New Media Writing Prize 2016, UK

Publish Date: Sep 29, 2016

Deadline: Nov 30, 2016

What Are The Prizes?

There are four categories/prizes for 2016 - Main Prize: £1000 donated by if:book UK. Student Prize: 3 months paid internship at Unicorn Training, Bournemouth, UK, working with Unicorn’s writing and design team.
The Dot Award: £500 to get a new project started. Donated by if:book UK.
The Gorkana Journalism Award, donated by Gorkana. Two awards: the UK award, and the International award, both £500 for the winner.

When Is The Deadline?

Main Prize, Gorkana Journalism Awards, and Dot Award Wednesday 30th November 2016 12 noon GMT

Student Prize Friday 16th December 2016 12 noon GMT.

Shortlisted entrants will be invited to the Awards Ceremony, Wednesday January 18th 2017 at Bournemouth University. Winners will be announced at the ceremony. 

What Are We Looking For?

Main Prize and Student Prize: 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 an iPad or mobile phone. It could be a short story, novel, poem, documentary or transmedia work using words, images, film or animation with audience interaction. Interactivity is a key element of new-media storytelling.

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, Augmented Reality software – anything goes! 

The judges will be looking for the following:

  • Innovative use of new (digital) media/transmedia to create an engaging, satisfying narrative, or poem, or as-yet-unspecified form. Fiction or non-fiction.
  • Ease of accessibility for the reader/viewer.
  • Effective use of interactive elements.
  • A great example of how new media can do things traditional media can’t.
  • The potential to reach out to a wide audience (i.e. not just specialist interest groups).

The Dot Award: The prize will be awarded for a project idea which, in the judges’ opinion, shows promise and practicability – and could be completed by the end of 2016. For the Dot Award we are looking for projects which aren’t necessarily technically complex but do create original and exciting literary work inspired by the affordances of the web, blogs, apps, social media etc. Chris Meade and if:book UK will liaise with the winner to support the project, which will be showcased at the 2016 New Media Writing Prize award ceremony (TBA but probably January 2017).

The Gorkana Journalism Awards: The Gorkana Journalism Awards honour innovative stories based on factual material and featuring digital media. Interactive documentaries, multimedia features and serious games are all considered. Entries must incorporate new media technologies and platforms. This is the first year that these prizes are being awarded. 


1.     innovative use of new media to create an engaging, satisfying fact-based narrative.

2.     does not need to be topical, but must be socially relevant.

3.     must adhere to journalistic standards of accuracy and fairness.

4.     ease of accessibility for the reader/viewer.

5.     effective use of interactive elements.

6.     an example of how new media can do things that traditional media cannot do.

7.     the potential to reach out to a wide audience, i.e. not just specialist interest groups​

What We’re NOT Looking For:

  • We are not looking for a text-only 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.
  • Get the idea? The essence of new-media writing for us is great storytelling which uses anything and everything that digital media can offer, along with user/audience interactivity. It’s got to be something that couldn’t work in ‘old’ media.

Who Can Apply?

Anyone can apply! Whether you’re a student, a professional, an artist, a writer, a developer, a designer or an enthusiast, the competition is open to all. It’s also an international competition, open to all outside the UK. Entries do need to be in English. 

How Do I Submit My Work?

Each entry for the MAIN, and STUDENT prizes should be submitted by email to

MAIN prize by Wednesday 30th November 2016 by 12 noon GMT.

Closing date for students is Friday 16th December 2016 by 12 noon GMT.

Dot Award: send to by Wednesday 30th November 2016 by 12 noon GMT.

Gorkana Journalism Awards: send to by Wednesday 30th November 2016 by 12 noon GMT.

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, wearable, or other electronic device, please provide clear instructions on how to view your piece. NB Make sure you include the word MAIN, STUDENT, DOT, or JOURNALISM in the subject line of the email, so we know which award/s you wish to be considered for. Students can submit to all of the categories; shortlisted journalistic pieces are also considered for the Main prize.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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Host Countries

United Kingdom