Great Britain and Northern Ireland are home to an enviable suite of literary figures, both past and present, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Jane Austen, Shakespeare to JK Rowling. VisitBritain's British Literary Guide gives a good summary of some of our key literary figures. The UK's storytellers and stories are coveted worldwide and their legacy continues to contribute to Bristish culture, tourism and creative economy.
Looking at what is happening now and soon in the realms of storytelling, Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), pointed out in a speech at the Creative Industries Federation International Summit in October 2018 that we are "the largest exporter of physical books in the world" and that "our films earn one sixth of global receipts”. He also spoke about how traditional channels for storytelling were merging with new channels such as digital, AR and VR and the positive opportunity this presented for the creative sector. He said: "Theatre is blending with film; and computer programming with sculpture. We have virtual reality curatorship, animated artworks, video games scored by classical music composers. It’s this spirit that gives us a huge competitive advantage, brings in new audiences and puts us in a prime position for the future."
In October 2018, the government pledged £10 million for a new national centre focused on immersive storytelling called the StoryFutures Academy, looking to harness storytelling via AR, VR and new technologies.
Also pushing the boundaries of storytelling, November is National Novel Writing month, and several storytelling festivals are setting their dates for next year. The annual Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh closed the end of October. Hay Festival Wales Winter Weekend takes place 22–25 November and Hay Festival's international events include Hay Festival Arequipa in Peru 8–11 November; and Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias in Colombia 31 January – 3 February 2019. Next year British storytellers will also be attending: Tales of The Island – the International Storytelling Festival of Sharjah 22 February – 16 March in the UAE.
Look out on the Culture Diary as other dates and developments are announced and please keep posting your stories and events so we can continue to watch the our cultural story unfold.