Young Swindon talents produce epic book

By Barrie Hudson - 4 February 2021

Arts and CultureEducation

Young Swindon writers and artists have united to produce an illustrated interactive fantasy novel - and need some extra funding.

  • Workshop leader and visual artist Keira Georgeson

    Workshop leader and visual artist Keira Georgeson

The project, A Moral Paradox, is led by community arts and education company Digital Writes, a non-profit which enables people to produce creative artistic works and have them exhibited, published and distributed.
The project, backed by Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett, so far has been funded by the Arts Council England, but the young people's enthusiasm has led them to create an epic which will need an additional four months and £3,000 to complete.
Swindon visual artist, Keira Georgeson, who is tutoring on the project said: "Our young writers and artists are proper authors writing a proper book. We want them to feel the excitement of going into a public library and seeing their book on the shelf. But we’re eager to invite everyone to join.
"All you need is your imagination and a love of fantasy.”
The additional funding will allow Digital Writes to continue offering workshops and invite more young people to participate in creative collaboration. The work will then be collated together into a final product of a gamebook.
Gamebooks, in which readers choose their own adventures by following pathways, were initially popular in the 1980s and 90s and have had a resurgence..
Keith P. Phillips, one of the authors on Puffin’s Fighting Fantasy series, is another tutor on the Digital Writes project. 
He said: “We have been running workshops in storytelling, creative writing, and illustration over Zoom and sharing work through Discord.
"The students have produced some amazing work. I mean, really amazing. As good as anything from the series. They really deserve to get published.
Some of the young people have ambitions to become writers or artists, and are thrilled to be working with professionals. They’re also very excited at the prospect of seeing their work in print.
One of the participants, Lauren, said: “We already write and draw things, but nothing comes out of it. It would be cool to see our book in the library and see other people enjoying what we’ve made.
"Without this we wouldn't have had a  chance to be part of producing a full sized book.”
The final work will be published in print format and available to buy through Amazon and borrowed from secondary school and public libraries.
As a text-based interactive game in app form, it will be available for download from all the usual video game app stores.
People can get involved by typing 'immersive authorship' into your favourite search engine or looking for Digital Writes on social media. 
Support can be pledged at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/a-moral-paradox
 

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