Updated: 06 Jan 2012

Pioneering Students Team up With Penguin and Invite the World to Help Write the First-Ever Wiki Novel

1st February 2007

De Montfort University students and Penguin Books UK have joined forces to launch a global experiment in new media writing, the first-ever truly collaborative wiki novel.

From today (1 February) until 28 February anyone anywhere in the world can help to write the novel which can be found under the title 'A Million Penguins' at amillionpenguins.com.

Award-winning author Kate Pullinger, who is Reader in Creative Writing and New Media at De Montfort University in Leicester, has coordinated the project between Penguin and her students.

Kate said: "There's a long history of collaborative writing on the internet, but the DMU/Penguin wiki novel project takes it to another level. The involvement of students from De Montfort's Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media and the Head of Digital Publishing from Penguin guarantees that the project will be thoughtful and thought-provoking. Wikis are one of a huge variety of useful online tools for writers, but it remains to be seen whether or not a valuable contribution to literature can be made this way."

"This is the first fiction project of its kind to involve a major mainstream publisher and the first public project involving students of this ground-breaking online Masters degree," said Kate.

Students involved in the wiki project - which has been designed as part of one module in the year-long Masters degree - are based across the world and include the Director of Booktrust, Chris Meade.

Professor of New Media, at De Montfort University, Sue Thomas said: "I'm delighted that a UK book publisher is taking this step to close the gap between print and digital, and very pleased that Penguin has identified our Master's degree as an important source of new literary talent. Writers like our students, who are not afraid of new technologies, can create extremely well in both text and multimedia. They are the best-selling authors of the future, a future which is not very far away."

Jeremy Ettinghausen, Digital Publisher at Penguin UK, said; "I am thrilled to have the students on board and in our pre-launch conversations their contribution has already been crucial in shaping this project and, hopefully, ensuring its success."

For further information or to be kept informed about IOCT activities, please contact:
The Director, Institute of Creative Technologies,
De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH
Tel: (+44) 0116 250 6146
Email: eedmonds [at] dmu.ac.uk

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