020. We’re looking for student writing of every sort.

Write down what you imagine when you hear the phrase the green light. Make something of the phrase. 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 also publish our favourite submissions in book form, as Volume 2 of a whole new body of student responses and writing. Last year The Litmus features hundreds of responses to one of the toughest years we’ve all lived through. It was a tremendous read. What you write really matters.

Write us all something. Be part of The Litmus.