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Writing for interactivity can present many challenges to the newcomer, and involves shedding a lot of what we’ve always been taught about storytelling. Are beginning, middle, and end, really essential? Do we need to move in straight lines anymore? Is conflict really essential? Join our guest of games and interactive writing as she leads you through the basics of changing your mindset to level up your writing by including interactivity and reader agency into your stories! Moderated by Tracey Defty-Rashid with Christy Dena (QLD) and Leena van Deventer (VIC).
Christy Dena, a writer-designer-director who has worked on award-winning pervasive games, film, digital and theatre projects. Her original projects have won the Interactive Media category at the Australian Writers’ Guild Awards; won and been shortlisted for the Digital Narrative category at the WA Premier’s Book Awards; and many others. Christy has been commissioned to create a game installation for Experimenta’s 5th International Biennial of Media Art: Recharge. She was granted Australia’s first Digital Writing Residency at The Cube for her project “Robot University,” with funding from the Australia Council for the Arts and QUT. She was the “Digital Writing Ambassador” for the Emerging Writers Festival. Previously she worked extensively with the Australia Council for the Arts on their “Story of the Future” initiative, including co-writing “The Writer’s Guide to Making a Digital Living” for the Australian Literature Board. She co-founded with Lance Weiler an international residential lab for storytellers working in tech called “Forward Slash Story“. Her clients include Nokia, Cisco/No Mimes Media, ABC, Wieden+Kennedy, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Noah Falstein, Ken Eklund & Agency of Coney, and more.
Leena van Deventer is an award-winning game developer, writer, and educator from Melbourne. She has taught interactive storytelling at Swinburne and RMIT Universities and published her first book last year, “Game Changers: From Minecraft to misogyny, the fight for the future of videogames” with Dr Dan Golding for Affirm Press. Leena has worked on games and apps such as “Twists & Turns” for the Melbourne Writers Festival, and as a senior copywriter on “Run That Town” for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which went on to win a Gold Lion award at Cannes.