Ebb & Flow: Ipswich schools digital stories project

27 June 2011 in digital fiction | Comments (0)

Over the past year I’ve been involved in helping to set up and facilitate ‘Ebb & Flow’, a collaboration between five Ipswich secondary schools, five digital writers, USC, and artsroute, an innovative arts-in-schools project based in Ipswich. 

‘Ebb & Flow’ took shape slowly, starting with a boattrip down the River Orwell with all the kids last autumn, to collect digital assets - photos, videos, sounds, etc - for the project.  The project then continued with digital story workshops run by digital writers Tim Wright, Chris Meade, and JR Carpenter.  I helped run two further workshop days to begin to pull the project together, before Andy Campbell of One to One Development Trust stepped in to design and create the fabulous website for the project. 

Tony Newman of artsroute and I have learned a lot from creating ‘Ebb & Flow’ - in fact we might have learned more about how not to run a schools digital stories project then anything else.  However, we are both incredibly pleased with the outcome, with the wonderful stories and images you’ll find on ‘Ebb & Flow’, and for the way that students, teachers, and writers worked together to think about new ways of telling stories. 

For those of us who are interested in such things, Andy has also created a version of the project that is viewable on smartphones - just go to the project url using your phone’s browser:  .

ELMCIP Electronic Literature and Pedagogy Seminar

10 June 2011 in Inanimate Alice | Comments (0)

Here’s a list of urls for what I’ll be discussing next week in Karlskrona Sweden. plus another chance to see the fab episode created by Primary 6V class in Carronshore PS Falkirk earlier this year.  There are so many great new episodes of ‘Inanimate Alice’ out there now made by students and teachers, it’s fantastic to have so much to choose from.


Inanimate Alice:

Inanimate Alice on Facebook:

Laura Fleming’s blog:

Australian Grade 6 class: 

Alice and Friends – Digital Literacy wiki built around IA, created by two teachers in Australia: 

Mr Woodz NZ class lesson plans etc: Don’t know where these have come from

first ones I spotted:  Aronow’s English 10:  -  Epi 5 by 7th pd

The Daily Dose - radio chatshow podcast - Pittsburgh University -

4MD - audio critiques of the stories:



New Glasses/ New Novel

6 June 2011 in Flight Paths | Comments (0)

I got some new glasses but I don’t think I like them - they are dark and heavy and a bit blingy.  This is a photo of me in them, with an I-don’t-like-them-but-they-cost-a-fortune look on my face.  How can someone as short-sighted as I am be expected to buy new glasses anyway, when I can’t even see myself when I’m trying them on?

In other news, I finally have really actually started my new novel.  It develops the story that was started on ‘Flight Paths’ - the story of Harriet and Yacub, the man who falls to earth and the woman whose car he lands on. 

Starting a new book is horrible.  The weight of all those blank pages, all that research, all those bad ideas that will have to be rejected and all those dead ends that will have to be reached.  Daunting.  I’m hoping to write this in a year.  Maybe I’ll achieve that.  Anything would be better than the twelve years it took me to write ‘The Mistress of Nothing’. 

I know that a few of my publishers would prefer me to write another historical novel next instead.  But I’ve been thinking and planning this new novel for so long, that to not write it now, finally, when I’m at long last ready to write again, would be like torture. Although of course writing it will be like torture anyway, because that’s what writing is like.  But at least it’s MY torture, torture MY WAY.