We are so excited for Saturday and all the stuff that is happening. You have already seen posts about guests, live music and debuting comics, and now it is the turn of Nottingham Central Library.

We are very lucky to have the library join us this year. They will be in the Kids Zone sharing information on their services and running an awesome workshop!!

They will also be very happy to tell you all about their campaign Story Smash with you!!

Storysmash is a new project that looks to get more young people into libraries.  Although library visitor numbers are on the up from young people, there’s a great offer from Nottingham City Libraries to do more.  The project itself is delivering sessions aimed at 11 – 25 year olds that help them to create “choose your own adventure” type branching narratives / creative writing.  The sessions take place in libraries (Aspley, Bulwell Riverside, Clifton, St Ann’s Valley and Nottingham Central) where young people can create their own “choose your own adventure” or tell their own stories, using free software called Twine.

A young person could then write their own alternate endings to Game of Thrones, create their own masterpiece of fiction, or even use Twine as a tool to educate others on how they have overcome a particularly difficult challenge. For example a young person could create an account of what it was like to tell their parents they were LGBT, and run through the different scenarios they agonised over in trying to talk to them.  A parent reading that then might realise just how difficult it can be from the young person’s perspective of making those decisions.

Or of course you could just create something that would help get a message over in a fun way.  Imagine “Dear Son/Daughter, I noticed that your room was particularly messy this morning as I tried to hang your clothes up.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to the wardrobe to do this.  You can help by tidying your room up, or leave it the way it is” .  If tidying your room up is selected it could then lead to a new passage of text that says “congratulations, and thank you!  You have levelled up, and also gain an extra £2 in pocket money this week J!!”.

Storysmash also runs masterclass session where well known authors are brought in to help young people on a variety of topics around creative writing and games development.  We have had so far Fantasy author, entrepreneur, Ian Livingstone CBE (Co-creator for Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, Co-founder for Games Workshop and, President and CEO for Eidos Interactive who produced Lara Croft – Tomb Raider), Narrative director, author Rob Yescombe (Farpoint, The Invisible Hours, Rime, The Division), English actor, comedian, author, writer, director and former singer Charlie Higson (Fast Show, Young Bond, The Enemy, Randall & Hopkirk) and Children’s Author and Game Design Lecturer Gabrielle Kent(Alfie Bloom).

Although Twine may seem basic, it is extremely powerful, and people can go on to discover for themselves that they can add images or even videos, a little bit similar to Telltale games such as “Wolf Among Us”.