We are commissioning a North West Writer

People-Powered, Lights & Lullabies

A Sandbach Short Story for Children and Families

Deadline: Noon 25 January 2021

Commission Summary:

SpareParts is delighted to bring Lullaby, by internationally renowned artist Luke Jerram, to Sandbach in April 2021 in association with Sandbach Transport Festival.

To accompany the work, we are offering a commission for a North West based writer to create an original bedtime story, 4-6mins in length.

We are looking for an inventive bedtime story to appeal to all ages; to be read the night before Lullaby passes by their doors.

The story should be magical and captivating, whilst reflecting in parts a connection to Sandbach’s heritage, character and identity.

In order that the story links to Lullaby, we are asking that the story contain references to a cycle-ride and light.


SpareParts is a project that curates national and international touring arts work with transport, heritage and family festivals across the North West. It has featured at Sandbach Transport Festival for the past few years but for 2021, and the unusual times we find ourselves in, the SpareParts programme is set to look a little different.

Lullaby, by Luke Jerram, has been programmed by SpareParts for Sunday 18 April; the weekend when Sandbach Transport Festival is due to take place.

At dusk, as the residential streets of Sandbach are quiet and empty, residents will await the Lullaby to pass by their home. Music will be heard drifting down the streets, followed by a shoal of twinkling lights first seen in the distance, then getting closer. Only as the mass of illuminated bikes pass the houses will people realise that the music is coming from speakers attached to around 30 illuminated bikes producing the most ambient and serene music. A lullaby to gently send residents off to sleep.

For more information on Lullaby, including short films of the work, visit lukejerram.com/lullaby/

The commission:

On Saturday 17 April, households on the Lullaby route will receive a package hand-delivered through their letterboxes. Each will contain a printed copy of the commissioned story, illustrated by young artists from Sandbach.

Accompanying the story will be an invitation to read the bedtime story that evening, then the following evening look out their windows at dusk, to see the story’s finale.

Placemaking is important to us, so we are looking for stories that include reference to local traditions, cultural identities, landmarks or heritage; some way of rooting the story to Sandbach itself.

We envisage a part of the story being resolved on the Sunday evening, as part of the Lullaby bike parade. For example, if the central character in your story has been on a quest to find something, that character might lead the lullaby parade holding the item they’ve been seeking.

We will collaborate with the writer to consider how the story might be resolved visually, and the Artistic Director for SpareParts, Jodie Gibson, will be responsible for producing this performative element.

£1,400 inclusive of VAT to cover:
  • Completion of an original story responding to the outline
  • Undertaking of Research & Development
  • 1-hour online Q&A with Sandbach Young Producers
  • Meetings with the SpareParts team and Young Producers
  • Fee based on 8 x days at £175 p/d
  • All activity is expected to take place online so no expenses are expected
Key dates:
  • Deadline for applications: noon on 25 Jan 2021
  • Shortlisted artists interviewed (online): 26-29 Jan 2021 (TBC)
  • Draft 1 deadline: 12 Feb 2021
  • Draft 2 deadline: 23 Feb 2021
  • Currently living in the North West of England
  • Able to evidence original writing
  • Willingness for collaboration with Artistic Director and Sandbach Young Producers

To apply:

To apply, please email the following to Claire, the Programme Manager for SpareParts

1. A copy of your CV including any links to your previous work that demonstrates your relevance to this commission
2. A description of one of the characters you would feature in the story (less than 150 words)
3. Please title your email: A Sandbach Short Story

Other formats

If you would like to request this document in another language or the large print version of this document, please email claire@sparepartsfestival.co.uk


We will be announcing the programme and dates for our 2021 Festivals shortly, – check back soon.