Alternarratives- £15,000 prize for writers

Alternarratives is a £15,000 prize for writers to explore innovation in short-form storytelling. Nesta wants to unearth the future of cutting-edge short-form storytelling, encouraging writers based in the UK to think beyond the word document and use all the tools we have at our disposal to tell stories in new and exciting ways. In its pilot year, the prize will encourage storytellers to imagine how short-form fiction could help re-engage young people at secondary school, aged 11-16, with the act of reading for pleasure.

This is an open call for bold, creative ideas that explore new ways to tell a story and push the boundary of how we consume literature. This is a chance for writers and creatives to consider the future of storytelling and make use of new technologies or formats.

A longlisting process with a youth panel will provide 10 writers/creators with:

  • a £1,000 R&D bursary towards the realisation and development of a new or existing idea into a final work
  • ideation workshops including innovation of form, future methods of storytelling and co-curation of best practice
  • young people focus groups to discuss ideas, needs and motivations

A shortlist of 3 will be chosen from the final works by a selection panel of industry experts, who will work with the youth panel to select the final winner of the £15,000 prize.



  • Proposals should be submitted for work that can be experienced in a conclusive form within 10 minutes, consumable via a platform that is readily available, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • Works do not have to be digital but we are excluding linear written documents in Word or equivalent. They want to leave format/platform as open as possible to encourage lateral thinking about story development.


Monday 13 January 2020, 9am

Published on:
25 Oct 2019


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