The Project

‘Beyond the Bailey’ is a creative writing project run by a PhD student at the University of Sheffield. It seeks to demonstrate to creative writers the the possibility of using online historical archives for creative inspiration. Focusing in particular on the Old Bailey Proceedings Online: http://www.oldbaileyonline.org each workshop provides creative writers with the tools to undertake their own online research into creative writing sources, as well as suggesting ways to appropriate historical sources as creative stimuli.

The 2014 workshop focused on the 1726 murder case of Catherine Hayes. Using the ‘Beyond the Bailey’ workbook, creative writers were introduced to a variety of sources published on Catherine to learn more about her story and the different responses that her crime elicited in contemporary publications. Students undertook a small piece of writing in class, which they were then encouraged to turn into a finished piece of writing using either the Hayes case, or using the Old Bailey Online to find other intriguing cases. We are extremely proud of the results of this year’s workshop and hope you enjoy reading them.

If your creative writing group would be interested in hosting a ‘Beyond the Bailey’ workshop, or you have any questions about the project please leave a comment on the homepage, or email hip12acj@sheffield.ac.uk

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