‘Do You Have a Big Stick?’ for Hand Made High Tech

In 2011, I was commissioned by if:book Australia to write an article on transmedia writing. The article, ‘Do You Have a Big Stick?’, has now been published in their first ebook: Hand Made High Tech, along with a great collections of essays on writing.

Throughout 2011, if:book Australia commissioned essays from ten Australian writers on the future of writing and reading in a future tilted towards the digital. Each writer drew on his or her experience in fields diverse as publishing, transmedia, gaming, and comics to observe the changes taking place in ‘books’ and discussing where this might lead for authors, readers, and reading culture. High Tech Hand Made is the result.

Download the collection now, in EPUB, Kindle, and PDF formats. Yay!

‘Creating Quality Cross-Media Experiences’ for Cross-Media Communications



My chapter for Drew Davidson’s book discusses ways you can create quality cross-media experiences. This is one of the earliest ‘how-to’ books on cross-media published.

This text is an introduction to the future of mass media and mass communications – cross-media communications. Cross-media is explained through the presentation and analysis of contemporary examples and project-based tutorials in cross-media development. The text introduces fundamental terms and concepts, and provides a solid overview of cross-media communications, one that builds from a general introduction to a specific examination of media and genres to a discussion of the concepts involved in designing and developing cross-media communications. There is also an accompanying DVD-ROM full of hands-on exercises that shows how cross-media can be applied.

‘Emerging Participatory Culture Practices: Player-Created Tiers in Alternate Reality Games’ for Convergence

convergenceThis paper introduces an emerging form of participatory culture, one that is not a modification or elaboration of a primary producer’s content. Instead, this paper details how the artifacts created to ‘play’ a primary producer’s content has become the primary work for massive global audiences. This phenomenon is observed in the genre of alternate reality games (ARGs) and is illustrated through a theory of ‘tiering’. Tiers provide separate content to different audiences. ARG designers tier their projects, targeting different players with different content. ARG player-production then creates another tier for non-playing audiences. To explicate this point, the features that provoke player-production — producer-tiering, ARG aesthetics and transmedia fragmentation — are interrogated, alongside the character of the subsequent player-production. Finally, I explore the aspects of the player-created tiers that attract massive audiences, and then posit what these observations may indicate about contemporary artforms and society in general.

(2008) ‘Emerging Participatory Culture Practices: Player-Created Tiers in Alternate Reality Games‘, Henry Jenkins and Mark Deuze (Eds) special issue on ‘Convergence Culture’ in Convergence Journal: International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Vol 14, No 1, pp: 41-57.

‘The Writer’s Guide to Making a Digital Living’ for Australian Council for the Arts

The Writer’s Guide to Making a Digital Living is an ebook and online resource on the craft and business of writing in the digital era. It was commissioned in 2008 as part of the Story of the Future program at the Australia Council for the Arts. The project includes case studies from Australia’s rising generation of poets, novelists, screenwriters, games writers and producers who are embracing new media and contains audio and video content from seminars and workshops, as well as extensive references to resources in Australia and beyond. The project is used as a resource in digital writing programs around the world.

I was Co-Writer of the Guide, and conceived the “New Writing Universe” Interactive (providing all the content). The guide was co-written by Therese Fingleton and Jennifer Wilson.

Main website: TheWritersGuide [currently offline]
PDF of the main guide [PDF]


The Writer's Guide to Making a Digital Living: Choosing Your Own Adventure by Christy Dena