Submissions deadline 13 January 2020
Nesta wants to unearth the future of cutting edge short-form storytelling, encouraging writers based in the UK to think beyond the word document and use all the tools we have at our disposal to tell stories in new and exciting ways.
In its pilot year, the prize will encourage storytellers to imagine how short-form storytelling could help re-engage young people at secondary school, aged 11-16, with the act of reading for pleasure.
There was no further brief. This was a call for bold, creative ideas that explore new ways to tell a story and push the boundary of how we consume literature. Proposals were submitted for work that can be experienced in a conclusive form within 10 minutes, consumable via a platform that is readily available, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer - works did not have to be digital but we did exclude linear written documents in Word or equivalent. We wanted to leave format/platform as open as possible to encourage lateral thinking about story development.
A longlisting process with a youth panel is providing 10 writers/creators with:
A shortlist of 3 will be selected from the final works by a selection panel of industry experts with the winner selected from the shortlist by the youth panel and awarded £15,000.
We worked with a youth panel and then a selection panel of experts from a variety of industry backgrounds:
Antonia Byatt, Chief Executive at First Story
Irfan Master, Writer
Nell Whitley, Executive Producer at Marshmallow Laser Feast
In the first instance, we looked for proposals for great ideas that push short-form story beyond the norm.
Applications were selected based on the quality of writing and ability to engage and inspire young people as well as innovation in form, interface and interactivity.
The prize will be awarded to a story that can be experienced in a conclusive form within 10 minutes, consumable via a platform/format that is readily available through a smartphone, tablet or computer (excluding linear documents written in Word or equivalent). Entries do not have to be digital. Format/platform has been kept as open as possible to encourage lateral thinking about story development.
We will be looking for projects that will benefit from the mentoring support offered and which allow room for development in the artist’s own practice, whether through creating new or expanding or developing existing work.
We strongly encouraged entries from writers who do not normally consider their work within the ‘Young Adult’ genre and entries that encourage collaboration.
This prize is aimed at helping writers to explore new formats for delivering short-form storytelling. We were not looking for high-end technology projects that used specialised equipment or short films or documentaries. We weren't supporting traditional short-form writing and linear written documents in Word or equivalent.
Alternarratives was open to creators and writers living and working within the UK. Applicants had to be 18 or over and have the legal right to work in the UK.
It was free to apply for this prize.
Applications were accepted via our online entry form. You needed to include:
Please note that the selection process was blind, and none of your personal information or details were used during this process.
Read our frequently asked questions
Selection for Alternarratives is a three-part process. An initial longlist was selected with a youth panel, and awarded a £1,000 R&D bursary to turn their ideas into complete works. From the final works, the expert panel will select a shortlist of three projects. Selection will be based on the quality of writing and ability to engage and inspire young people as well as innovation in form, interface and interactivity. From these, one writer will go on to be awarded the prize of £15,000 by the youth panel.
All applicants were notified of the longlist outcome by 28 February 2020. We regret that we were unable to give individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants.