WANDER Narrative competition - Deadline Extension!
Wander Narrative Competition (WNC) is seeking authors interested in collaborating on
an experimental short fiction project that draws readers along an ever-changing path
through Austin’s urban fabric. Sponsored by the City of Austin Art In Public Places, this
competition is part of the first ever digital, city-wide choose-your-own-adventure.
Professional authors in the Austin area who are interested are encouraged to enter. The
deadline for entry has been extended until September 25th. Six stipends of $100 will be
given to each finalist, with $1,000 grand prizes awarded to the three winning authors
selected for completion of the work.
Wander ties together two journeys - one literary and one physical - through an
interactive website accessed by phone, tablet or other location-aware device. The
literary journey is in the form of a choose-your-own-adventure narrative where each
chapter ends with a choice, allowing the reader multiple storylines and endings. Each
chapter corresponds to a specific location in the city which must be reached via
geolocation in order to unlock the chapter and continue the story.
This project will help reinforce the efforts of the Downtown Austin Plan to create a
vibrant, culturally-rich environment for our downtown community. It is part of the first
digital artworks commissioned by the City and will set a precedent on a global scale.
The project will be active for a minimum of five years.
Three separate stories will craft the basis for the adventure. Each narrative will
be between 18 and 24 short chapters in total, however, half of those will be earlyending
with the longest storyline approximately seven chapters long. On average
we’d like the readers to have 3 minutes of reading material per destination. The
narratives should be geared towards a wide audience with the goal of drawing
residents, commuters, and tourists into a rich urban adventure. Winning authors
will be given a flexible outline to follow.
Each narrative starts from a shared start point and expands outward through
downtown. The locations involved will be a mix of three categories: historic
locations, artistic locations, nooks and crannies. Something to keep in mind is
that the character and the distance of the next location may sway the decision of
the readers. The start point will be marked with a sculptural beacon located
along the 2nd street entrance to the new central library that will help draw
readers to the project.
Selection Criteria for Proposals
We are looking for authors living in, or around, Austin who are interested in
experimental fiction. The stories should be geared towards a wide audience as this is
sponsored and promoted through the city of Austin.
Nine finalists will be selected from the pool of applicants. The selection will be based
on the author’s past work and expressed interest in the project. For consideration
submit an Expression of Interest no later than September 25th.
Expression of Interest - for consideration email a resume or CV and a short sample
of previously written work (about 500 words) to email@example.com with the
subject ‘Wander Believer’
Each finalist will be awarded a $100 stipend to develop a concept for their narrative.
The concept should address the setting and characters, the qualities of the action,
and the target age ranges. In general we’re looking for a description of the spirit of
The three winning authors will be selected based on the artistic merit and creativity
of their concept as well as its ability to appeal to a wide audience. Each author will
be awarded a $900 stipend to write the story.
The initial selection of finalists will be made by the three project artistic directors, Chris
Gannon, Chadwick Wood, and Brockett Davidson. From those nine the same directors
will suggest three winners for review by the City’s AIPP selection board.
The completed project is set to launch in Spring of 2016 in coordination with the opening
of Austin’s new central library. There will be a reading event with each of the winning
authors invited to tell a little about themselves and read from one of the storylines. The
project will be live for a minimum of 5 years.
Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Question Time.’
Each finalist will be given $100 to come up with a concept for their narrative. The three
selected authors will each be given an additional $900 to write their story.
Submit Expression of Interest Sept. 25th, 2015
Selection of Finalists Oct. 2nd, 2015
Submit Concept Oct. 16th, 2015
Selection of Winning Entries Oct. 30th, 2015
Narrative Review Jan. 2016
Project Launch Spring. 2016