Commissions for digital writers

Three £5,000 commissions for digital writers launched by creative writing incubator

Tuesday, 9 July, 2019

Three £5,000 commissions for digital writers are launched by creative writing incubator, Paper Nations, and Kate Pullinger, Bath Spa University’s Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media and Director of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries.

The commissions were announced as part of Paper Nations’ 2019-21 Writing for All programme, which works to increase innovation and diversity. Beyond the Book and the overarching Writing for All programme were both launched at Bath Spa University’s MIX 2019, a conference focusing on experiential storytelling, on 1 July.

Digital writers with links to the upper South West region of Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire can apply for a commission to develop a digital writing piece or project. Three writers will be awarded a commission of up to £5,000 each, with winners announced in October.

The commission challenges writers to develop innovative models for writing and publication. Applications can be from solo writers or partnerships of writers and technologists. The commission asks applicants to be inventive; to use functions such as GPS and phone cameras. Stories must be mostly text-based, but should be innovative and experimental.

Beyond the Book has attracted the attention of publishers and writers alike, including Hachette Publishing’s Chief Innovation Officer and Director of the Innovation Program, Maja Thomas and Forward Prize highly commended writer, Louisa Adjoa Parker.

The selection panel is made up of Maja Thomas (Hachette Publishing’s Chief Innovation Officer and Director of the Innovation Program), Louisa Adjoa Parker (Writer and Immersion Fellow in the South West Creative Technology Network), Steve Hollyman (Programme Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University) and Andy Wood (Creative Technologist at Kaleider, Exeter). Kate Pullinger will chair the panel.

Maja said: “As both a book lover and digital enthusiast, I am excited to see how mobile technology and the writer’s imagination can create new and compelling experiences and advance the art of storytelling. Beyond the Book will bring fresh perspectives to this creative frontier.”

Commission winners will showcase their work to international audiences and also write features for The Writing Platform - a collaboration between Bath Spa University and Queensland Institute of Technology, which shares digital knowledge with writers.

Professor Kate Pullinger, who developed Beyond the Book, added: “Beyond the Book is providing a unique set of opportunities for writers to experiment with new forms of storytelling. What happens to text when you place it on a screen? Is the smartphone - always with us, always on - the perfect reading device? We are thrilled to offer these commissions, and can't wait to see the works produced by the winners!”

Professor Bambo Soyinka, Executive Development Producer of Paper Nations said: “Technology is changing the way we use, share and absorb information; it’s changing how we tell and read stories. At a time when young people are allegedly more interested in phones than books, story writing and sharing have to evolve beyond the confines of the traditional novel.” 

Edit section | Website feedback to