What's it all about?

First: A letter to 1914
I’m writing a letter to Mary; I want to tell her that I’m thinking of her, because she’s living through a hard time; a war that no-one could imagine before it started. I want to know what her ideas were before it all began, what she wanted from her life. And I want to say hey, we could be on the same wavelength, I’ve got some big ideas of my own. I know she won’t reply. She died in a fire in a munitions factory in 1917. But I want to let her know that I’m interested in her as a real person, not just a statistic. Because people were people before they became affected by the war.

The Book of Plans Hopes and Dreams

What are your great ideas? What are you passionate about? Let us know ...

Because in 1914 there were millions of people like you, all with their own plans, hopes and dreams. But then the First World War was declared. 20 million people died and many more lives were altered completely. And all too many of their ideas were lost forever.

What would the world have been like if they had been able to live their lives differently? What dazzling contributions would they have made to writing, art, science, technology, farming, cooking… you name it? We’ll never know.

But in the Book of Plans Hopes and Dreams we can remember that they had lives beyond the war and think about those. And we can record our own plans, hopes and dreams. So the generations to come aren’t left wondering. It works like this:

  • a) imagine what a real person might have been interested in 100 years ago and write them a letter about it.
  • b) imagine what you’d tell someone in a hundred years time and write it down as a letter, poem or story.

Then send your work to the Book of Plans Hopes and Dreams competition. The first prize is a trip to Germany. The best fifty two entries will appear in a special commemorative book to be displayed in the UK and Germany, and many more will be included in the online version. So you can help make peace even stronger in the future.

This project is open for entrants from people of all ages and all philosophical and religious traditions and none.

Second: A letter to 2114
I’m writing a story, or a poem, or a letter for Tom. It’s going to tell him about my plans hopes and dreams… So that he knows that here in 2014, there are people who are thinking about him, and his world. Maybe even trying to plan for it. I won’t get a reply. Tom isn’t born yet; I’m imagining him and his world a hundred years from now. So that he knows people of our time – who stand on a bridge between the past and the future – are taking his world into account now. So he isn’t left with just statistics and guesswork. And because ordinary people’s ideas matter.

By popular request
closing date extended
until 2nd December 2014

The Book of Plans Hopes and Dreams
Letters from the bridge of time