NMWP on the road!

New Media Writing Prize on the road

As part of our tenth anniversary celebrations we have been taking the nmwp on the road.



In February, if:book UK boss, Chris Meade,  and event organiser, Jim Pope, spoke about the nmwp at the wonderful Confluence event at Google’s Academy, London. The event was hosted by Byte the Bookand brought together digital storytellers of all shapes and sizes.  Chris and Jim looked at the ways in which technology might be influencing the kinds of digital stories nmwp entrants are making, and wondered what the future might hold for digital interactive ‘writing’. Whereas the arrival of the digital tablet seemed to open a big door for digital stories back in 2010 when the competition began, the nmwp has not seen a corresponding wave of app-based work – the internet browser is, after nearly 10 years, still the main platform the avant garde, experimental, and individual pieces the competition seems to attract. Chris and Jim also noted that conventional publishers have had a look at digital-born narrative, and turned around! The great bulk of entries the nmwp has received from around the world over the past nine years, are from solo artists, small collectives, or embryonic digital publishing houses. Corporates have not really embraced digital-born storytelling, instead focussing their efforts upon e-books and audio-books.

Speakers at Confluence

The British Library

Last week, Chris and Jim were at the British Library speaking to an audience of BL staff. Organised by Stella Wisdom, digital curator at the BL, the talk covered a brief history of digital literature, from Michael Joyce’s influential afternoon, a story, right through to the latest nmwp winner, Amira Hanafi’s Dictionary of the Revolution. It was noted that at the heart of all the forms of digital writing, the ‘classic’ cornerstones are still needed  – great words, great characters, great stories, great plots. Of course, in the digital environment, images, sounds, and interactivity are all key, but the ‘message’ has to be strong, no matter what the vehicle. Finally, Chris and Jim acknowledged how much poetry and games are now part of this fascinating world: we are seeing innovative poetic forms from writers such as Davd Devanny, Christine Wilks and Jason nelson, and ‘narrative-aware’ games from the likes of Serge Bouchardon and Cassie McQuater.

A Dictionary of the Revolutionby Amira Hanafi

Keep an eye out for more nmwp 10th events! (Hint: July 18th at the British Library, Andy Campbell, Christine Wilks, Amira Hanafi, and Kayt Lackie will be speaking about their amazing work)