IMBED-X: Find Jenna was created by Shane Strachan as part of Alternarratives, a Nesta led programme to help writers explore innovation in short-form storytelling. Nesta are collaborating with BBC Taster to help test the experiences - please view, rate and give us your feedback above.
Where did the idea come from?
IMBED-X: Find Jenna, was partly inspired by documentaries about online amateur sleuths, classic literature about knowledge and technological advancement, and my own fears around how much I’ve come to rely on tech and the internet rather than my own mind since I was a teenager when smart phones were yet to exist.
It has been an exciting journey for me as a writer who normally works on more traditional forms of literature and theatre for adults, to be encouraged to work on something for younger readers through a digital platform. I decided to tell this story over Instagram since it’s one of the most popular ways in which young people access the internet and online communities.
My aim was to strike a balance between making the story appear authentic in terms of how it looked and was told so that the reader felt drawn in to continue, while also making it clear it was a work of fiction (that I hope is both fun and thought-provoking!).
Who was involved?
The support I received from Nesta was invaluable in guiding me to make the story more engaging and authentic for Young Adult readers thanks to excellent feedback from YA writer Lucy Christopher, and to make it as user-friendly and interactive as possible with the support of creative technologist Pete Bennett.
I was also grateful for the support from schools I connected with in helping me to get feedback from young readers to make the story as effective and impactful as it could be. It’s been an exciting journey and one I feel that’s helped shape my writing career towards working in this way more in the future.
More about Alternarratives
Nesta ran an open call for bold, creative ideas that explore new ways to tell a story and push the boundary of how we consume literature and engage 13-16 year olds with reading. This was a chance for writers to consider the future of storytelling and make use of new technologies or formats.
Nesta provided nine creators with bursaries and bespoke support to make their ideas a reality - now we need your help to pick a winner. BBC Taster and Nesta are asking the public to test, rate and provide feedback on the live projects.
Anyone can view them and have your say on who wins, but we’re specifically encouraging 13-16 year olds to tell us how they engaged with the works. We will view the public feedback with an expert panel to help select the final winner.