In Conversation: Eric Huang

Libby O’Loghlin talks to Eric Huang, Development Director at Made In Me, about interactive narratives, gamification and collaboration.

Based in London, Made in Me specialise in children’s entertainment and brand development. Their work includes BAFTA-nominated app Sneak and The Land of Me, an original series of apps for pre-schoolers, plus Me Books, a digital publishing platform which lets children personalise digital editions of well-known children’s books.

Eric Huang

Eric Huang

You’ve been dubbed ‘Interactive Publishing Pioneer’—tell us a bit about how you got into the interactive side of publishing.

I’ve spent most of my publishing career in licensing publishing. The ‘authors’ my teams have worked with are media companies like Disney, DreamWorks, Activision. And because we worked Continue reading

In Conversation: Bernie Slater

Libby O’Loghlin interviews an Australian visual artist with a keen interest in the power of multiples, and the notion of printmaking as a democratic and accessible medium with the power to engender social change.

Visual Artist Bernie Slater

Bernie Slater. Photo by David Broker.

You started down the visual arts trail as a comics and zine-maker when you were in high school, inspired by punk rock, zines and self-publishing: so-called ‘alternative creative practises’. Tell us a bit about what attracted you initially to this form of expression?

Growing up as a punk rock kid, I remember a line from one of Jello Biafra’s (Dead Kennedys) spoken word CDs—he said ‘Don’t hate the media, become the media’. For me this was a revelatory comment. Punk rock showed me that it was okay to operate outside of and against the mainstream, and that resisting prescribed culture could be fun. The DIY ethic Continue reading

Gallery: on Engagement

Australia’s Bernie Slater is a visual artist with a keen interest in the power of multiples, and the notion of printmaking as a democratic and accessible medium with the power to engender social change.

Read our full interview with Bernie here.

Engaging with Story

Jill Marsh, Nicola Hodges

The basic substance of imaginative literature … is not reason but emotion, which is expressed not by the denotations of words, nor the grammar of the sentences but in connotations and colorations of the words as employed by the author’s style … it exists not as words written in books but as images with feelings attached.”

—Jane Smiley, 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel

The reader/writer relationship involves two minds and the flow of ideas between them is where creation occurs. Whether spoken or written; stories, fiction, related events and communication of an experience through the medium of words is a pleasure universally valued.

What elements of the human mind make us so susceptible to story? For me, three factors make the difference: imagination, empathy and language. And in order to expand on that argument for fiction, three works of non-fiction take centre stage.

jane smiley

Image: Faber & Faber

Imagination features heavily in the first. Jane Smiley’s book, quoted above, builds on the fundamental tenets of theatre in her chapter The Psychology of the Novel. She takes the concept of ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ and explores the tacit agreement between reader and writer. A reader is willing to become involved, to emotionally identify with character, experience or thematic conceit, to permit the writer to invoke a cathartic experience and with sufficient mutual points of reference, that reader comes away from the book affected, entertained, discomfited or profoundly moved. I Continue reading

Strategic Engagement: Finding the best workshop for you

by Kelly Jarosz and Chantal Panozzo of the Zurich Writers Workshop.

In 2010, three American writers decided to stop complaining about the lack of English-language writing instruction in our area, and the Zurich Writers Workshop was born. Since then, we’ve organized four workshops and attended several others.

ZWW logo An ongoing challenge for organizers is providing valuable instruction and inspiration for writers at all experience levels. The challenge for participants lies in finding the right event so the topics aren’t overwhelming or yawn-inducing. Here’s our breakdown of the typical kinds of writing workshops, and which writers would benefit most from each. Keep in mind that many writing events offer a mix of these types.

1) You’re just starting out in creative writing. Maybe you’re already a technical writer or journalist and want to expand your writing abilities. Or maybe you’ve always dabbled in creative writing for yourself and wonder if you could write something other people would enjoy.

A conference with a variety of short sessions is for you. The program will offer a combination of panel discussions, question-and-answer sessions, and workshops. The sessions will have names like Continue reading