View the winners and shortlists here >

What Are The Prizes?

There are four prizes for 2017 –

The if:book New Media Writing Prize: £1000 donated by if:book UK.
The Unicorn Student Prize: 3 months paid internship (or £500 in cash if the winner cannot undertake the placement) at Unicorn Training, Bournemouth, UK, working with Unicorn’s writing and design team.
The Dot Award: £500 to get develop a new project. Donated by if:book UK. Click here for more info
The Gorkana Journalism Award, donated by Gorkana. Two awards: the UK award, and the International award, both £500 for the winner.

When Is The Deadline?

The if:book Prize, Gorkana Journalism Awards, and Dot Award: Friday November 24th 2017 12 noon GMT

Unicorn Student Prize: Friday 15th December 2017 12 noon GMT. 

Shortlisted entrants will be invited to the Awards Ceremony, Wednesday January 17th 2018 at Bournemouth University. Winners will be announced at the ceremony.

What Are We Looking For?

if:book Prize and Unicorn Student Prize: We are looking for good storytelling (fiction or non-fiction) written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, the web, or a hand-held device such as an iPad or mobile phone. It could be a short story, novel, poem, documentary or transmedia work using words, images, film or animation with audience interaction. Interactivity is a key element of new-media storytelling.

We are looking for creativity, so try to be imaginative to create an engaging story i.e. combining any number of media elements, such as words on a screen combined with images and video clips. New media writing can be created using a variety of tools i.e. a word processor, DV camera, social networking tools (i.e. Twitter), mobile phone/s, a scanner, Augmented Reality software – anything goes!

The judges will be looking for the following:

  1. Innovative use of new (digital) media/transmedia to create an engaging, satisfying narrative, or poem, or as-yet-unspecified form. Fiction or non-fiction.
  2. Ease of accessibility for the reader/viewer.
  3. Effective use of interactive elements.
  4. A great example of how new media can do things traditional media can’t.
  5. The potential to reach out to a wide audience (i.e. not just specialist interest groups).


The Dot Award: The prize will be awarded for a project idea which, in the judges’ opinion, shows promise and practicability. For the Dot Award we are looking for projects which aren’t necessarily technically complex but do create original and exciting literary work inspired by the affordances of the web, blogs, apps, social media etc. Chris Meade and if:book UK will liaise with the winner to support the project, which will be showcased at the 2017 New Media Writing Prize award ceremony (17th January 2018).

The Gorkana Journalism Awards: The Gorkana Journalism Awards honour innovative stories based on factual material and featuring digital media. Interactive documentaries, multimedia features and serious games are all considered. Entries must incorporate new media technologies and platforms. This is the first year that these prizes are being awarded.

Criteria for the Gorkana Awards:

1.     innovative use of new media to create an engaging, satisfying fact-based narrative.
2.     does not need to be topical, but must be socially relevant.
3.     must adhere to journalistic standards of accuracy and fairness.
4.     ease of accessibility for the reader/viewer.
5.     effective use of interactive elements.
6.     an example of how new media can do things that traditional media cannot do.
7.     the potential to reach out to a wide audience, i.e. not just specialist interest groups​

NB All entries in all categories must be in English.

What We’re NOT Looking For:

We are not looking for a text-only story/poem which you can upload to a web page or place on a disc.

We are not looking for screens of words uploaded to your blog, and we are not looking for a slideshow of photos uploaded to Flickr or a video uploaded to YouTube.

Get the idea? The essence of new-media writing for us is great storytelling which uses anything and everything that digital media can offer, along with user/audience interactivity. It’s got to be something that couldn’t work in ‘old’ media.

For the Competition Rules, please click here

Who Can Apply?

Anyone can apply! Whether you’re a student, a professional, an artist, a writer, a developer, a designer or an enthusiast, the competition is open to all. It’s also an international competition, open to all outside the UK. Entries do need to be in English. For the Competitions Rules click here

How Do I Submit My Work?

Each entry for the if:book, and Unicorn Student prizes should be submitted by email to entries2017@archive.newmediawritingprize.co.uk  

Friday November 24th 2017 12 noon GMT.

Closing date for the Unicorn Student Prize is Friday 15th December 2017 by 12 noon GMT.

Dot Award: send to chris@ifbook.co.uk  by Friday November 24th 2017 12 noon GMT.

Gorkana Journalism Awards: send to gorkana@archive.newmediawritingprize.co.uk  by Friday November 24th 2017 12 noon GMT.

Each emailed entry should contain an active URL for the judges to access your work. However, if your entry is for viewing on a mobile phone, wearable, or other electronic device, please provide clear instructions on how to view your piece. NB Make sure you include the word MAIN, STUDENT, DOT, or JOURNALISM in the subject line of the email, so we know which award/s you wish to be considered for. Students can submit to all of the categories; shortlisted journalistic pieces are also considered for the Main prize.

Each entry should contain the following information within the text of the entry email:
a. title of the work;
b. entrant’s contact details: name, email address, telephone number and postal address. For joint entries, all entrants’ contact details must be provided with identification of the main entrant for contact purposes;
c. entrant’s short autobiography (50-100 words). For joint entries, all entrants must provide their autobiographies.
d. entrants who wish to submit a work for the Student Prize must provide a proof of identity which should be displayed in the body of the entry email, e.g. a scan copy of entrant’s Student Union ID card or university enrolment number, which will be authenticated at the organiser’s discretion.

Competition Rules (Terms and Conditions)

It is important that you read and understand the Competition RulesYour entry will be disqualified if you do not comply with these Rules.

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