Deadline Extension!

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Deadline Extension!

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.

Selection Process

Phase 1

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 with the

subject ‘Wander Believer’

Phase 2

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 adventure.

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.

Project Launch

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 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.

Updated Timeline

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

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