The Annus Horribilis Project

Annus Horribilis is an ongoing literary project which aims to collect true "worst day" stories from people all over the world. The culmination of the project is to be the publication of a book containing the best three-hundred and sixty-five stories. Although a unique undertaking in its own right, Annus Horribilis has something in common with the creative tradition begun by people like Dave Gorman insofar as the actual "process" of collecting different elements under a common theme and relaying them back to the public in a humorous way is just as much a part of the project as the end result.


The "Chelmsford Weekly News" reported in March 2007 that over two-hundred people had at that point contributed to the project, with entries being sent from "all parts of the English-speaking world, including America and Australia."Chelmsford Weekly News, 15th March, 2007.]

According to information previously released in myspace bulletins, the Annus Horribilis profile is viewed over a hundred times daily and receives submissions at an average rate of five per day.

"The Edge" magazine has begun a monthly feature on the project, reporting its progress and printing a different worst day each issue. It quotes Stephen Moles, the creator of Annus Horribilis, as saying that "people clearly have a lot to get off their chests."The Edge, May Issue, 2007.] This explains a large part of its appeal: it is not only fun, but a cathartic process for everyone who participates.


When it first began in late 2006, the Annus Horribilis Project was promoted through various public events in the south of England which involved people dressed as beaten-up leprechauns miming worst days and distributing leaflets. Most of the subsequent promotion has been online. The primary point of reference for the project is a myspace profile [ [ (] ] which puts some of the best worst days on show as blog entries.

The Book

The book containing the best three-hundred and sixty-five stories will be arranged to resemble a diary with each story assigned to a different day of the year. Since each account is written as a first person narrative, the book should read from start to finish like a diary written by one single person.The submissions exhibited thus far are largely comical, detailing instances of embarrassment, inconvenience or physical pain. The book is likely to have exactly the same feel, but with "some drama for good measure."No date has yet been given for publication. (NB: this project is not related to the Annus Horribilis bookcite web
url= Annus Horribilis: A Chronicle of Comic Mishaps: Books: Sam Jordison
] by Sam Jordison)

The Creator

Annus Horribilis was created by the artist Stephen Moles who first made a name for himself with his controversial performance poetry. He is best known as a published writer, but his artistic activity also extends to acting, directing (film and theatre) and performing live music. Annus Horribilis can be seen as a natural development of his previous work, all of which is characterised by a dark sense of humour and a love of experimentation. A mission statement of sorts on his website describes his art as "tragicomic" in nature. [, 4.]


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