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The Extended Book and Robin Hood

Dave Miller, UNESCO Chair in New Media Forms of the Book at the University of Bedfordshire, is masterminding a project exploring the future of the book and online collaborative authorship. Read on to find out how you can help…

The project uses Augmented Reality (AR) to extend a traditional (printed paper) book. This book is a collection of short-stories, which are all Indian retellings of the Robin Hood story.

Woodcuts and illustrations in the paper book trigger access via AR on smartphones or tablets to a digital community of readers and authors. This online community are writing their own Robin Hood/bandit stories, which can be cultural retellings, translations, or adaptations of the Robin Hood story. The writing community post their stories online and, once the paper book is written and printed, will be able to place (“position”) them within the paper book, deciding where their online stories belong within the paper book. I have built a tool that makes this straightforward to do.

The project investigates how a digital community organises itself around a shared interest. The project asks questions about authorial intention and control, ownership of a story (world), cultural translation in adaptation/retellings, and canonicity.

The paper book is being written by Creative Writing students from Jadavpur University in India. They are writing short stories; each one an Indian retelling of the Robin Hood story. Their teacher and novelist, Rimi Chatterjee, is editing these stories into a book, which will be printed and bound, and positioned as central to the experience we are designing. Within the paper book, there will be woodcuts and drawings printed within the pages. Smartphones or tablets (e.g. iPad, Android) held over these woodcuts will trigger AR, which will act as gateways into the online storytelling/ writing community. This online community will participate in reading, writing and managing their own new stories and submitting their art work, which again will all be cultural retellings of the Robin Hood story.

I am trying to build up this online writing community, and am currently looking for willing volunteers to write short Robin Hood stories. This is what I’m looking for:

  • Robin Hood (and bandit) short stories.
  • Short stories, cultural retellings, translations, adaptations, or re-versionings of the Robin Hood story.
  • Robin Hood as an archetype or trope.
  • Robin Hood as a vehicle for expression of regional political issues.
  • Twisted versions of the story.
  • Graphic novels or comics.

Stories could also be about bandits, outlaws who fight the rich/establishment powers and give to the poor, or stories of resistance.

For example you could base your story on the traditional Robin Hood legend/ folk tale, or the films, TV series, even the Disney cartoon version if you like. You could consider modern day stories, software pirates might be a good example. You might like to think of Robin Hood as a vehicle for regional political expression. You could consider Robin Hood from many angles, the ambivalence of the story, the charismatic leader, the moral ambiguity, the sense of impossibility…

Ideally, I want Robin Hood stories from all over the world, every country, every culture. I have started an online community in Reddit. Please post your online stories here: Your contribution will be very gratefully received!



  • Word limit: 1000 – 2000 words
  • English language.
  • Stories and poetry.
  • Fact or fiction.
  • Be creative and imaginative.
  • Feel free to be controversial, opinionated, political.
  • Please post links to one or more images or videos with your story. For photos, drawings, sketches etc, please use Flickr, Imgur. For video please use YouTube.
  • Multiple authors per story is fine.
  • Authors can write continuing stories/serialised stories (e.g. as in Sherlock Holmes or Dickens).
  • Please incorporate one of these subjects somewhere/somehow in your story: bird, elephant, flowers, hand, moon, sun, comet, gallows, guns, gold, software.

When the printed book is written and printed, which I hope is in a month or so, then you will be able to position your online story within the printed book. I will post a link on Reddit soon explaining how to do this.

My aim is to build a collection of international cross-cultural retellings of the Robin Hood story in a printed book and also online, and to assemble and structure these retellings in an interesting way across different media forms. I want to acknowledge all contributors wherever possible, so please email me if you would like your story to be formally acknowledged.

Copyright for all contributed stories: Creative Commons license –  Attribution – NonCommercial – ShareAlike 3.0 Unported:

More about the project here:

Email: [email protected]


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