Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September: 11am- 3pm

Birmingham’s busy commuter station, Moor Street, will host its first ever Writer in Residence during Birmingham Weekender on 26 and 27 September.

Matt Black

Poet and novelist Matt Black will be in residence on Moor Street station from 11am till 3pm both days, encouraging commuters, shoppers, tourists and day-trippers to spend a few minutes writing something inspired by the setting or their journey.

Matt himself – and assistant writer Emma O’Brien – will also be producing their own creative writing during their residency, some of which will be put out through social media as they’re writing it.

With visitors to Birmingham Weekender strongly encouraged to use public transport, as roads and car parks are predicted to be very busy, this will be the perfect opportunity to take the train and experience the festival at the same time.

Matt Black says:

“It’s an amazing opportunity to take in the surroundings – Moor Street is such a beautiful example of Victorian architecture, and it’s been so well restored – and I’ll be trying to find out more about the station from the staff too. But the main thing, for me, is speaking to passengers and those waiting on the concourse for loved ones. Their stories – of their journeys, of their friends, of their day – will be such rich inspiration for my writing. And, hopefully, theirs!”

Having a Writer in Residence at Moor Street station came about through conversations between Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands, and the team behind Birmingham Weekender.

Jonathan says:

“With Birmingham Weekender just a fortnight before the Birmingham Literature Festival – one of our projects – we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have audiences and members of the public see literature being created right in front of them, and then put out through social media. And, hopefully, get them to create their own writing based on the surroundings, as well.”

Chiltern Railways, who own and manage Moor Street station, were quick to come on board with the project:

Sandra Harper, Regional Manager at Chiltern Railways said:

“We’re delighted to host Matt Black at Moor Street and hope that he will be inspired by the railway and our lovely station.”

Matt will be live-tweeting throughout the residency. Follow: or @writingwestmids


Members of the public can get involved on Twitter by sending Matt a few lines or observations, using the #MoorStreetWriter, or can speak to him and his assistant writer Emma on the concourse. Look for the Writing West Midlands stand by the platform entrance.

The Writer in Residence is part of the Birmingham Weekender festival. It is supported by Chiltern Railways and organised by Writing West Midlands and Birmingham Literature Festival.

More information about the residency can be found by clicking here.