The winners of an international competition that celebrates and showcases digital storytelling were revealed at Bournemouth University (BU).
The New Media Writing Prize is an international competition for interactive literary work which is designed to be accessed through digital devices.
It attracted entries from as far afield as Australia and India, with the awards ceremony taking place at Bournemouth University.
The winners were:
High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese - by the High Muck a Muck Collective (Jin Zhang, Thomas Loh, Nicola Harwood, Bessie Wapp, Fred Wah)
Kindred – Shaun Hickman
People’s Prize (received over 3,000 votes from members of the public)
Recollections: 12 vignettes from Lashihai - two.5 (Viccy Adams and Samantha Silver)
Dot Award (for proposals to develop a piece)
J R Carpenter, for an interactive piece about wind and weather
This was the sixth year that the New Media Writing Prize has taken place, and organiser Dr Jim Pope said that the prize has grown and developed to encompass storytelling for smartphones and tablets.
Jim, who teaches on BA (Hons) English at BU, added: “It’s really important to give these writers a platform and try and expose the world a little bit to what’s going on, as I think it’s still really a niche area.
“Every year it’s very difficult to decide the winners because, in a way, by being such a broad church we make it hard for ourselves. We don’t have very many hard and fast rules apart from must be digital and must be interactive and so that does open the field out massively.
“The standard every year is amazing and it was certainly difficult for the judges to make their minds up, as always.”
Shaun Hickman won the Student Prize award for his work, Kindred, which combines text, video and interactive elements to tell a story inspired by the music of the band.
He created the work as the final project for his MA in Literary Media at BU and has won an internship with Bournemouth-based e-learning company Unicorn Training.
He said: “Winning was unexpected, but it’s great to know that some of the people whose work I admire in the field have seen value in my work and like it enough to award it the prize.
“The internship prize sounds like a great opportunity –I’m really keen to develop my digital skills and I think that’s going to be a useful experience.”
Shaun, who also studied BA (Hons) English at BU, said: “I did a unit on Digital Storytelling as part of my MA and found that it was something that I was passionate about and from a creative perspective it was really interesting to get involved with that and try something new.”
The awards ceremony featured talks by leading digital storytellers Kate Pullinger, Andy Campbell and Chris Joseph, who spoke about the industry and their work, as well as participating in a Q&A panel.
Chris said he was happy to show his support for the prize.
“I think the New Media Writing Prize is pretty much the only prize of its type in the UK, which is fantastic,” he said.
“It will really help promote digital writing and encourage more digital writers to create work.”