Past Peaky Writing Weekends

A short history

In 2001, 20-ish enthusiastic members of the uk-freeforms mailing list met over a weekend (Friday to Sunday) to write a freeform. Or more accurately, three freeforms.

The first time we met, it was a challenge to see if was actually possible to write playable freeforms in a weekend. And we surprised ourselves - the first was ready by Saturday evening. So we played that then - and still played the two on Sunday.

The first was so successful that the weekends are now an annual event. Peaky has spawned an American lovechild, Peaky Midwest who run their own freeform-writing weekends (even though they call them 'theatre-style live action roleplaying games').

April 2017, Appleby Magna

Peaky 2017 was held on the weekend of the 21th/23th April 2017 - another very big year, with 33 writers

  • It's Everybody's War written by Michaela Aschan, Natalie Curd, Kevin Jacklin, Heidi Kaye, Sue Lee and Alison Rider Hill; making a wartime propaganda film in a 1940s Leicestershire village, for 16 players.
  • Luck Be A Lady (working title) written by Theo Clarke, Buster Jangles, Karim Kronfli, Tym Norris, Mike Snowden and Traci Whitehead; 1950s Las Vegas, "Come for the show, stay for the mushroom cloud", for 12 players.
  • Second Watch written by James Bloodworth, Steve Hatherley, Alli Mawhinney, Ric Mawhinney and Laura Wood. Suspense in the far future aboard a space tug, for 10 players.
  • The Root of All Evil written by Graham Arnold, Nick Hollingsworth, Elyssia Keeryn, Lynn Oddy and Petter Olsen, Pressures of money and blood, for 12 players.
  • The Apocalypse Agenda written by Emory Cunnington, Anne De Vries, Max De Vries, Martin Jones and Tony Mitton, Torchwood meets Laundry Files meets Warehouse 13, for 12 players.
  • Mean Street written by Nickey Barnard, Nick Curd, Philippa Dall, Clare Gardner, Megan Jones, Max Powell. Inspired by Dollhouse and set in the future. Come and play in the mean streets of 1920s New York. For 12 players.

April 2016, Chicago, Illinois Peaky Midwest - the fourth international Peaky

  • The Beacon written by Diana Glewwe, Clint Koglin, Robert Peck, and Tara Zuber; A starship crew responds to a distress beacon. Requires 6 players of any gender.
  • Grandma's Resting Place written by Quinn D., Kathleen De Smet, Katie Giacomini, Eva Schiffer, and Gaylord Tang; A story of remembrance in the immediate wake of a beloved Grandmother's death. Requires 1 female player and 5 players of any gender.
  • The Night of Chekov's Gun written by Marc B., Amanda Brown, Doug Freedman, Gail Freedman, and Mark Slattery; Real historical figures meet the Wild Wild West in a star studded train ride. Requires 6 female and 6 male players.
  • Play Date written by Stephanie Marx, Drew Novick, Mags Simkins, and Susan Weiner. A group of children and their imaginary friends get together for a play date: A game about how children deal with difficult issues. Requires 10 players of any gender.
  • A Retreat to Remember written by Jaime Frey, Lelah Frey, and Philip Kelley. A boat with 7 passengers arrives at a mysterious island with no memory of why they're there or even who they are. Requires 7 players of any gender.

April 2016, Appleby Magna

Peaky 2016 was held on the weekend of the 22th/24th April 2015

  • Ex Nihilo written by Theo Clarke, Steve Hatherley, Tony Mitton, Tym Norris, Mike Snowden and Karolina Soltys
  • Miss Maypole and the Case of the Wretched Admiral written by Graham Arnold, Nickey Barnard, Natalie Curd, Clare Gardner, Abi Kirby, Sue Lee
  • The Scottish Murder written by Simon Clark, Nick Curd, Elyssia Kerryn, Charlie Paull, Janet Young
  • Trenches written by Ben Allen, Alli Mawhinney, Ric Mawhinney, Rich Perry
  • Bombshells at the Crooked Billet written by Graham Charles, Alison Rider Hill, Heather Law, Michele Minnett, Daniel Taylor
  • And more work was done on Romanes Eunt Domus - Romans Go Home! by Philippa Dall, Helen Jones, and Heidi Kaye. I, Claudius in Britain for 38 players.

May 2015, Chicago, Illinois Peaky Midwest - the third international Peaky

  • Goldilocks, Frocks and Two Stinking Barrels written by Marc B., Suey, Anita Szostak, and Jim Silverstein; Guy Ritchie meets fairy tales. 14 players.
  • Spring Thaw written by Alan De Smet, Gail Freedman, Philip Kelley, Jill Krynicki Dutcher, Drew Novick, and Eva Schiffer; A small town in Utah greets the first train after a hard winter. 11 players.
  • The Vindicators: Survived by… written by Dave Cave, Jon Cole, Keith Darron, and Tara Zuber; The mundane children of superheroes cope with the fallout from their parents’ deaths. 10 players.
  • Emotional Baggage written by Quinn D., Steve Vig, and Susan Weiner. High emotion hostage situation on a commercial airline. 7 players.

April 2015, Appleby Magna

Peaky 2015 was held on the weekend of the 24th/26th April 2015

  • The Saga of the Lost written by Nick Curd, Alex Jones, Alli Mawhinney, Tony Mitton, Mike Snowden and Traci Whitehead. A Viking freeform for 12 players.
  • Burning Orchid written by Ben Allen, Nickey Barnard, Martin Jones, Heidi Kaye and Alison Rider Hill. Steaming passion in the jungle at the wrap party for a 1932 Hollywood movie, for 10 players.
  • Love Letters written by Natalie Curd, Roger Gammans, Elyssia Keeryn and Rich Perry. Romance in WW2 Britain for 10 players.
  • Mars Attracts written by Graham Arnold, Kath Banks, Graham Charles, Steve Hatherley and Mo Holkar.
  • The Annual Assizes at Anchori'is written by Su Jolly, Heather Law, Michele Minnett, Tym Norris and Daniel Taylor.
  • Yes, I see Wonderful Things written by Phillipa Dall, Jerry Elsmore, Sue Lee, Anthony Winter, Jane Winter. An evening reception, where the main topic of conversation is where Tutankhamun’s exhibition will rest for the 50th anniversary of the opening of the tomb. (unfinished)

July 2014, Madison, Wisconsin Peaky Midwest - the second international Peaky

  • Better Living Through Robotics written by Elizabeth Fein, Eva Schiffer, Jaime Frey, Kathleen De Smet and Keith A Darron. A 1950s retrofuture take on a post-apocalyptic world with subservient robots for 10 players.
  • H.P. Wodehouse (working title) written by Aaron Pavao, Alan De Smet, Dave Cave, Paul Hinic and Seth Mulhall. The world of PG Wodehouse meets HP Lovecraft; a comic romp at a golf tournament for 14 players.
  • Critical Path written by Amanda Brown, Brandon Brylawski, Doug Freedman, James Silverstein and Jill Krynicki Dutcher for 9 players.
  • Two Hours To Curtain (working title) written by Anita Szostak, Gail Freedman, Quinn D, Sarah Porter and Steve Vig for 10 players.

April 2014, Appleby Magna

Peaky 2014 was held on the weekend of the 25th/27th April 2014

  • Romanes Eunt Domus - Romans Go Home! written by Philippa Dall, Helen Jones, Heidi Kaye, Heather Law and Daniel Taylor. I, Claudius in Britain for 38 players.
  • The Truth - And Nothing But the Truth written by Jerry Elsmore and Steve Hatherley. For 30 players.
  • 4 written by Graham Charles, Nick Curd, Natalie Curd, Tony Mitton. For 8 players.
  • Preserving the Village written by Graham Arnold, Andrea Civiera, Mo Holkar, Sue Lee, Michele Minett and Alison Rider-Hill. A character-driven freeform for 32 players.
  • The Dying of the Light written by Nickey Barnard, Richard Evans, Rachael Hodson, Alli Mawhinney, Tym Norris and Mike Snowden. Set a hundred years in the future when corporations have taken over from governments, resources are becoming scarce and environmental disasters are rife. How will we save the world? A cyberpunk game for 24 players.
  • Waking Up Patients who have just emerged from cryogenic freezing. Written by Jenny Dunn, Andy Hawkins, Elyssia McCormick, Rich Perry and CJ Romer. For 10 players.

This year, we had another large turnout, including lots of people new to Peaky. Two groups embarked on writing larger traditional-styled freeforms by using the weekend to get started, without intending to run them on Sunday, and then continue working on them after Peaky Weekend. We also had two groups working on more experimental larger games - one developing methods to enable players to help create their own characters and plots for a large game and the other creating a large but short and lighter game suited for people who've never played freeforms before. Finally, we had two groups writing and running smaller games. It was a fabulous, varied and very creative weekend!

What a Peaky Weekend Looks Like: Steve's notes on 2014.

April 2013, Appleby Magna

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May 2012, Madison, Wisconsin Peaky Midwest - Peaky goes International!!

This was the first event outside the UK, held in Madison Wisconsin. 3 groups formulated in Mag's house, and 3 games were created. It was agreed that this was definitely Peaky Midwest #1 and we look forwards to many more.

  • IRL written by Alan De Smet, Gail Freedman, Aaron Pavao, Sarah Pavao, Jim Silverstein, Cyberpunk Preapocalyptic for 8-9 Players
  • A Turn on the Radiance Rose written by Steve Vig, Eva Schiffer, Kristen Pierson, Sue Lee, Doug Freedman 1920s seance in a train car, for 10 players.
  • Larpers Anonymous written by Drew Novick, Margaret Simkins, Dave Cave, Mike Reed for 10 players. Slot zero at a LARP convention

April 2012, Appleby Magna

  • Hope Springs Eternal written by Nickey Barnard, Sue Jolly, Helen Jones, Tym Norris and Traci Whitehead for 9 players. The 1952 Christmas Party at Hope Brothers department store.
  • The Order written by Kath Banks, Roger Gammans, Heidi Kaye, Sue Lee, Alison Rider-Hill and Mark Steadman. A 1930s Pulp game for 12 players.
  • Small Town Folks written by Tracey Bose, Rob Harris, Mo Holkar, Tony Mitton, Mike Snowden and Cat Tobin for 12 players.
  • Sword Day by Mike Cule, Nick Curd, Adrienne Gammons, John Kammer and Charlie Paull for 10 players.
  • Trick or Treat written by Graham Arnold, Philippa Dall, Steve Hatherley and Clare Gardner. A Halloween party for 23 players aged 8 and up.

May 2011, Appleby Magna

  • Once Upon a Lily Pad written by Adrienne Gammons, John Kammar, Heidi Kaye, and Traci Whitehead. Fairy tale fun in the land of the Frog King. For 11 players.
  • Pirate Party written by Philippa Dall, Jerry Elsmore, Steve Hatherley, Tony Mitton. You're invited to a children's pirate birthday party. For 22 players. Bring your own cake and jelly.
  • Come Hel or Hiawatha written by Nickey Barnard, Tym Norris, Mike Snowden and Janet Young. Native Americans and Vikings. For 12 players.
  • The Accused written by Graham Arnold, Tracy Bose, Mo Holkar, Sue Lee and Cat Tobin. For 10 players.
  • The Deliverance written by Clare Gardiner, Martin Jones, Richard Perry and Ali Mawhinny. For 9 players.
  • One Night in Devon written by Roger Gammans, Su Jolly, Mike Grace and Mark Steedman.For 9 players.

May 2010, Appleby Magna

The largest attendance at Peaky to date (33 people) and we had to split the games into two different streams. Steve has posted some thoughts here.

March 2009, Appleby Magna

  • The Marshenge Project written by Jenny Anderson, Kath Banks, Philippa Dall, Martin Ellis, Rachel England, Roger Gammans, Hanbury Hampden Turner, Steve Hatherley, Su Jolly, Heidi Kaye, Tony Mitton and Janet Young. A government conference at a Norfolk country house during World War Two for 22 players.
  • Veterans Day written by Clare Gardiner, Mike Grace, Alex Helm, Martin Jones, Adrian Smith and Mike Snowden. A futuristic superheroes game.
  • Victoria Junction All Change Please!! written by Nickey Barnard, Jerry Elsmore, Alex Jones, Sue Lee, Tym Norris and Mark Steedman. A "horde" game set in a Victorian railway station and hotel

April 2008, Appleby Magna

  • Squaring the Circle written by Graham Arnold, Jon Freeman, Steve Hatherley, Tym Norris, Alex Helm, Karen Banfield and Su Jolly. Dark goings on in Dartmoor for 17 players.
  • For Your Spies Only written by Helen Jones, Nickey Barnard, Mike Grace, Mark Booth, and …
  • Hotel Apollo Sigma written by Philippa Dall, Heidi Kaye, Michele Minett, Roger Gammans and Mark Steedman.

At the same Sue, Tony, Janet, Mike & Jerry started work on "How to Write and Run a Weekend Freeform" - a work in progress.

June 2007, Appleby Magna

  • Starboard Home written by Steve Hatherley, Heidi Kaye, Tony Mitton and Donald Oddy. An experimental game set on the SS Star of Bengal in 1926, just leaving India. For 11 players.
  • Best of the Wurst written by Nickey Barnard, Martin Jones, Mike Snowden and Julie Winnard. Inspired by Allo Allo - for 9 players.
  • Diamond Geezers written by Graham Arnold, Clare Gardiner, Sue Lee and Tym Norris. British gangsters - a sort of cross between The Italian Job and Reservoir Dogs.

February 2006, Appleby Magna

  • Under Pressure written by Graham and others. Strange goings-on deep under the ocean.
  • Daze of Empire written by Helen, Tony and others. The British civil service rules the world!
  • Romance and Respectability written by Sue, Nickey, Steve, Donald, Phillippa and Julie. The side of Railways and Responsibility that we didn't get to write in 2004.

January 2005, Granary Court, Ashbourne, Derbyshire

  • The Village written by Tony, Graham and others. Horror.
  • An Ecumenical Matter written by Nickey Barnard, Matt Bull, Philippa Dall, Mike Grace and Steve Hatherley. Irish priests and nuns - what could go wrong?
  • Hearts and Minds written by ??? Newspaper barons in a midlands town.

January 2004, Appleby Magna

November 2002, Edale

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  • The Ticking Dog written by Sue, Mik, Chris, Nickey, Phillippal, Mark, Steve and Hanbury. Time-travel game set in Lancashire.
  • Murder on the Transylvanian Express written by Tony, Donald, Jerry (and others). Does what it says on the tin.
  • SS Telford written by Mike, Dream, Mike and others. Genetic engineering aboard a luxury yacht.

November 2001, Edale

  • The Rosie Lee written by Phillipa, Sue, Tym, AJ, Brian, Hanbury and Mike. Mysterious goings on aboard a tea clipper becalmed in the Indian Ocean.
  • Carry on at Camp David written by Liz, Janet, Russell, Steve, Donald and Mike. 1960s paranoia, diplomacy and presidential nonsense at Camp David.
  • The Whitest Link written by Graham, Nickey, Chris, Dennis, Jerry, Nathan and Gareth. Set in Hell, the freeform of sins and broken comandments - and soul trading.
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