Ambient Literature Festival

10am – 5pm Monday, April 23rd at the British Library

For the last two years, the Ambient Literature Project has been developing literary works that manifest alongside your daily routine. Delivered by smartphone, and responding to your presence in the world, these pieces of Ambient Literature offer each reader an opportunity to experience the world a little differently. Whether as a participant in a ghost story that knows where you are, losing yourself in a story of migration, loss and betrayal, or experiencing a poetic reflection on connection, progress and memory as you walk through the streets, these works exist somewhere between the ethereal and the magical.

Join us at the British Library Conference Centre for a showcase event on April 23rd. We’ll be celebrating the end of the project, sharing our secrets and discoveries, and letting you look behind the scenes of how these projects are created.

The daylong festival will feature a number of workshops and talks aimed at industry professionals, students, practitioners, and anyone else interested in the future of reading and writing.

Please register for attendance at


Once you have completed registration you’ll be directed to a link for workshop sign up – take your pick from the options below:

The Ambient Literature Toolkit
Tom Abba will lead a production and process workshop aimed at writers, publishing professionals, designers and commissioners who are interested in working with situated storytelling. Based on the forthcoming Ambient Literature Toolkit, this workshop will demystify the production process, and explore how Ambient works speak to readers, writers and the city space itself.
Auditorium, two sessions
11.00 – 12.30pm
2.00 – 3.30pm

Making It Must Have Been Dark By Then
Duncan Speakman’s It Must Have Been Dark By Then is a book and audio experience that uses a mixture of evocative music, narration and field recording to bring you stories of changing environments, from the swamplands of Louisiana, to empty Latvian villages and the edge of the Tunisian Sahara. Unlike many audio guides, there is no preset route, the software builds a unique map for each person’s experience. Join Duncan and Tineke De Meyer for a masterclass in experience design, as they take you into the process of designing, writing, and creating this extraordinary work.
Chaucer Room
11.00 – 12.30pm

Kate Pullinger: Writing Networks
Kate Pullinger’s Breathe was one of the pieces commissioned as part of the Ambient Literature project. In this workshop, Pullinger will lead participants through the process of writing Breathe and the collaboration with Editions at Play (itself a collaboration between Google Creative Lab Sydney and London-based publisher Visual Editions) that allowed the book to come to life. Pullinger will discuss writing for digital platforms, including writing conditional text, and what it means to create literature that is digitally mediated.
Chaucer Room
2.00 – 3.30pm

The Cartographer’s Confession
This workshop gives the opportunity to walk the streets of London and experience the The Cartographer’s Confession, guided by its writer James Attlee and producer Emma Whittaker. Learn about the making of the app as you visit the sites featured in the narrative with its creators. Winner of The New Media Writing Prize 2017The Cartographer’s Confession combines fiction and non-fiction, imagined and real locations, to create a story of migration, loss, betrayal and retribution. Featuring 3D soundscapes and a bespoke musical score by The Night Sky. More details can be found here.