Nesta launches £15,000 prize for innovative new forms of storytelling

With rates of reading for young people at record lows and games having overtaken books and music combined in the creative economy, Nesta is making the £15,000 prize available to the best example of innovative accessible short-form storytelling for young people. This is an open call for bold written narrative ideas that push the boundaries of storytelling. Entries should be consumable in less than ten minutes on a readily available platform such as a mobile phone or a tablet, although entries do not have to be digital.

Alternarratives is officially launching at Nesta’s FutureFest Lates event at the Barbican Conservatory in London on Thursday 24th October. The event, titled ‘The Future of Storytelling’, will feature contributions from writer and critic Olivia Laing, sci-fi author Stephen Oram, artist and performer David Finnigan and games developer Chella Ramanan.

The prize closes to initial entries on 13 January 2020, with entries longlisted for an R&D bursary by a panel of young people. Nesta will work with longlisted entrants to develop and finalise their projects before the winner is selected with an expert panel and announced in June 2020.

Rachael Bull, Alternarratives Programme Manager, said:

“Stories are a key part of how people understand and build the world around them – from fact to fiction, books to films, these experiences become touch stones throughout our lives. Even in traditional form, a brilliant short story can be a completely unforgettable immersive experience. Technology has radically changed our interaction with stories, from the extended narrative form of streaming television and story-led video games that draw us further into their worlds than ever before, even to the point where we’re shaping them ourselves.

We can’t wait to see entries from writers and creatives who welcome this opportunity to develop bold ideas into ground-breaking content, which we hope will engage a whole generation of readers with a new iteration of a time-honoured form.”

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