New Media Writing Prize at the British Library

On July 18th NMWP Organiser Jim Pope chaired the wonderful Digital Conversations event, hosted by the Digital Humanities team at the British Library.

It was a lovely evening, with four NMWP stars speaking about their work past, present  and future. We were all wowed by Andy Campbell, Christine Wilks, Amira Hanafi, and Kayt Lackie. What we learned is that technology combined with creativity and passion will lead to remarkable innovation:

NMWP partner Andy Campbell has a truly amazing digital CV. He showed us his latest work with Virtual Reality. In Andy’s hands, Virtual Reality is going to be the powerful storytelling platform it has promised to be for a long time, but has not yet manifested in the mainstream. Andy’s work shows the huge potential for the form.

Christine Wilks won our very first New Media Writing Prize in 2010, and she continues to tred a unique path with her game-like and poetic digital stories; currently, she is designing her own game engine (yes, really!) because she is not satisfied with the possibilities of the existing game mechanics.

Amira’s work in very challenging environments is an inspiration, and her NMWP18 winner, A Dictionary of the Revolution, is a fine example of how digital technology can bring new voices to the stories we might not otherwise hear.

if:book UK director and sponsor Chris Meade introduced Kayt Lackie, whose innovative digital town project won the 2018 Dot Award. Kayt’s work in Elliot Lake, Canada, is a lesson in community spirit, determination, and artistic nous – we heard how her virtual town project has been beset with pretty huge disasters (e.g the collapse of the roof of the project headquarters),¬† but how the artist’s drive will get the piece completed.

All in all, the audience was clearly hugely engaged, and the Q and A showed how much our speakers had affected people’s thinking. ‘New’ media do things that ‘old’ media cannot, but the key thread in all the presentations was the artistic vision and skills, to do something new and something important.

We at the NMWP are hugely grateful to Stella Wisdom and the BL for putting this event on. Brilliant.

If you weren’t there, you can find out about the work of these top writer/artists by going to their webpsaces:

Andy Campbell

Christine Wilks

Amira Hanafi

Kayt Lackie