Wigtown Book Festival Workshop Responses

In my suitcase I would take a warm jumper, photos of my dog and family, rugby ball, deodorant, after shave, phone, money, food and water and a passport.


The man in front of the boat.

Will we ever make it?

Will the boat hold?

Will we die of starvation?

Will we even see tomorrow?

Will we sink?

Will we get sent back home\will we even be expected in this new country?

What will happen to us and when will it happen?





If I was made to fill one small suitcase with things, I would take my dog, Ollie, because he is very important to me and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Along with my dog I would take a photograph of my whole family so that I won’t forget them. I would also take my phone because I couldn’t survive without it. The last thing I would take would be a bottle of water because I might get really thirsty.


She couldn’t take a person. A piece of furniture, because they are far too big. She couldn’t take food because it would go very mouldy and start to smell. She couldn’t take any memories of amazing things because it just isn’t possible, and she can’t take her loving family.


Man helping man in the water:

We are on our way to Europe on a boat which I am not enjoying because it’s very cramped and there are people flying into the water, I just witnessed a man going flying in to the water because somebody pushed him. I am going to try and help him up but I felt like if I pull his arm too hard I am either going to break his arm to I’m going to fall overboard myself.




I can take:

a hamster, my favourite sweets, my makeup, clothes, pictures of everything, fruit shoot, BFF necklace, fluffy socks, note book, gel pens, pencil, my book, purse (money), PJs.


I can’t take:

Cat, chargers upon chargers, family, friends, wardrobe, laptops, computers, bikes, roller skates, hair products or footballs, computers, or laptops or electronics. You can’t take big animals or clothes or wardrobe, can’t take my bike, my skates or my board.

The guy pulling the boat.

They’re looking at me because I’m not as pigmented, I’m just a white old man with the classic story – now in my home with my wife. These people have such big and dramatic stories about why they’re here and what happened to them. I can only just think how lucky I am to not have their background. God, I hope they’re okay with their new lives here.





In my suitcase I would pack a blanket, cans of food and something that means a lot to me and a phone. You can’t take other people, large things, things that turn mouldy, shops, memories.


Man at front of boat in the water.

Here I am again in the water, propelling the boat for the rest of them, scums. I’m freezing, think I’ve got hypothermia. Can’t wait till I’m on dry land and in a nice warm house.






I would take a photograph of my whole family, my rabbit, my phone, my iPad, my laptop and food.


I wouldn’t be able to take all of my memories that I have has, I wouldn’t be able to take my home that I have grown up in or my whole family (my grannies, papas, aunties, uncles, cousins, dad, mum, sister etc…)


Man in water at front of boat.

I wish I could just re-live all the memories I did when I as at home or just to stay there for another day.




In my suitcase I’m going to put a sheep and if I take a sheep that means I need to take straw, water, sheep food and another sheep to keep it company.


You can’t take your brother, large things or things that turn mouldy.


Man at front of boat:

Come on man get out the water its cold you need to save your energy.





I would put some books, bottle, food in my bag I would put a nice blanket, some books, food, money, phone, photos of my family, awards.

I can’t take my family, my bed, my house, my life. I can’t take my family that mean so much to me. Can’t take my comfort of my bed when I sleep at night. Can’t take the place or memories of my first house.


I am so cold and freezing. Helping everyone else try and find a better life. Hoping there is hope at the end of this treacherous journey. I have to keep going for my family that will be waiting for their father to come home.




Can take food, drink, pencil/pen, paper, books, bottle, blankets, money, lunchbox, contacts for phone, small pets/food, phone.


Without my family I’m blind.

Without me bed I’m tired and sore.

Without my computer, where is my entertainment.

Without my house, I am cold

Without my toilet, my life is flushed.





Food that will last, a note pad and pen, deodorant, my phone, portable charger, my two dogs, dog food.

He can’t take friends, he can’t take family, can’t take his bike, he can’t take his life.


I don’t know where mother has gone, father is different story, watching over me, loving, caring, worrying.





Wi-Fi, phone, phone charger, clothes, knives, food, water, portable chargers, soap, hair clippers, family photo, razor, money.

He can’t take TV, family/friends, my bed won’t fit, anything that matters to me!





“Oh my God its cold”

“I wish we could find land, I’m freezing”






I would take my Xbox One and lots of games. I would also download lots of games on it. I would also find a way to take my Home Hub. I would take my phone as well.

I can’t take my house; I can’t take all the wires for my Xbox. I can’t take my pet dogs, or maybe I can find a way


I hope that we make it to ____ safely. I do not want to lose any of my family members before we even reach our destination.





Make up, phone charger, WIFI hub, my bunnies, teddy, clothes.

She can’t take the things that mean the most to her. Her first steps in her house, her first tooth that fell out, all the memories that happened there. But most importantly her family.





“I did not pack anything as I didn’t have anything I needed. Well actually I do really need something. My family. Except they have been taken away from me. They can’t come back. But why, why. That’s the question I always ask myself.”




All my Lacoste, stone island and Armani clothes; my Adidas trackies. My iPad charger, my iPhone charger. My cats. Ear phones (beats). Speaker (boom box). Money. Nail clipper. Tooth brush.


I’m freezing and I just stood on a stone, I’m pretty sure a crab just bit my foot.




I would take my phone, iPod and teddy bear.


I felt strange. I’m leaving behind the only country I ever lived in. my house, my family. I’m holding our bags but they can’t fit everything. Family. Friends. They’re all left behind.






I would take my teddy bear and my phone charger. I would also bring my phone, photos of my family and friend.


I will never feel the same again. I will never have the same life as I had before. I have lost all of my stuff but I have to do it if I want to stay alive.




She can’t take some things that really mean a lot to me, the things that she takes l actually really need to remember things. She can’t take any animals that have a meaning and even for those who are dead, the ashes of the ones she truly loved.






I can’t take my bike it wouldn’t fit. I can’t take my dog she would be too big. I can’t take my surfboard.


At least I’m going somewhere safe. It’s going to be tough but I’m a fighter. The water is freezing but I am helping all these men get somewhere safe. I will not give up. I will never look back.






The boy throwing the coat.

Thinking of home, the smell of the Sunday roasts cooking in the oven. The sound of the crackling fire burning and the dogs panting after a long walk. The cat purring in mother’s arm. As well as the sight of the fires bright flames disappearing into thin air.





iPad. Bea my dog. Skittles. Pillow/blanket. Onesie. Money. Candles.


I can’t take… house, car, bed, family, smell of home, fridge.




The man in the water.

I wish I was at home again, the smell of freshly made pancakes in the morning and the vibrant smell of the pear and cranberry candle that was always burning in the living room. All I can smell now is the deep, salty sea water that sometimes flowed into my mouth.





My phone. My charger for my phone, Wi-Fi, makeup, food, water, photos, speaker, my bed, TV, family. She can’t take the things that mean the most to her.



Into my suitcase,

I would put,

Pyjamas, a bow tie

And a new suit.


A phone, a toothbrush

And some books,

A smaller suitcase,

Now that would get looks.


Into my suitcase,

I wouldn’t put,

A car, a cake

And a very old suit.


A TV, some cutlery

And a haystack,

A double bed, now that would have me

Hiding in the back.





Take: iPad, money, oreos, onesie, fluffy socks.

Can’t take: house, car, record player, fridge, family, bed, smell of my home, Christmas tree.






Man drowning.

Thinking of the smell of my home, clean, but dusty. The pear and cranberry candle reminds me of my mother, how she always used to burn it on the cold, winter nights, when we had to put all of our lights out. It makes me sad that my family couldn’t come, my father insisted I went, as I am the strongest and could work better. I will send home my money to my family back in Syria, fighting for their lives.






I would take the internet hub so I could use the internet and my animals. My phone charger, books, money, PlayStation games. I can’t take my bed, the view, my house, my friends.


Man at the front of boat must feel really relieved to have reached somewhere but also exhausted.



I would take my guitar because it is my life goal to become really good at guitar and I think it would help that It would be the only thing to do. I can’t take anything that reminds me of my previous life (smells from home, old friends and family, the school, the people who I don’t notice but they really do care for me…)


Hopefully this life will be better.

A new start, a clean canvas.

Dad and mum don’t understand my confusion.

And who are these other people anyway?

Normal people or something more.

We just left everything behind.

My childhood’s smells and sights







Phone, charger, water, food, clothes, hat, shower, toothbrush, razor, slippers, clippers, Wi-Fi hub, fish, small TV.





My dog. My gecko. My Xbox one. Football. Family. Friends.


The man in the water.

I jump out of the boat to help the other man in the water to move the boat.





I’d take a picture of my family, phone, charger, books, money.





I would take: a blanket, a picture of my family and friends, money, hone, clothes, my dogs, note book, pillow, nana and papa.


I can’t take my dogs because they are too big to fit in a suitcase. I can’t take all my special memories that have happened over all the years. I can’t take my room where I have had the best of friends in, or the friends that I have made.




I have been pulling this heavy boat full of bad memories through the rushing water for 1 day. All I can remember is the sounds of shooting and the smell of burning rubber. This memory will always come back to me for as long as I live.




What’s in your bag?

Pictures! My dogs! My tortoise!


She can’t take the memories

Or any of her friends.

She can’t take her animals

Or any of the laughs.


My family tears in the water just drifting away. The hate, the love, the fear all just GONE.





I would take my phone

I would take my money

I would take my phone charger

I would take my food

I would take my small pet

I would take my water.


I can’t take my dog

I can’t take my cat

I can’t take my makeup

I can’t take my friends

I can’t take my mum and dad

I can’t take my bed

I can’t take my TV

I can’t take my big teddy

I can’t take my brother




All I can feel is the cold air, the sadness of leaving my home, leaving my family, leaving my friends, leaving my old life behind and starting a new life somewhere else.




My dogs Floyd, Fifi. Phone/phone charger. Family photos. Trainers.


I can’t take my memories from my town. The street I grew up on.


The water I am standing in is freezing me. I am looking back on the memories of my broken home.






If I only had 5 mins to pack I would take: iPad, iPad charger, family/friend’s pictures, my dog, makeup, money, food, teddy/pillow, clothes.





Phone, iPad, charger, pillow, Wi-Fi, blow up bed, clothes, money, food, portable charger.

Things you can’t take: house, furniture, bed, family, telly, pets.





It’s so cold why are they just standing there help me.





Eve. Eve’s heat lamp. Phone. Charger. PS3. PS3 plugs. Small TV. Headphones. PS3 games. Water bottle. Notebooks. Pen. Camera. Sleeping bag. Family photos.


I can’t take my console or TV.

I can’t take my notebook or pen.

But I must take eve (bearded dragon).

And his heat lamp to keep him alive.

She will keep me happy.


I am seeing this situation unfold. It’s scary, we’re going to be left behind. I wish I could go home where the grass is green and the flowers grow. I have got a drink left in my suitcase.





I would take my dogs (Finn and Mack) and phone, photos of my family friends etc.

Things I couldn’t take: house full of memories, family and friends, bed.


I wish I was at home. I can start to feel my legs slowing, giving up, but I know I must go on. Not just for me but the other people on the boat, trying to help the children on the boat get to a better future, better life. All the things I have left I don’t want to go on…





I would take my dog Midge, money, strawberry laces, iPad, pillow and blanket, onesie.


Can’t take:

Family and friends, pets, smell of home, sound of my dad’s guitar playing.





I will put in my phone and its charger. Also I will bring my laptop, charger and Wi-Fi, also I would take my tablet and its charger. Also my teddy bear that I had when I was 1 year old.


I feel sad because I left my home country also I feel cold because I fell into the water. I feel happy and sad because there was a was but I left my family.





I can’t take my dogs or my PS4 or even my house. I can’t take my memories from the house.





Long and tiring. I am sad and depressed.





Photographs of my family/friends, my pet, phone, food, teddy.





The water, the cold cold water.

I wish I was in the boat.

Or at home or on the couch in front of the telly with my family.

I wish.

I wish I wasn’t here, anywhere but here.

In the park, in the shop, at home.

I wish.

The taste of salt wasn’t from the sea

But it was salt on my fish and chips.

I wish.



To pack in suitcase:

Notepad, pens, pencils, teddy, my favourite book, camera, photos, dog, my necklace from granny, nomination.

Not pack in suitcase:

She can’t take her cosy bed

She can’t take the noise of the birds in the morning.

Nor the memories that have been made in the house or the make set on her desk.

She can’t take the feeling of love in her house.





Buddy my dog, Jace my cat, my phone, water, food, my blankey/cover, money, clothes.


Make up, TV, my family, my friends, my siblings, my toys, my flowers (in my garden).


This boat is so wobbly I wish I could just go home. Why am I even here? I miss my family!





People are shoving, the waves crash against the boat. Land is in sight and our new life will begin and no one can wait. No one can wait, no one can wait for the new life.





A picture of your whole family, money/phone, jumper, clean clothes, a pillow, dog, something my mum and dad gave me.


She can’t take in her suitcase, the smell of a blown-out candle, my bed, my brother, my tenor drum, I can’t take the school and all my friends.





I miss my whole family, I miss my warm comfy bed, why does this have to happen to me. All I can remember is shouting and arguing and the smell of burnt out houses, my bed wasn’t like a normal bed but its where I felt safe, safe away from all this disaster.





I would take a picture of my family, money, phone, teddy, blanket, spare pair of clothes, notebook.


She can’t take real people, the smell of coffee, her bed, my keyboard, my memories that have been made in my house, I can’t take my friends, I can’t take my bike.


I miss my family loads and loads but I know that this is what I should do. I need to help these people in need and bring them to safety. Just keep going. Don’t give up. I can do it.





He can’t take:

Rest of farm toys, Xbox and games, his home.


I miss the farm lands and the open fields, the visits to see my little brother in the grave yard, my friend, my grandparents, they will miss me and I will miss them.




I would take a photograph of my friends and family. I would take my pet dog Ruby. I would take a selection of my favourite foods. I would take my phone.


She can’t take her house, which is full of all her things.


As I chucked my coat overboard I stopped to think about my family back at home and whether I would see them again. Also I was terrified of whether I was going to be excepted into this country and how crammed in we all were.





Can bring:

iPad, phone, iPad charger, phone charger, clean clothes, warm covers, food, juice, cups, cutlery, plates, photos of family and friends, books, shower gel, shampoos, body wash, piece of paper, pens/pencils/both.


Can’t bring:

Shower/bath, TV, Wii u, Wii u game pad, people, you, kitchen, toilet, friends, sink, family, sofa, chairs, arm chairs, scooter, ladder, parents, bed, bed frame, mattresses, pillows, duvet, pillow case, boiler, duvet case, chocolate, lamps, DVDs, living room TV, pancakes, friend’s pets, open sheets.





Phone, food, teddy, phone charger and pillow, clothes, notebook, money, pencil.

Pictures of family, blanket, clothes, food/water, money, pet, notebook.


He can’t take the pet. He can’t take the smells of the house candles. He can’t take the school and his fiend. He can’t take his room and all the smells and colours. He can’t take his personality. He can’t take him.





Boy throwing coat.

Remembering all the thoughts from home makes me sad. All the voices, I have ti change my accent. All the laughter and fun, I will change and make a new home. Hopefully, I will be safe here in my new home. In my new life.





Xbox and games and TV, phone, my bed, toy story, book, my girlfriend, photographs.




I would take my white blanket, and my teddy that I’ve had since I was little (my grandma gave it to me) and my football kit. And a book (my favourite book).


I can’t take my bed because it’s too big but I wish I could. I can’t take my wardrobe, and my parents.


Seeing places that you’ve never seen or been to, finding out interesting or historical places.





I would take my phone, charger, earphones, family photo, teddy (when I was baby), football strip, make up.


Can’t take… my bed, TV, cat, siblings, some memories.