The Writing Platform is pleased to announce the first beneficiaries of its bursary scheme awarding two writer-technologist partnerships with £3000 each. The Bursaries have been awarded to Caden Lovelace & Laura Grace and Ben Gwalchmai & James Wheale, both partnerships will work on a jointly conceived digital literature project for three months (from 1st April – 30th June 2013). At the end of this time they will present a piece of work or a prototype at Bath Spa’s Mix Day on 17th July and the work will be showcased on both The Writing Platform and The Literary Platform.
Established to support creative experimentation and interdisciplinary learning between writers and technologists, The Writing Platform Bursaries, supported by the NALD Futures Fund are awarded to writers and creative technologists who the judges believe will bring new ideas and solutions for the wider writing community while making creative use of existing, readily available, digital tools and platforms.
Actor and writer Ben Gwalchmai and poet and developer James Wheale are using the bursary to build on their existing work on story and movement and build a prototype of a mobile app called Fabler. Fabler enables users to experience story through movement: stories will play when the user is moving and stop when the user is still, with bonus content being revealed as the user progresses through the story. Ben and James are particularly interested in how having a physical investment in a narrative might change the experiential value of the story and the form it takes.
Ben Gwalchmai and James Wheale comment:
“This is an amazing opportunity for us, we were thrilled that we’ve won especially considering the amount and quality of the competition. We’ve been designing Fabler for some time but didn’t have the money to make it happen, now we can and this instance proves the adage that a little money goes a long way. We’ll definitely be making a prototype, and even hope to make a commercial product, by the end of June – we wouldn’t be able to do this without The Writing Platform Bursary.”
Caden Lovelace and Laura Grace applied for the bursary individually and have been paired together by the selection panel who felt that their shared areas of interest, along with their enthusiasm for working with a new, previously unknown, partner would make for an exciting creative journey.
Caden Lovelace is a creative developer, internet artist and performer based in Cornwall and Laura Grace is an acclaimed writer and creative strategist, recently named as a Broadcast Hot Shot by Broadcast magazine.
Laura Grace says of winning the bursary:
“I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with Caden on creating something really exciting; the chance to bring an experimental, slightly-crazy idea to life is a rare one – I can’t wait to get started.”
And Caden Lovelace comments;
“I hope with Laura to make work that’s both cutting-edge and enjoyable to read, while creating tools and techniques that go beyond the one-off to become valuable to other writers and artists in future.”
The Writing Platform Bursary launched in February 2013, receiving 77 entries across the board. The Bursary is supported by the NALD Futures Fund and the judging panel was Kate Pullinger, Editor of www.thewritingplatform.com and Professor of Creative Writing & Digital Media at Bath Spa University; Joanna Ellis, Associate Director, The Literary Platform and Leila Johnston, creative technologist and Managing Editor of The Literary Platform.
Leila Johnston comments on the winning partnerships;
“James and Ben’s idea of telling stories through movement is something we haven’t seen a lot of yet, but of course makes perfect sense. Both writers are interested in data and using technology to interpret the body. Their experience suggests some very promising results here, and we were intrigued by the possibilities of the body as a storytelling device in itself, as opposed to its usual role as secondary or contingent to narrative. Caden’s impressive experience of performance writing and enthusiasm about the idea of working with someone else caught our attention. His work with the Processing language and Gifs testifies to a fascination with visual media, which is shared by Laura, who has a strong track record writing for video games and TV. In addition, Caden is desperate to work with a writer and Laura has always wanted to work with a technologist. We are very excited about this partnership.”
Biographies of the winners
Caden Lovelace is a creative developer, artist and performer. His recent works include the curatorial new-culture project ƒAULT, and the never-ending video-art site GIFDRIFT.BIZ. He is emphatically not interested in high-technology, preferring to focus on the understated, the simple, and the secret.
Laura Grace is a writer and creative strategist based in London. In 2012 she wrote the BIMA-nominated ‘Mad World’ with Mint Digital for Channel 4, and was named a Broadcast Hot Shot by Broadcast magazine. She won the inaugural Immersive Writing Lab prize for ‘Blackout’ – alongside co-writer Elizabeth McGuane – now in development with Portal Entertainment. She is currently working on ‘Darklands’, a cross-platform TV drama pilot supported by Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and Creative Scotland. Her work focuses on exploring how story and digital can converge in interesting ways – areas of interest include playing with audience agency in authored interactive narrative, and telling stories that can spill out into the real world.
Ben Gwalchmai is a nomadic writer of sorts, having resided in London, Wales, and Bristol. He has been a writer for the Welsh National Opera, a web-editor for Modern Poetry in Translation, a director for Backscratch Theatre and his debut novel, Purefinder, is being published in 2013 by Cosmic Egg Books. Http://bengwalchmai.com
James Wheale writes full time for award winning pervasive street games company Slingshot, creators of smash hit zombie chase game 2.8 Hours later. He is also a poet, winner of the Tea Fuelled Edinburgh Festival Slam champion 2012, Popshot and AITU winner 2012, and Barefoot in the park Leeds Slam champion 2010, whose debut collection Maskboy is out on Burning Eye Press April 2013 and the debut show Maskboy starts at Mayfest and tours thereafter.
Notes to editors
- The Writing Platform Bursary springs from the wider Writing Platform project – which comprises this bursary, a website and a series of live events, all dedicated to putting the writer at the heart of debates and discussions about digital publishing and to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to use the opportunities offered to their advantage. The project is run by The Literary Platform in association with Bath Spa University and also has the support of a number of other literary organisations.
- Bath Spa University’s School of Humanities and Cultural Industries offers courses at the cutting edge of creative writing and digital publishing.
For more information please contact Laura Creyke on
[email protected] / 07951 777 407