News: Entries open for New Media Writing Prize as 2016 winner joins Unicorn

Peter Phillips and Jamie Paddock

A Bournemouth University graduate is bringing his award-winning ideas to Unicorn Training after landing the prestigious international New Media Writing Prize Student Award earlier this year.

As entries for the 2017 awards open, Jamie Paddock has begun the three-month paid internship at Unicorn that he won for his interactive narrative, The Dying Mind, a moving exploration of mental illness and isolation.

With its focus on celebrating innovative, interactive and immersive creativity, the New Media Writing Prize encourages and promotes the best in new media writing and is leading the way toward the future of the ‘written’ word and storytelling.

The Unicorn-sponsored Student Prize challenges entrants to use digital media to create an engaging, satisfying piece of fiction or non-fiction work that is easily accessible for the reader or viewer and reaches out to a wide, not specialist, audience, demonstrating how new media can do things traditional media cannot.

Jamie, who studied BA Communications and Media at BU, created The Dying Mind to explore themes of loneliness and mental illness within a first person exploratory narrative. As someone who himself has bi-polar disorder and Asperger Syndrome, he hopes the work will help others like him find a way to express complex issues.

On collecting his award in January, Jamie said: “I was delighted to win the award as there were some really innovative pieces shortlisted.

“My piece tried to break the taboos of mental health so it is great it has been given the platform of the New Media Writing Prize. Like any other student, the time after finishing university is an uncertain one so it is a huge relief to be able to take up this fantastic opportunity with a three-month paid internship at Unicorn.”

Encouraging others to consider entering for the award this time around, he added: “I almost didn’t apply as I don’t always have the confidence in my own ability in creative writing so it is great to see my work be recognised with such a positive response. Bournemouth University and my course tutors helped support me on my journey over the past three years and I’m extremely grateful to all of them.”

Click here to see Jamie’s winning animation.

The winner of the 2017 New Media Writing Prize Unicorn Student Award again has the chance to win a three-month paid placement working with Unicorn’s writing and design team or £500 in cash if the winner cannot undertake the position. The deadline for Unicorn Student Prize entries is 12pm on Friday 15 December 2017.

Peter Phillips, Unicorn CEO, added: “We’ve been long-term supporters of the New Media Writing Prize. In our world you cannot ignore the creative ways evolving technologies are being used and the ability to engage through storytelling, which fundamentally sits at the heart of producing effective eLearning that connects emotionally. We’re delighted to welcome Jamie to the Unicorn team.”

Shortlisted entrants will be invited to the awards ceremony at Bournemouth University on 17 January. Adrian Smith, Head of Production at Unicorn’s games arm, Amuzo, and Executive Producer of Tomb Raider 1-6, is the evening’s guest speaker. For more information on the New Media Writing Prize, including how to enter, visit www.newmediawritingprize.co.uk

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