Love Letters to the Home Office
Love Letters to the Home Office is a book of short stories written by people who are separated by the UK's 2012 Family Visa Law.
The law, with its artificially high financial requirement, means that people in the UK who earn less than £18,600 per year have different human rights to the rest of the UK population: these people do not have the right to live with their wives, husbands, partners and families from overseas (a right granted to all of us in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights). While the rule is still in place, thousands of families are separated, unable to live together. We are documenting the extraordinary love stories of these separated families, and tell the stories of love that crosses borders, oceans and seas.
Are you affected by the law?
Are you, or have you been, separated from your loved one(s)?
Would you like to take part in this book?
Love Letters to the Home Office is a collection of stories of love: of extraordinary moments in extraordinary relationships. Please consider that more than one person in your family may want to submit a story.
For many people featured in the book, English won't be your first language. Don't worry about that at all. Just send us what you can, and if we need to, we will put you in touch with a ghost writer who will work with you to perfect your story.
We are currently looking for stories of the following lengths:
* 500 words
* 250 words
* Paragraphs - little moments anywhere between 40 and 100 words long
You won't have enough room to write your whole family or relationship history in the story. Please focus on the moment or event that you want to share with us, and let the other details (which country your family member is living in, or how long you have been married, etc) be included as they naturally come up as you tell us the love story.
If you are stuck, and you don't know what to write about, these prompts may be useful to you:
- how does it feel when you see them at the airport?
- tell us the creative ways you celebrate your anniversaries while you are apart
- how their face lights up when they see you on Skype...
- the places that you have travelled to in order to see each other
- how it feels to simply drink a coffee together, or cook together, at last!
Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include a phone number that we can contact you on, to talk to you about your story.
The closing date for submissions is 8th March 2014, and we encourage you to send yours as soon as possible for the best chance of being included in the book.
We look forward to hearing from you!
We encourage you to write a short story that focuses on beautiful moments that you and your loved one(s) share. You don't need to write about the unfairness of the law: that is crystal clear in the context of the book being published, and we are much more interested in hearing your love story. The same is true of the Home Office: most of us who have gone through the visa application process have experience of the system not having integrity and not working. You don't need to write about this, unless it gives specific context to your love story. Word counts are very limited, so don't waste yours on anger - tell us your extraordinary tales of love!