After the Collaborative Project – The Pompeii Team

The team took a horse trek up Mount Vesuvius recreating the climb that Attilus does, one of the characters in Robert Harris’  Pompeii,  in the hopes to find out what is wrong with the city’s water supply.

The team took a horse trek up Mount Vesuvius recreating the climb that Attilus does, one of the characters in Robert Harris’ Pompeii, in the hopes to find out what is wrong with the city’s water supply.

Last term our 3rd years lead a range of collaborative projects

These were part of a new module which gave students the opportunity to develop a wealth of skills and to consider the writer’s role as part of a creative eco-system, and literature’s role in the creative economy through working on a collaborative project.

We talked to many of these teams including The Wandering Heath, Re: Collective, For Book’s Sake, Sleepeeps , Good Things Never Are and The Radio Faces to learn more about their projects.

In this new interview, we catch up with the Pompeii Team about the experience and their project.


Did the project meet your expectations?

Anna: The project was different to how I expected, but in terms of being exciting it completely met my expectations. At times it was challenging, but we always found a way of keeping it interesting.

Alex: Yes and no, I naively thought there would be no conflict within the group, but it was still a great project and a life experience.

Amy: I expected the project to push me, both academically and personally. It did both of those things and through completing it, I feel that I have learned a lot about pushing my boundaries and how important that is!

What was the best thing about your project?

Anna: Seeing all of our hard work coming together in the end. The trip to Pompeii was amazing, but the most rewarding part was finishing all of our outputs and seeing how well we did.

Alex: The best thing about the project was being able to experience a different culture, whilst learning and enjoying another country. The horse ride up Mount Vesuvius was just incredible – definitely a once in a lifetime type thing.

Amy: Learning how to put a text into the context of its place and being able to match descriptions to physical things. It was like a massive jigsaw puzzle that you had to put together, but there was still room for you to interpret it yourself.

What did you learn through completing the project?

Anna: I learnt that no group of people share the same interests. This doesn't need to be seen as a negative, and makes for some really interesting perspectives.

Alex: Completing the project was hard, I think we all learned about the Italian way of life and the history of Pompeii. I personally learned how to work within a team.

Amy: The biggest academic lesson I learned was how to participate effectively as part of a successful group. The biggest ‘life’ lesson I learned was that communication is key in every aspect of life.

What advice would you give anyone else completing a project like yours?

Anna: Make sure that the members of the group are always on the same page, metaphorically speaking. Talk to each other if you're worrying and work through it together.

Alex: My advice is, make sure you’re prepared adequately and have a good communication network in person and online.

Amy: That it is okay to struggle while completing a large scale project, especially if it is one that means travelling. The main this is to vocalise when you are struggling and not to be afraid to ask for help!

What is the future for your project?

Anna: I'd love to use this project as an example to start another one like it. Our structure would work just as well with another book and a different location, so it would be great to see how a new project would pan out.

Alex: I think the future for our actual project is non-existent, we completed the task at hand and answered the question we wanted to. However, I have developed on and learned skills to hopefully do something exciting in my future as a graduate.

Amy: I think it would be really interesting to look at books set locally in Cornwall, or within England and to investigate how their stories relate to that location.


Are you interested in Pompeii?

Read the final output of their project, a case study about how Robert Harris’ Pompeii was influenced by the 79 A.D. disaster and location.

You can find out more about this project by visiting their blog or following them on instagram.


by the Falwriting Team

FalWriting Team