Sole2Soul: Narrate, Curate, Rejuvenate

Wise souls talk to teen souls about shoe soles.

About the project. | What did we produce? | How it works | About Us | Twitter

Please note:  this is a holding website for the project. Bulb Studios has designed an app and a device-friendly website which contains all commissioned writing and other new digital resources. Available from November 27th, 2014.

New: The Centre for New Writing's commissioned radio documentary about the Sole2Soul project's creative writing workshops, based at Harborough Museum.

In this programme, a group of Silver Champions talk about the Falkner Boot and Shoe exhibit and read from their work. You can also hear the voice of the deceased shoemaker William Falkner III. Produced by Naomi Fowler.

About the project

"Generations have trod, have trod, have trod…" (Gerard Manley Hopkins).


Sole2Soul is funded by Arts Council England and commissioned by Leicester County Council. It is one of six project commissions for an umbrella project entitled ‘Click, Connect, Curate Create’. In the future, it is likely that these six projects will be replicated to serve multiple museums and collections.

The Sole2Soul project is creating new digital assets for the Falkner Boot and Shoe exhibit at Harborough Museum (Market Harborough). These include new creative writing (flash fiction, twitter fiction and poetry), photography and podcasts. The project is designed to increase Harborough Museum’s visitor numbers and to attract more online traffic to the Museum website.

Sole2Soul promotes meaningful intergenerational exchange between “silver champions” (project participants aged over 55) and teenagers about artefacts from the Boot and Shoe exhibit. The project concept is best expressed as follows: wise souls talk to teen souls about shoe soles. Silver champions will join forces with writers and curators to stimulate teenage engagement with Boot and Shoe artefacts. In response, teenage pupils from local schools will produce a web-gallery of “Future Curators” pages about the exhibit. In December 2014, all participants will be invited to an event where the new digital assets will be launched.

Silver Champions flyer

Future Curators flyer


Many shoes
Copyright Kev Ryan

What are we producing?

"A man cannot make a pair of shoes rightly unless he do it in a devout manner." (Thomas Carlyle).


Sole2Soul will provide new digital assets for the Falkner Boot and Shoe exhibit:

  • A mobile phone app for museum visitors (a downloadable application for smartphones)
  • Creative writing produced during a creative writing workshop aimed at silver champions
  • Professional photographs of the Boot and Shoe exhibit
  • Photographic portraits of silver surfers holding artefacts from the exhibit
  • “Future Curators” webpages by teenagers, accompanied by podcasts about their experience
  • A radio programme about the project
  • 30 commissioned story tweets, pieces of flash fiction and poems


How the project works
Single shoe
Copyright Kev Ryan

Phase one: Commission

April 8-June 1, 2014

30 experienced writers will visit the Boot and Shoe exhibit and produce 30 pieces of creative writing in the following forms, which are best suited to digital transmission: story tweets, flash fiction (200 words) and poems. These writers will present these creative pieces on social media platforms such as Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.

A smartphone app is created and tested. The app will encourage museum visitors to access the project’s digital assets. Visitors’ physical location in the museum will prompt particular pieces of information or creative writing to appear on their phone screens.

Phase two: Narrate

June 2-30th, 2014

Silver champions attend a creative writing workshop in the museum. Curators will speak to them about the Falkner Boot and Shoe exhibit. Workshop participants select, and write about, an artefact from the collection. Their writing will take the form of flash fiction, twitter fiction or poetry.

A radio producer is commissioned to make a programme about the Soul2Sole project.

A photographer is commissioned to produce portraits of workshop participants holding artefacts from the Boot and Shoe exhibit. In addition, the exhibit itself will be professionally photographed.

Phase three: Curate

The Sole2Soul project launched on 27th November 2014. Image Kev Ryan

July 1-October 30, 2014

Curate (verb): to select items according to personal taste, to draw attention to items which may have been overlooked and to communicate their importance in creative new ways.


Teenagers from local schools attend three workshops at Harborough Museum. Curators guide pupils around the Boot and Shoe exhibit. Pupils will be presented with all the creative writing produced about the Boot and Shoe exhibit produced during phase one (commission) and phase two (narrate). Pupils each respond to the exhibit and the creative writing by producing a webpage for a curators’ gallery called Future Curators. A podcast will be produced to accompany each Future Curators webpage.

Phase four: Rejuvenate

November 1-December 31, 2014

Rejuvenate: to restore, regenerate, revivify

The Sole2Soul creative writing commissions will be showcased at the Literary Leicester Fringe festival in November 2014.

Harborough Museum’s new digital assets will be unveiled at a launch event in December 2014, to which curators, journalists, project participants and writers will be invited.

About Us

Corrine Fowler
Copyright Kev Ryan
Dr. Corinne Fowler is the Principal Investigator of Sole2Soul and Director of the Centre for New Writing. Dr. Ming Lim is Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project ‘Affective Digital Histories: Re-Creating Britain's De-Industrialised Spaces, 1970s-present’. Dr. Ruth Page is Principal Investigator of Transforming Thresholds, an AHRC-funded network which investigates the museum foyer and the media used in it.

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Contact the Centre

The Centre for New Writing
School of English
University of Leicester
Leicester, LE1 7RH

Dr Corinne Fowler

Deputy Directors:
Dr Harry Whitehead
Mr Nick Everett

Project Manager:
(Colonial Countryside)
Kevin Ncube

Useful Links:
Creative Writing at Leicester