Registration now open!

(Schedule posted soon)

2024 NMWP Annual Unconference

14-15 May 2024 – 100% Virtual (Zoom)

You are cordially invited to our second annual New Media Writing Prize Unconference. This two-day creative and critical participant-directed Unconference is hosted by Bournemouth University (UK) in partnership with the Electronic Literature Organization and the British Library. The Unconference will culminate in the awards evening for the New Media Writing Prize on 15 May 2024.

Unconference Theme: Inclusivity

Tech and literature have often been realms of exclusivity, in terms of access, literacy, language, quality, culture, economics, and more. How can we open our realm, new media writing and electronic literature, so that it reverses this trend? How do we break down gatekeeping barriers, and actively embrace and encourage all people, approaches, cultures, abilities, and viewpoints?

How It'll Work

The Unconference will focus not on standard conference presentations, but on an “unconferencing” approach in which all attendees/participants discuss and agree on the agenda leading up to the event. We have only one hard and fast rule based on preceding unconference experiences: no single-presenter presentations longer than 7 minutes (the length of a pecha kucha). This includes artists’ talks.

The Unconference will have two types of participants:

  • Contributors who will contribute work, workshops, activities, events, or other elements to the Unconference. Contributors will be selected from submissions (more below), and will be named in the Unconference documentation. Think of Contributors as the equivalent of "presenting a paper" at a conference.
  • Participants who will take part in the activities and events. There is no need to submit a proposal to be a Participant. Think of Participants as conference-goers who attend talks and panels, but do not give their own.

Contributors will determine the documentation for the symposium by submitting their academic requirements for publication and by voting. A section of the NMWP website is devoted to the Unconference, where works and schedules can be accessed. Where possible and permissible, sessions will be recorded, and the recordings made available on NMWP’s YouTube channel; this applies to elements like panel or roundtable discussions of good practice and presentations of works. Recordings will follow all privacy and accessibility best management practices.

Participants will not be merely attendees! The Unconference elements are intended to be workshops, roundtables, hack-a-thons, activist events, and other participatory sessions. We aim to have Participants create works and contribute to discussions; you just won't have the responsibility of designing/hosting/managing elements. This is a great option for students new to digital literature, or folks who just want to play!

As this is not the main ELO conference, contributors will not be limited in the amount of activities they can present. Our aim is to have all attendees participate in every session. If a particular session is larger in attendance than anticipated, we will use breakout rooms to run activities in smaller groups in parallel.


We are aiming to keep costs low, since the event is fully digital and supported by institutions with relevant structures (e.g., Zoom). Fees are intended to contribute to maintenance of the NMWP website, hosting video archives of the event, creating a web gallery of works, as well as accessibility technology expenses (primarily live captioning and extended functionalities on Zoom). As an ELO-sponsored event, membership fees will also be required for participants and attendees (good for the entire year!)

  • ELO membership fee at approved membership levels (all participants): US$50 for faculty; US$25 for students/artists/precarious


  • Contributor (named and listed in program): US$90 for salaried academics and professionals; US$60 for students/precariously employed professionals; OR
  • Participant: US$30

Any fees collected in excess of Unconference costs will contribute to the New Media Writing Prize: Social Good category.

Unconference fee bursaries are available in exchange for assistance with unconference tasks.

Unconference Noncommittee

The following folks came up with these shenanigans, and will be at least partially responsible for the chaos that ensues:

  • Symposium/Academic Chair: R. Lyle Skains
  • Artistic Chair and Accessibility Coordinator: Deena Larsen
  • Tech Chair: Ken Alba

The Unconference Noncommittee are committed to the ELO Code of Conduct, and will conduct all activities in alignment with these values.