Call for Entries to the New Media Writing Prize

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

The Poole Literary Festival in the UK has partnered with the Media School at Bournemouth University to establish the New Media Writing Prize for authors and storytellers creating interactive narratives using digital tools. The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2010. More from the official press release below:

New Media Writing Prize

Last Call For Entries
Closing Date 15 September 2010

Poole Literary Festival in partnership with the Media School at Bournemouth University has established a prize for new media writing. The prize creates an exciting opportunity for writers working with new media to showcase their skills, provoke discussion and raise awareness of new media writing and the future of the written word. The competition deadline is approaching rapidly, with a cut-off point of Midday (GMT – UK time) on 15 September for entries.

There are two awards, one for Best New Media Writing and one for Best Student New Media Writing. Prizes will be awarded at a prestigious Awards Ceremony on 31 October 2010. Please ensure all entries are received by the closing date. This is very important as in the interests of fairness to all entrants exceptions cannot be made for late submissions.

Entry details:

The judges of the New Media Writing Prize have a blog at:

Poole Literary Festival:

Press / Media enquiries:

About the Competition

What does the competition involve?

We are asking all entrants to create an engaging and interactive narrative, through the use of digital technologies. Typically ‘new media writing’ exploits the potential of the web, which offers readers/viewers a range of narrative ‘activity’ beyond reading a piece of text online or watching a film. For example, a viewer might need to click the mouse on a word or image on screen to activate the next sequence of text, or to link them to the next chapter.

In some cases, interactivity might involve the reader/viewer in making choices about how the story progresses (remember those ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books?). There might be game-like elements, e.g. answer a question before the next episode or chapter is activated. There might be a choice of themes for the reader/viewer to explore, rather than follow the conventional chapter 1,2,3,4 pattern. Some new media narratives allow readers/viewers to follow characters, again rather than the usual chapter structure. It’s up to you to use new media inventively to build your narrative; and it’s up to you to include interactivity engagingly for the reader/viewer.

Is there a prize?

For each of the two categories, student and professional, there will be a chance to win an Apple iPad and £250. Plus, prize winners will be advised on how to get their winning idea published by Creative Content who specialise in digital audio books. Winning entries will be published on the Poole Literary Festival & Bournemouth University websites and may also be published on relevant new media writing partners’ websites and in media/press releases.

What are you looking for?

We are looking for good storytelling (fiction or non-fiction) written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, the web or a hand-held device such as a mobile phone. It could be a short story, novel, documentary or poem using words, images, film or animation with audience interaction.

We are looking for creativity, so try to be imaginative to create an engaging story i.e. combining any number of media elements, such as words on a screen combined with images and video clips. New media writing can be created using a variety of tools i.e. a word processor, DV camera, social networking tools (i.e. Twitter), mobile phone/s, a scanner -– anything goes!

What are you NOT looking for?

We are not looking for a story/poem which you can upload to a web page or place on a disc. We are not looking for screens of words uploaded to your blog and we are not looking for a slideshow of photos uploaded to Flickr or a video uploaded to YouTube.

What are the judging criteria?

The judges will be looking for the following:

  • Innovative use of new media to create an engaging, satisfying narrative or poem
  • Ease of accessibility for the reader/viewer
  • Effective use of interactive elements
  • An example of how new media can do things traditional media can’t.

Applying for the Competition

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply! Whether you’re a student, a professional, an artist, a writer, a Flash designer or an enthusiast, the competition is open to all. It’s also an international competition, open to all outside the UK. For Entry Rules click here.

How do I submit my work?

Each entry should be submitted by email to by midday on September 15th 2010.

Each emailed entry should contain an active URL for the judges to access your work. However if your entry is for viewing on a mobile phone or other electronic device, please provide clear instructions on how to view your piece. It’s important you read the Entry Rules before submitting, otherwise you could be disqualified.

About New Media

What is new media?

New media is a broad term for communicating information dynamically and interactively. It is the amalgamation of traditional media such as films, images, music and the written word but with interactive features. Interactivity is enabled through digital means such as computer programmes, games consoles, computer hand-held devices, communication technologies and the internet. Interaction such as online multi-player gaming and social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and Wikis) for example, allow users to behave actively instead of passively through creative participation, feedback and community formation.

Why are you having a new media writing competition at Poole Literary Festival?

With the popular demand of eBooks, which can be read on devices such as Amazon’s Kindle, new opportunities have arisen for writers. Publishers are beginning to realise the potential of the new art form in creating interactive eBooks and we hope the prize will raise awareness, reward those working in new media and add to the debate. Read what Michael Bhaskar, Digital Publishing Manager at Profile Books, has to say on his view from the publishing office. This new digital platform offers writers the chance to explore a playground of limitless creations and new opportunities to collaborate with other artists. Are you a writer and put off by all this technology? Don’t be, read what one of our judges Tim Wright has to say about digital writing.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.