Thursday 5th March 2015

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A book without borders: a hybrid of cinema, gaming, and text

Jessica McComish

BA English, Bournemouth University

In its fifth year, the New Media Writing Prize continues to recognise some of the best pieces of new media creativity. With its biggest shortlist ever and over 100 entries from all over the world, it’s clear that there is a great deal of interest surrounding this new form.

The big prize of the night went to Tender Claws (Samantha Gorman and Danny Cannizzaro) for their memory-bending app, “PRY”. The piece, built for the iPad, mixes together stunning visuals, text, sounds with interactive ways for the user to pinch, crunch, unfold, expand and “PRY” into the memories of the protagonist’s Gulf War experience.

Speaking on Skype at the awards, Gorman and Cannizzaro explained the project has been a long process with a great deal of work going into it over the past couple of years. In the last week the piece has been featured by Apple as one of the best apps which goes to show that this type of media is now stretching further and further. Read more »

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MacGuffin: A jukebox for fiction and poetry

Jim Hinks

Digital Editor, Comma Press

At Comma Press, we’re building a big jukebox for fiction and poetry. Not a physical jukebox (though wouldn’t that be fun?), but a website and app to host user-generated literature. It’ll be free to use, and all content will be in both text and audio form, so users can stream readings on the go, by smartphone or tablet.

It’s called MacGuffin, and it aims to solve a fundamental discoverability problem: readers want to find writing that chimes with their particular interests and tastes; writers want to find a readership that gets their work. Matching them up is the tricky part.

To do this, we’re going to apply the ‘broad folksonomy’ end-user hash-tagging behaviours of social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr, and bookmarking tools like Delicious (and latterly, the excellent Archive of Our Own). On MacGuffin, readers themselves will participate in content curation by adding hashtags to other people’s work, grouping it into genres (e.g. #spec-fic), memes (e.g. #sundaysonnets), reading lists (e.g. #claireskafkaesquereads); or simply adding tags to describe the content (#bears #porridge #woods #dangerousblondes). A writer can use multiple tags to target work at readers with specific interests (e.g. #post-colonial #apocalyptic #antarctic) and a writing group can use a tag to share work-in-progress (e.g. #leedsuniwritersyear3). Read more »

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