The Writing Platform Bursary and Commissioning Programmes
The Writing Platform Bursary and Commissioning programmes are designed to support creative experimentation and inter-disciplinary learning between writers and technologists.
The Bursary Programme is open to UK-based writers and creative technologists. The 2013 round was supported by NALD, the 2015 round was supported by Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and Arts Council England.
The Commissioning Programme supports collaborations between Australia-based writers and interaction designers. It is led by our partners, Queensland University of Technology, and supported by Arts Queensland.
The Writing Platform Bursary Programme
The programme provides funding and support for two teams – each made up of one writer and one technologist – to work on a jointly conceived digital literature project over a period of three months.
At the end of the three months teams deliver a finished piece of work or a functioning prototype. We also ask recipients to document the evolution of their project, and their collaboration, and this is shared with our wider community of practitioners on thewritingplatform.com.
Bursary recipients are also given the opportunity to showcase their projects at Bath Spa University’s MIX Conference and we work with them to secure additional showcasing and publicity opportunities for their projects.
The programme is open to UK-based writers and creative technologists who can apply either as a ready-made pair or as an individual seeking a creative partner.
We have tried to design an open and light touch process so that there is room for projects to evolve through the collaborative process – we think this is where the magic happens!
The Writing Platform Bursary Programme – 2013
The Writing Platform Bursary Programme first ran in 2013 with support from the NALD Development Fund.
In 2013 we awarded two bursaries of £3000. These were awarded to:
Caden Lovelace and Laura Grace who created ‘Invisible Islands‘, a web-app that overlays stories about a fictional world on the real world.
Ben Gwachmai and James Wheale who made a working prototype of ‘Fabler Move‘, an audio playback system for stories that requires listeners to move to trigger audio.
Both works were showcased at the MIX 02: Text on Screens Conference in July 2013.
The 2013 selection panel was Kate Pullinger, Editor of The Writing Platform and Professor of Creative Writing & Digital Media at Bath Spa University; Leila Johnston, writer, journalist and creative technologist; and Joanna Ellis, co-founder of The Writing Platform.
Read more about out more about ‘Invisible Islands’, here; and about ‘Fabler Move’, here.
The Writing Platform Bursary Programme – 2015
In 2015 we awarded two bursaries of £4000. These were awarded to:
Adam Clarke and Victoria Bennett who made ‘My Mother’s House’, a poem-world built in the hugely popular game of Minecraft.
‘My Mother’s House’ uses Minecraft to immerse the player in the experience of the poem. It expands the idea of what literature and videogames can be and demonstrates how the two can come together to help people explore and engage with aspects of life that are difficult to talk about in a way that is accessible and unintimidating.
Kelly Jones and Linda Sandvik, who made a prototype of ‘1.4 for copy’, an interactive sound sculpture inspired by the true story of Kelly’s parents meeting on illegal CB Radio.
‘1.4 for Copy’ reflects on connection, intimacy, ephemerality and permanence in the digital age and uses a story to connect members of an audience within a venue.
The audience has to work together in order to hear the story. The work uses real sound clips of Kelly’s parents and written scenes performed by voice actors and PIR sensors and Arduino on the entry and exit doors to monitor the audience – the more people, the better they can make out the story.
Both projects were showcased at MIX 03: Writing Digital Conference in July 2015.
‘My Mother’s House’ was reviewed in Alphr and the Guardian where reviewer, Stuart Dredge, called it “The most moving poem I have ever played”.
Based on their prototype Kelly and Linda have been invited to apply for the Experimentica Festival. They plan to continue their artistic collaboration and develop ‘1.4 for Copy’ work further.
The 2015 selection panel was Tom Uglow, Director at Google Creative Labs; Naomi Alderman, writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University; and Joanna Ellis, co-founder of The Writing Platform.
Read more about ‘My Mother’s House’, here; and about ‘1.4 for Copy’, here.
The Writing Platform Commissioning Programme
We are currently working with our Australian partners Queensland University of Technology on a commissioning programme titled ‘Queensland Writers on the International Stage’.
The programme supports Australia-based writers and interaction designers to collaborate and develop works for exhibition on thewritingplatform.com. It is supported by Arts Queensland.
‘Provocare‘ is the first project commissioned for ‘Queensland Writers on the International Stage’.
‘Provocare‘ is based on Provocation, a short story by Meg Vann that has been adapted and made into a multimedia verse thriller by the writer working in collaboration with interaction designer, Mez Breeze and project manager, Donna Hancox.
The work explores themes of female agency and violence against women at a time in Australia when in 2015 alone; sixty-three women have been murdered by their partners or ex-partners.
Readers can explore both works online – ‘Provocare’ is available here, and ‘Provocation’ is available here.
We also ask participating artists to reflect on their project and the collaborative process. These reflections are shared with our wider community of practitioners on thewritingplatform.com. You can read Meg Vann’s reflections on ‘Provocare’ here.
The second work created for ‘Queensland Writers on the International Stage’ will be an audio adaptation of the short story ‘Crawl Space’ by Krissy Kneen, which will launch in early 2016.
If you are interested in supporting The Writing Platform Bursary and Commissioning programmes, or in working with us to develop new programmes that support artistic collaborations, please get in touch.