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November 01, 2006

1001 nights cast 501st Performance


Call for Stories

1001 nights cast turns 501 this Friday 3 November. This is the half way milestone of the project. To celebrate the event I am calling upon newcomers everywhere to submit a story for that day. I will select the best to perform or I may even do a montage of several stories. So please spread the word to your writer friends.

If you want to tune in on Friday night, the live webcast will be at 7.25pm from Sydney. That is 4.25pm in Perth, Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore; 10:25am in Beirut, Jerusalem and Istanbul; 9:25am in Madrid, Paris and Berlin; 8:25am in London and Portugal; 3:25am in New York, Toronto and Bogota; 12:25am in Los Angeles.

You might like to listen to The Book Show on ABC Radio National on Thursday 2 November at 10am when I perform one of Anne Brennan's stories and she and I talk to one of the producers about the project. There will also be a piece in the arts pages of the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday 3 November (so I'm told).

Meanwhile, here are some statistics about the project to date: 133 writers have contributed since performance #0001 on June 21 2005. Together they have written about 425,000 words. At the average novel length of 80,000 that is more than 5 novels worth, all archived on the site for you to read. To this point, the site has had 23,780 visits. Currently, it is getting an average of 63 visits/day. Stories have been performed from Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, London, Madrid, Granada and a property outside of Dungog, New South Wales (thanks to a satellite dish).

On the sobering side, I have read reports every day covering contemporary events in the Middle East in order to give writers their writing prompt. To recap on some of the things that have been told to us by journalists working for western media outlets: The coalition forces in Iraq have found no weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein is still on trial for genocide. Meanwhile more than 100 Iraqi civilians are killed every day - many more if the report in The Lancet is to be believed (and why should it be discounted - the investigators were shown death certificates after all). There are now wars within wars in Iraq with no clear "strategies" for resolution. Former prime minister of Lebanon, Rafic Hariri, was assassinated, his killers still at large and Syria's involvement pointed to and denied. Hamas won the January elections in Palestine and for their voting sins, the US and Israel continue to enforce an economic blockade. The new Kadima party won the Israeli elections in March without the intellectual presence of its figurehead Ariel Sharon who still lies in a coma. Before this, some of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank were evacuated and bulldozed. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come to power in Iran and has been denying any sinister nuclear intentions ever since, much to the frustration of Washington who still refuses to have direct talks with Tehran. Condoleeza Rice has been earning lots of frequent flyer points. And freshest in our minds is the five week Israeli/Hezbollah conflict with cluster bombs lying unexploded in the fields of southern Lebanon. In reading through all these reports, I have implemented my own kind of self-censorship. It may give you some comfort to know that I do not draw any writing prompts from straight reportage of beheadings, suicide-bombings or body counts. To quote from story #495, I would feel like a "lammergeyer in Tyre". --Barbara Campbell

Posted by jo at November 1, 2006 09:42 AM