Poole Literary Festival New Media Prize – deadline 15 September 2010


Poole Literary Festival is delighted to announce their partnership with The Media School at Bournemouth University to establish a Prize for New Media Writing. The prize will allow writers working with New Media to showcase their skills, provoke discussion and raise awareness of new media writing and the future of the written word. The competition is now open for entries. The deadline for entries to reach us is Midday, 15th September 2010. Click here for information on how to enter and here to see who is on the judging panel.
Michael Bhaskar, a member of the judging panel, said: “This award is breaking genuinely new ground in looking at how digital technology is transforming written communication. As the first award of its kind globally it will be a landmark in the increasingly exciting arena of new media writing and I am thrilled to be involved.”

What it is:
Storytelling, whether fiction or non-fiction, written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, on the web, or via mobile phone.
Could be thought of as a short story, a novel, a documentary, or poetry.
However, ‘writing’ and ‘literature’ in the digital age now can include words, images, film, animation, and interactivity for the audience.
New media writing can be created using any equipment you wish, from a word processor, to a DV camera; you can shoot photos on your mobile phone, or scan objects on you desktop scanner – anything goes, as long as you have an engaging story to tell (or poetry to express).
You can tell your story by combining any number of media elements, e.g. words on a screen combined with images and video clips.

What it isn’t:
A story/poem written for print which you upload to a webpage or place on a CDROM.
Simply screens of words uploaded to your blog.
Simply a slide show of photos uploaded to Flickr.
Simply a video uploaded to YouTube.

What do we mean by ‘interactivity for the audience’?

Typically new media writing exploits the potential of the web, and so offers the reader/viewer of the narrative a range of ‘activity’ beyond simply reading text or watching film.
For example, a viewer might need to click the mouse on a word or image on screen to activate the next sequence of text, or to link them to the next ‘chapter’.
In some cases, interactivity might involve the reader/viewer in making choices about how the story progresses (remember those ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books).
There might be game-like elements, e.g. answer a question before the next episode or chapter is activated.
There might be a choice of themes for the reader/viewer to explore, rather than follow the conventional chapter 1,2.3,4 pattern.
Some new media narratives allow readers/viewers to follow characters, again rather than the usual chapter structure.
It’s up to you to use new media inventively to build your narrative; and it’s up to you to include interactivity engagingly for the reader/viewer.

What do we want when you enter the New Media Writing Competition?
Your work must be a complete story, i.e. have a discernible beginning middle and end; or be a complete poem or collection of poems, i.e have a title/s and clearly defined textual and visual boundaries.
It must be clearly your own work. If we can’t work out where your piece ends and someone else’s work begins we may have to disqualify your entry..
It must use interactive elements for the reader/viewer, and these must be effective in telling your story or expressing your poetic ideas.
Make sure you supply us with an active link (URL) to your story or poem – your work must be online for us to be able to read/view it.
Make sure you are not breaking anyone’s copyright if you have sourced material from anywhere other than your imagination, e.g. an image downloaded form Google. If we suspect copyright has been infringed we may have to disqualify your entry.
Our judging criteria:
Innovative use of new media to create an engaging, satisfying narrative, or poetry
Ease of accessibility for the reader/viewer
Effective use of interactive elements
Show us that new media can do things ‘old’ media can’t!