Opening Up Digital Fiction Competition Prizes: Date Set for 25 May 2017

Announcing the date and location for the Opening Up Digital Fiction Writing Competition prize-giving. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded. This should be a great chance for writers, researchers, and readers to get together to celebrate the digital fiction that was submitted, so please add it to your calendars!

Thursday 25 May 2017, 7pm
Main Arts Lecture Theatre, Bangor University
College Road, Bangor

Introduction to Digital Fiction and Twine

A few weeks ago, the Off the Shelf Reading & Writing Digital Fiction Workshop we organised with Andy Campbell and Judi Alston from Dreaming Methods and One to One Development Trust took place.

Project Researcher, Dr Isabelle van der Bom, provided an overview of what digital fiction is and how it has developed through the ages. Andy then introduced the ten participants to a variety of digital fiction works and software by giving an overview of his pieces, how they were developed, and by showing different software packages.

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Andy Campbell talking about developing WALLPAPER.

Participants were also introduced to Twine, an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. Twine allows writers to embed hyperlinks in their story, which means that readers will need to navigate through the text by clicking these hyperlinks. Twine can be downloaded (for free), or you can use the online version (remember to archive the story if you want to save it). To get going with Twine, all you need to know are a few very basic rules, such as how make links between passages, and you can create very elaborate stories. We certainly were amazed at the variety of ideas that our workshop participants had, and how they implemented these in Twine!

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Andy explaining Coppercube to a workshop participant.

Andy and Judi had made a wonderful Twine story and database based on their own immersive narrative game WALLPAPER, which participants could use in their own story creation.

It was a real learning experience for us, and very interesting to find out that participants had come to the workshop for a whole variety of different reasons. Some people contemplated the meaning of digital fiction and how it altered the writer/reader/fiction relationship, others had a background in IT or design. Yet others had ideas about creating virtual memory maps for eldery residents in care homes or were just interested in trying something new.

We had a great time and we hope that our participants did too!

New Date for the Off the Shelf Reading & Writing Digital Fiction Workshop

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We are pleased to announce that the Off the Shelf Reading & Writing Digital Fiction Workshop that had to be rescheduled in October due to unforeseen sudden circumstances will now take place on Saturday the 21 January 2017 from 2pm-4pm.

This masterclass will provide a two-hour workshop on reading and writing digital fiction by digital media artists/writers Andy Campbell and Judi Alston of One to One Development Trust with Dr Isabelle van der Bom.

We will begin with a short introduction to digital fiction stories, followed by an exploration of how digital storytelling is different from writing forthe traditional print medium. Participants will then be introduced to digital writing software and get the opportunity to write somethemselves. The workshop will conclude with a short exposition of what has been achieved.

No prior knowledge of digital fiction required!

Organised by Sheffield Hallam University in association with One to One Development Trust.

Booking details:
FREE Workshop
Saturday 21 January 2-4pm
Charles Street building 12.3.10, Sheffield Hallam, S1 4RB.
Admission free but booking advisable. To book: Eventbrite Booking – Reading & Writing Digital Fiction Workshop.
Email for questions to Isabelle at i.v.bom@shu.ac.uk.
Organised by http://dreamingmethods.com/ and https://readingdigitalfiction.com/.

Being Human WALLPAPER events

We are very excited about the upcoming WALLPAPER: hope, fear and digital fiction events, part of the Being Human Festival 2016.

postcard-side-1We’re kicking off on the 17th of November, when you can join us for the WALLPAPER launch at the Art House in Wakefield. WALLPAPER is an immersive digital fiction work which will be exhibited as a large scale projection and virtual reality experience. As the reader/player of WALLPAPER, your task is to explore the house as PJ Sanders to find the missing key to the parlour, a room locked until now. By moving through the house and examining forgotten heirlooms and personal artefacts, you slowly reveal the story of PJ and a family history of unfulfilled hopes and hidden fears.

WALLPAPER provides an immersive digital experience, and on the 17th you’ll also have a chance to meet us and digital fiction developers Andy Campbell and Judi Alston (Dreaming Methods– One to One Development Trust). The installation of WALLPAPER is also open on the 22nd and 25th of November.

On the 23rd of November we’ll host a interactive talk at the Wakefield Art House, in which we will explore the origins and future of digital fiction, including the hopes and fears that digital technology bring to the future of reading and writing. We will take you on a historical tour of digital fiction from its origins in ‘Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books’ through to experiments in hypertext to videogames and apps and invite you to discuss your ideas. Afterwards, attendees are invited to join Andy Campbell and Judi Alston’s exploration of hope and fear in their latest work WALLPAPER.

Please join us by booking yourself onto on of our free Being Human ’16 events here: Being Human Events in Yorkshire and the Humber.

 

 

Enter our Writing Competition!

We have just launched the first ever competition aimed at finding the best new examples of “popular” digital fiction!  Our “Opening Up Digital Fiction” aims to discover digital fiction that appeals to mainstream audiences. We are accepting submissions in English and in Welsh and looking for works by all kinds of writers from rookies to veterans. See the Opening Up Digital Fiction Writing Competition for more information on what we are looking for, what you can win, and how to enter.

Typewriter console by Spacefriend-T

Readers, Digital Fiction, and Immersion

We’ve had a great summer, presenting our research on immersion at three international conferences: the Electronic Literature Organization conference in Victoria (Canada), the Mind-Media-Narrative conference in Warsaw (Poland), and the Poetics and Linguistics Association conference in Cagliari (Sardinia).

Using empirical methods to explore the way that readers experience Judi Alston and Andy Campbell’s digital fiction WALLPAPER, we’ve found that immersion isn’t as straight-forward as current theories suggest. Rather than immersion being something that is completely totalising or enveloping, we’ve found that it can actually be intermittent with readers’ attention switching between different aspects of the fiction. We thus see immersion as a multidimensional experience in which the reader is pushed and pulled inside and outside a fictional world. We’re planning to publish two articles on this work. Watch this space for details.

Photos of Alice Bell and Isabelle van der Bom at the PALA conference, July 2016.

Immersed in WALLPAPER: Three International Conferences!

We are really excited to be presenting the results of our reader response research on immersion in WALLPAPER at three international conferences this summer:

We will analyse the ways in which WALLPAPER‘s multimodal set-up may help us develop a media-specific theory of cognitive deixis. We will also be sharing the results of our reader-response research for the first time and, in particular, showing how we might study participant responses to learn more about the complex, hybrid and dynamic nature of immersion in digital fiction.