Digital Storymakers Award to Recognize New Forms Of Nonfiction Storytelling

19 November 2012

Awards and Publishing Opportunity for High School, College, And Graduate Students

BERKELEY, CA — The Pearson Foundation and digital publisher Atavist announced details of the first annual Digital Storymakers Award, to be presented to new emerging writers and visual artists whose work makes use of new forms of nonfiction digital narrative. Beginning with the new year, high school, college, and graduate students will be invited to enter multimedia works that explore the exciting possibilities of digital authoring and electronic publishing.

The launch of the annual award program was recently announced by Atavist cofounder Evan Ratliff at the East Meets West Conference at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The conference was a gathering of top editors, as well as an audience of 60 talented, veteran writers.

Awards will be given in the three groups — high school, college, and graduate students — and will consist of cash prizes in addition to publication in a Digital Storymakers Award app. Grand Prize winners will also be invited to take part in a digital storytelling workshop given by Atavist editors and guest authors. All entrants will be given free access to Atavist authoring tools for the creation of digital stories.

Over 30 journalism schools, as well as university writing and visual arts programs, are official supporters of the award. The judges are a panel of distinguished authors, editors, and academics in the fields of journalism, multimedia narrative, and online publishing including:

  • Bill Grueskin, Dean of Academic Affairs at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism;
  • Richard Koci Hernandez, Assistant Professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Emmy Award-winning visual journalist;
  • Amy O’Leary, reporter and former multimedia producer for The New York Times; and
  • Steven Johnson, best-selling author of the new book Future Perfect and other science and technology titles.

“Our hope is to encourage students to experiment in telling stories in new and compelling ways,” said Ratliff. “Today’s students are developing tremendous digital skills, and journalism’s future rests on how they’ll put those inventive skills to work.”

“Helping young people find their voices is one of our primary missions,” said Pearson Foundation President and CEO Mark Nieker. “Through this award program we hope to support young storytellers and encourage them to find new, exciting ways to express their ideas and insights, their hopes and ambitions.”

Entries will be accepted beginning January 1, 2013 and the deadline for submissions is April 15, 2013. Winners will be announced in May of 2013. For more information, visit www.digitalstorymakersaward.org.

About Atavist

Atavist is a media and software company at the forefront of digital, mobile publishing. The company’s flagship publishing arm, The Atavist, which is built on its own platform, features original pieces of longform, nonfiction journalism. Atavist pushes the boundaries of multimedia publishing while emphasizing the story above all. More information about Atavist can be found at www.atavist.com.

About the Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, nonprofits, and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.

Media Contact:

Stacey Finkel
Pearson Foundation
staceyfinkel@pearsonfoundation.org
703.304.1377

Abigail Ronck
Atavist
abigail@atavist.com
347.541.8511