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Road Trip West Midlands: finding the West Midlands Dream?

In March 2012, artist Chris Poolman and creative writer Mark Ellis undertook the Turning Point West Midlands Road Trip commission.

Here are their selected journeys through the region modelled on three great American literary journeys, producing a website and a collection of short stories and other writings. The great American stories channelled through their West Midlands’ journeys included The Grapes of Wrath, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Mississippi Solo.

You can visit their Road Trip West Midlands website here



Chris Poolman has produced a 'choose your own adventure' narrative website:

As a great adventurer and pioneer of West Midlands Travel Literature, you are often forced to make many decisions. Most decisions are life and death situations. The website will test your decision making skills. You and you alone are responsible for your fate.

To view the work, click HERE



To read an introduction to Mark Ellis' work on this project, click HERE. His stories will be released in an e-book in September and you can sign up here to receive one. The first 10 people to collect the titles of the pieces and email them to Mark will receive a handmade copy of the collection. In the meantime, those of you with Android mobile phones can access an essay and story through this QR code: 




This does not mean that the quest for the West Midlands Dream is over, nor does it spell the end for the Road Trip. Plans are afoot to develop the project further. We will keep you updated on their progress. 

Many thanks to the artist, writer, and our partner Writing West Midlands



TPWM Projects - Call for Proposals

TPWM PROJECTS 2012 - 2014 




DEADLINE 27 April 2012 


Click here for an update on TPWM and TPWM Projects, the application process and criteria for making a proposal for a residency and/or writing bursary, the budget available, and the application template.



Road Trip West Midlands - Artist and Writer wanted...a commission opportunity



Road Trip West Midlands 



The Background

Turning Point West Midlands was set up in 2010. It is a network that aims to strengthen the visual arts in the region through working with artists, arts organisations and national agencies. Writing West Midlands is the region’s literature development agency, supporting creative writers and the development of creative writing. This commission is a first collaboration between the two organisations, designed to showcase new ways for artists and writers to work together.


The Commission


Turning Point West Midlands and Writing West Midlands are delighted to announce this unique commission for a visual artist and creative writer working together. The commission will fund a visual artist and a creative writer based in the West Midlands to undertake a road trip in the West Midlands and to produce art work (visual art / creative writing) in response to this experience.  


The West Midlands region is home to 11 % of the population of England and encompasses a wide variety of communities and landscapes. The exact route taken is up to the visual artist and creative writer although we would like the journey to cover a range of parts of the region. The route could be pre-planned, entirely random, or a mixture of the two. We want the visual artist and creative writer to visit places and meet people along the way, effecting dialogues in various ways, perhaps through impromptu drop-ins or by joining gatherings already planned in advance...


We are asking that a record of the journey is made, treating it as a road trip and conveying some of the chance encounters, the thoughts, the conversations, and the moving through the landscapes. We would like some permanent record of the journey; moving image, audio, broadcast, writing or photography, as well as public interaction through a blog, facebook and twitter. Other visual art and creative writing work might be produced, although these would need to be completed within the overall time period for the commission. 


The journey can be made by whatever means the artist and writer wish to use: by car, by public transport, by canal, by bicycle or by foot or by a combination of means. Turning Point West Midlands and Writing West Midlands, in addition to funding will help promote the project and the artist and writer involved and will offer some support in managing the commission.


Budget, Timescale and Copyright


A total budget of £4,000 is being offered for the project to be split between the visual artist and the creative writer (by agreement) and to include all materials, travel and subsistence. The commission should be undertaken in February or March 2012 and must be completed by 31st March 2012. We anticipate that the journey will take up to four days (consecutively or in separate blocks) and that a similar amount of time will be given to producing artworks and writing in response.  The artist and writer will own and have copyright to the work they produce, and will allow Turning Point West Midlands and Writing West Midlands to use images and text to promote the project.  We will credit the artist and writer at all times.


How to Apply


Applicants without a collaborator


As the period for application for this commission is very short we do not have time to create a mechanism for putting visual artists and creative writers in contact with each other. However we will be using the Twitter hashtag #roadtripwm so feel free to tweet with requests to find a visual artist or creative writing using this hashtag.


All Applicants


Please submit a proposal outlining your ambitions for this commission. This should be no longer than two sides of A4 and should include the following:


  • The anticipated route of your journey and proposed means of travel

  • Proposals for creating dialogue as part of the journey


  • The form(s) of visual art and creative writing that you propose to use while travelling and after the journey


  • The anticipated visual art and creative writing to be made as a result of the journey


Please also submit a CV giving details of visual art and creative writing work. A small number of images and no more than two sides of A4 of creative writing may also be submitted or/and links to work on digital platforms. All applications will be treated in confidence.


Please submit to: Wendy Law, Turning Point WM, wendy.law@bcu.ac.uk.


The deadline for submission is 5pm Monday 20th February 2012.


We will endeavour to make a decision by Monday 27th February 2012.