A Dictionary of the Revolution wins at the 2018 New Media Writing Prize awards

A Dictionary of the Revolution wins at the 2018 New Media Writing Prize awards

Egyptian digital writer Amira Hanafi has won the 2018 if:book UK New Media Writing Prize. The international awards event, which celebrates and showcases exciting and inventive digital stories across a range of formats, platforms and media, is in its ninth year and was held at Bournemouth University.

Event organiser, Jim Pope, said: “We’ve had entries from everywhere in the world. It’s really important to mention that we really are global and welcome work from everywhere.”

Jim Pope

A Dictionary of the Revolution by Cairo-based Amira, explored people’s words and definitions in the wake of the Arab Spring in Egypt.

Speaking by pre-recorded video, Amira said: “Thank you very much for recognising A Dictionary of the Revolution with the New Media Writing Prize. Thanks to the jury for selecting the work and recognising practitioners of digital literature, e-literature, new media writing and strengthening the field in general.

“The work is a series of 125 texts, over 200 people, talking about the language of the Egyptian revolution. My team and I recorded 200 hours of conversation; the material I worked with for a few years. I intended it to be a printed book, but as I worked to build an audio clip library, I started to realise that print was not the medium for this project because the narrative I put together was a complex and chaotic memory and non-linear narrative.”

Amira Hanafi

Guests, Stella Wisdom and Jerry Jenkins, opened the evening, speaking about how the British Library curates, preserves and exhibits all kinds of digital writing. The range and scale of the material the BL is collecting and displaying is quite remarkable. To see the presentation slides go to slideshare.

Stella Wisdom 

Brad Gyori and Mary Hogarth, judges and BU academics, took to the stage to announce the 2018 What’s New In Publishing Award to Lithuanian team Outriders, for TRACES: Traversing the Past, an online interactive documentary piece which examines the routes taken in the 1940s by Lithuanian deportees to Siberia.

Brad Gyori and Mary Hogarth

Team member Karolis Vyšniauskas, speaking by Skype from Vilnius, said: “The biggest challenge in creating this piece was the need for more time –  it’s very hard to edit down these interviews and interesting material, including when people don’t say a lot, but are ‘saying’ everything by this. It was a self-funded project, as it usually is with us, but somehow we pulled through.”

“In Lithuania, there is a problem where journalists tend to see new media projects not as a tool for storytelling, but a tool for new technology, and it should be the opposite. A journalists’ work continues – journalism is really, really necessary these days, and it’s good to see bright faces because sometimes you can feel alone in journalism, but you are not alone.”

A packed house at BU’s Allsebrook lecture theatre, hears the TRACES team talk about their winning piece.

Chris Meade, Director of if:book UK, awarded the 2018 if:book sponsored Dot award to The VESSEL project, by Canadian Kate Lackey.

Kate, speaking from Ontario, said: “The VESSEL project is a trans-media narrative and integrated alternate reality game set in the town of Elliot Lake in remote northern Ontario. This is a community arts initiative driven by a group of professional and amateur artists, writers, musicians, crafts people and visual media artists, who are collectively called the VESSEL trans-media storytelling lab. This is not-for-profit and its mandate is to investigate how media representation can progress community renewal.”

Kate Lackie explains her VESSEL project to if:book UK director Chris Meade

2017 Dot award winner, Lou Sarabadzic, also gave a brief talk on her NERDS project which looked at pop culture film names, like Into The Wild, and how these could influence content generators who shared their understanding through images.

Lou Sarabadzic and Chris Meade

Jackie Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer of Unicorn Training, awarded the 2018 Unicorn Training Student Prize to BU student Corrie Smith for Captain Geriatric, an interactive story which asks viewers to explore the fictional town of Dumpleton – home to ageing superhero, Captain Geriatric. The prize, open to anyone who is a student at the time of content creation, offers winners a three-month paid internship at the company’s HQ in Bournemouth.

Unicorn’s Jackie Kennedy with Corrie Smith

Corrie said: “Captain Geriatric is basically something I wanted as a kid, but didn’t have – interactive stories. I’m a kid at heart, so when I was back at school, I created a superhero, and people created all of these young and fit ones. But why can’t we have an old war veteran who’s come back to save the day?”

NMWP 10th anniversary events will be taking place throughout 2019. Keep visiting this website and our Facebook page.