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THE GAME BEGINS FOR INNOVATIVE DIGITAL WRITING PROGRAM

An innovative initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts and AFTRS to develop new Australian voices for digital media commences with seminars in Melbourne and Sydney.

The Story of the Future is a series of seminars, workshops and residencies that will give a new generation of local creative writers a portal onto the next generation of digital content production.

‘Australia’s digital content industry is already worth an estimated $21 billion, or 3.5 percent of our GDP, and is growing rapidly through gains in gaming, media and entertainment,’ said Josie Emery, the Australia Council’s director of literature.

‘The Story of the Future will give some of Australia’s emerging writing talents the skills to develop narrative, performance and poetics for digital media and effectively collaborate with other new media producers.

‘We are aiming to place Australia’s writers at the cutting edge of the digital content industry and help them to develop works that creatively push the boundaries of what we see on our computer, mobile and digital television screens.’

The first events in the initiative will be Writing the Story of the Future seminars, held in Melbourne on 27 November and Sydney on 29 November. A seminar will be held in Adelaide early in 2007.

The seminars will give writers and producers insight into the new world of digital literature – a world where the book is a game without buttons. Presenters include:

  • Chris Avellone – leading US games designer with Obsidian Entertainment, who has worked on blockbusters Planescape: Tournament and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
  • Jackie Turnure – writer, director and academic, who produced the animated Stolen Life which was recently nominated for six awards at the Machinima Film Festival in New York
  • Jim Shomos (Melbourne only) – producer and head writer of the interactive cross-media production Forget the Rules, which won at the 2006 MIPCOM Mobile TV Awards in Cannes.

The Story of the Future will also include an industry seminar for publishers, one-day LAMP project development workshops and a five-day LAMP residential workshop to further develop projects, all scheduled for the first half of 2007.

The Story of the Future is supported by the Australia Council in partnership with the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. It is one of the 14 Australia Council strategic initiatives announced in April.

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