Tickets are now on sale for the week-long Interactive Fiction Summer School at the British Library this July, running from 23rd – 28th July and now in its second year after its inaugural success under Abigail Parry in 2017. I was one of the guest lecturers last year; according to my hard drive, I apparently taught a class on interactive narrative conflict using a Twine game about a couple passively-aggressively cooking a complicated Middle Eastern dish together. I was lucky enough to be asked back to curate the whole shaboodle this year, and I’m very excited for it. The mix of work that came out of last year’s School was a reminder of the importance of introducing a wider demographic to the concept of using the computer as an agnostic, narrative tool. I think I’ve jalopied together a week of guest speakers, workshops and lectures to easily handle whatever heterogeneous bunch turn up this year.
Considering I spent most of my January hashing out the marketing literature with the Learning Department, I’ll just let myself speak for myself.
Led by computational artist and writer Rob Sherman and a host of specialists in interactive storytelling, you’ll learn the skills and techniques to write works of fiction in a dynamic form; one that allows the reader to choose the direction of the narrative.
Stories are, at their heart, journeys through other worlds in which we are led by the author and the text. But what if we could allow our readers to map their own path? Over five days you’ll learn to build your own stories where readers are in control of their own narrative journey. With our expert guidance you’ll tackle reader choice, learn to build living worlds through your writing and explore the use of image, sound and video as a key part of your work. We’ll also provide the technical support needed to maximise the possibilities offered by Twine, a simple open-source computer programme for writing interactive narratives.
We’ll bring you together with leading specialists in a range of fields, and our Digital and Emerging Media curators will introduce you to the heritage of maps as narrative devices, as well as examples of nonlinear and interactive fiction from the British Library’s collections.
Tickets are on sale at the British Library website, and we are coming up to half-full; though I’m sure the Marketing Department, with their classic philosophical gloom, will see it as half-empty. As myself and all the other megafauna that I have gathered to teach you spook easily in crowds, the class is limited to 16 participants: please book soon, and I look forward to seeing you on Monday 23rd. There will be a small, nondescript quantity of cake by the door: please help yourselves as you come in.