Applications are now open for The Writing Platform Bursary 2015 – in association with Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

We are looking for creative and open-minded writers and technologists to embark on exciting collaborations.

There are two bursaries of £4000 available. Each bursary will be awarded to a team made up of one writer and one technologist to collaborate on a writing – or writing-related – project over a period of three months.

This year’s selection panel is Naomi Alderman, Writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University; Tom Uglow, Director, Google Creative Labs; and Joanna Ellis, Co-Founder of The Writing Platform.

 “The digital revolution is even more profound and significant than the print revolution of Gutenberg which kickstarted the Reformation. We have no idea where the next 200 years will take us in terms of what writing and creativity can produce, become, and mean. What we know is that experimentation is vital, and giving creative people the opportunity to explore their boldest ideas is the best way to find out what works, and what doesn’t! I’ll be looking for ideas I haven’t seen before – ways of using technology that really push the bounds of the possible. And I’m excited to see what we find!”  — Naomi Alderman

Please read through the criteria, outlined below, before completing your application.

You might also like to read about the experience of 2013 Bursary recipients. Caden Lovelace and Laura Grace made Invisible Islands and you can read about their experience here. Ben Gwalchmai and James Wheale developed Fabler and you can read about their experience here.

Good luck!


The Writing Platform Bursary programme supports experimentation and inter-disciplinary collaboration between writers and technologists.

This year we will be awarding two £4000 bursaries. Each bursary will be awarded to a team made up of one writer and one technologist to collaborate on a literature-related project over a period of three months.

The work created by the teams will be showcased on www.thewritingplatform.com.

The teams will also have the opportunity to present their projects at Bath Spa University’s Mix: Text on Screens conference in 2015.


The deadline for applications is 5pm (GMT) on Thursday 4th December 2014.

Successful applicants will be notified by 5pm (GMT) on Friday 19th December 2014.

Projects will run for the three months from 15th January 2015 – 15th April 2015. Please ensure that you are able to commit time to a project during this period.


An original work that makes creative use of technology to push the boundaries of storytelling or the written form.


A project that seeks to address an issue of interest to the wider writing community, for example the dissemination of work or reader engagement.

We expect, and encourage, projects to evolve through the collaborative working process. At application stage we are looking for strong ideas and a desire to forge a genuine partnership.


At the end of the project phase (15th January – 15th April 2015) each team will have produced a piece of work or prototype. The projects will be showcased on www.thewritingplatform.com.

During the three month project phase (15th January – 15th April 2015) each team will contribute three short diary posts reflecting on the evolution of their project and collaborative process itself. These diary posts will be published on www.thewritingplatform.com.

The purpose of the programme is to support inter-disciplinary learning and collaboration so, naturally, we expect participants to engage with one another in an open and supportive manner.


The bursary programme is open to UK residents (England, Scotland, Wales and  Northern Ireland) aged 18 or over on 4th December 2014.

Writers and technologists can apply as individuals – in which case they will be paired into project teams by the selection panel – or as ready-made teams.

Ready-made teams must consist of one writer and one technologist. The writer must meet the eligibility criteria for writers, the technologist must meet the eligibility criteria for technologists:

Writers should be able to demonstrate that they are currently active and a desire to develop their practice in new directions.

We welcome applications from writers of all stripes – writers of fiction, non fiction, poetry, scripts, games – irrespective of whether/ how they are currently published.

Technologists should be able to demonstrate a track record working with a particular technology or set of technologies (this can include using existing platforms or services in new ways) as well as an active interest in arts/ technology crossover.

We welcome applications from technologists of all stripes – developers, hackers, programmers, makers, producers – irrespective of whether they make a living from their skills or use them in personal projects.


The two bursaries will be awarded by the selection panel.

Successful individual applicants will be paired by the selection panel according to shared areas of interest.

The selection panel is Naomi Alderman, writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University; Tom Uglow, Director Google Creative Labs; and  Joanna Ellis, Co-founder of The Writing Platform.

The decision of the selection panel is final.


Full ownership of any work made with the support of The Writing Platform Bursary 2015 will be retained by the creators.



If you have further questions about the bursary programme please email hello(at)thewritingplatform(dot)com with ‘Bursary 2015’ in the subject field.


The Writing Platform Bursary 2015 is funded by Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and the National Lottery, and supported by Arts Council England (Grants for the Arts).

Bath Spa UniversityArts Council England

10 Responses to “Bursary”

  1. Kathleen Dixon Donnelly

    Your bursary is very generous and I think it might fit with something I have been working on. But both of your examples from last year made apps. Do you have any information about other types of successful projects that are ‘original works that make creative use of technology’?

    • Editor

      Dear Amaka, I’m afraid the bursary programme is only open to UK residents. Thank you for your enquiry.

  2. Joe Clark

    Hi! The section “What We Expect From Successful Applicants” twice mentions that the end of the three-month project phase is 15th March 2015. Presumably this is a typo, and should read 15th April 2015?

    • Editor

      You’re quite right, the project phase is three months from 15th January – 15th April 2015. We’ve fixed that on the page now. Thanks for letting us know.

  3. Guy Brodsky

    If I have an idea that would fit quite uniformly with this bursary concept, however I live in Canada. I intend to make it an international project however- like the internet. Thus I’m wondering if I could apply somehow in the meantime and someone working for whatever establishment is in charge of the bursary could help me find a British partner in the UK, as it would actually be quite beneficial. Even if I had to try to find one by myself, could it be allowed to have one partner from the UK and one partner from Canada?

  4. Saima Mir

    Will this project be running this year? I’m a journalist and writer and have an idea for a project that collates and shares stories about the Partition of India. I’d love to apply if its still running.

    • joanna

      Hi Saima, thanks for your interest. I’m afraid that the 2015 Bursary programme is now closed. We hope to run a new programme in 2016. When it’s ready to go will announce it on this site and our email newsletter, so do check back.


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