During a creative writing workshop at Lydiard Park Academy in Swindon, one of our tutors asked the group what sort of project they would be interested in doing. They said, "We already write and draw things but nothing comes out of it. So we want to do something where we can decide what's going to happen rather than a school assignment. We also want to work with others with different talents, to come up with loads of ideas and put them together as a group. It would be cool to see our book in bookshops and the local library and see other people enjoying what we've made."
From this, we developed the project Immersive Authorship, where young people, from diverse backgrounds and places, will collaborate to write an illustrated, interactive fantasy novel, which we'll publish physically and digitally. They’ll take part in virtual workshops in storytelling, branching narrative design, creative writing and illustration.
The printed book will be available in secondary schools and public libraries and on sale through print on demand.
"Digital Writes has worked with Lydiard Park Academy students for a number of years on a range of exciting extra-curricular digital media projects. Our students have always had a brilliant experience, growing in creative confidence and developing their social and communication skills as well as gaining a wealth of cutting-edge technical expertise. Please support this latest fantastic creation!"
- Ms Urquhart, Head of Media, Lydiard Park Academy
Lead tutor, Keith Phillips, was an author in Puffin’s Fighting Fantasy series, some of which has recently been republished and for which celebrity authors Charlie Higson and Rhianna Pratchett have written the most recent instalments. Keith wrote the acclaimed Siege of Sardath, one of the most challenging books in the series. Keith will share his expertise and experiences of working as a professional author with the young people on the project, to make sure they are able to fully realise their vision.
Joining our workshops will be writer and visual artist Keira Georgeson, who began her career as a young person herself starring in the national award winning film Not Just A Diagnosis, tutored by Keith.
The book follows an apprentice wizard who rescues and befriends a young dragon called Paradox. He is from a rare species that has the curious property of growing up reflecting the moral alignment of its rider.
Together, the player and their dragon must seek wisdom from the Elder Elf, knowledge from the inhabitants of the Ice Castle, face the perils of the Dark Labyrinth, and finally face the evil Dragon Lord. How the story finally ends is up to you...
This amazing concept is entirely the idea of the creative writing and drawing group at Lydiard Park Academy in Swindon.
These are the two possible final forms of Paradox the Dragon, designed and drawn by Lauren, one of our young creatives.
Other groups of young people from the schools and colleges around Swindon will be joining the project and adding their contributions to the book.
The finished book will have 240 entertaining, intriguing, exciting paragraphs and an illustration on every page. Here's a digital mock up of the cover. The front cover is by Jazzy and the back by Joel.
And here are some mocked-up pages - using text and illustrations by Lauren, Lucy and Julia - to give you an idea of what you can expect.
This funding is to cover time for our tutors to work in small groups and one-to-one with our aspiring young writers and artists, as well as to pay for printing, packaging and posting your rewards to you, and for the public launch event where the young people will celebrate their achievements.