Mothership Writers - Born in Lockdown

Mothership Writers - Born in Lockdown


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Born in Lockdown is a one-of-a-kind story with 277 authors and one shared experience: becoming a new mother in 2020. It’s the result of a collaborative writing project set up by novelist Emylia Hall, the founder of Mothership Writers.

The Born in Lockdown project was launched in November and was for mums who’d given birth that same year. The idea was to encourage writing for pleasure and purpose: to find, amidst the clamour, the space to hear one’s own voice. And, together, to tell the story of what it was like to navigate new motherhood in 2020.

Juliette Boakes, part of the Mothership crew and Born in Lockdown contributor says, ‘Sands is a wonderful charity very dear to my heart. In autumn 2018 my son Daniel was stillborn and Sands provided invaluable support to me at this time and throughout my subsequent pregnancy.’

Juliette goes go on to say, ‘Pregnancy after a loss is incredibly stressful and with the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic the anxiety was often overwhelming. Throughout my pregnancy I was suffering with PTSD which made hospital appointments and scans extremely triggering. As the pandemic progressed I had to face these and the early stages of labour alone. With immense gratitude and a tremendous sigh of relief our beautiful daughter Chloe was born safely in May 2020. A little sister to our beloved Daniel.’

‘The Born in Lockdown project for me was a way to process what I had been through in pregnancy and as a new mum during the pandemic,' says Juliette. 'Contributing to this creative and collaborative project was an opportunity to document a very unique moment in time. It also provided a wonderful feeling of community during what was, and still is, a very isolating time as a new mother.’

A call-out for participants resulted in 277 new mums taking part, each writing in a fragmentary style – using no more than a handful of connected sentences. The joy of fragments is that they can be scribbled down when time permits; they reflect the flitting nature of our thoughts – allowing us to capture moments that might otherwise be lost; and best of all they feel accessible and achievable. The project was open to all – no prior writing experience was necessary – and anyone who wanted to be included was included. It was Emylia’s job, and great privilege, to find the narrative threads and stitch together this vast patchwork of experience; a whole, made of many, many small parts. All of the writers’ words appear verbatim and unedited – and every single one deserves to be read.

Born in Lockdown is a remarkable record of new motherhood at this time. While it's free for anyone to download and read, we're hoping to raise as much money as possible for Sands in the process.

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