Nottingham City Council’s innovative ‘Storysmash’ project will officially launch on Saturday 24 June with actor, comedian, and author – Charlie Higson on hand to introduce this 12-month programme and to talk about his own experiences in the world of literature.

Higson is the author of the phenomenally successful Young Bond series which has now sold over a million copies in the UK and has been translated into over 24 different languages. All five novels entered the children’s bestseller charts in the top five.

Charlie Higson
Charlie Higson

His bestselling zombie-adventure series for teenagers, The Enemy has been published to great critical acclaim.

After the launch, Higson will run an inspiring, interactive masterclass workshop, talk and book signing for the public (3-6pm – tickets available online £12).

The ‘Storysmash’ project is designed for 11-25 year olds in the city to learn how to write and build their own digital games. No skills or experience are necessary, just imagination and enthusiasm. Games are written in TWINE and participants will come through the project, not only with their own video game, but with improved literacy skills and experience to enhance their career prospects.

The ‘Storysmash’ project has been funded by Arts Council England (ACE) to the value of £226,235 and will be delivered by Nottingham City Libraries in partnership with Nottingham Videogame Foundation, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and supported by the University of Nottingham.

Charlie said: “I’ve always been a huge fan of films and books, and studied gothic literature at university. I have always championed the idea that film and video is as valuable to learning as reading and writing. I am fascinated by how this project can take storytelling into another dimension as gaming is introduced. The beauty is that anybody can get involved. If you can think of a story, you can create your own game.”

Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said; “I am very excited about the potential for ‘Storysmash’ to capture the imaginations of young people but also offer them skills and experience of writing, gaming and programming at the same time. This is a really novel way for our libraries to work with young people and I would urge 11 to 25 year olds in the city to book themselves on our ‘Storysmash’ workshops and to embrace this wonderful opportunity.”

Iain Simons – Director- National Videogame Foundation said; “The Foundation aims to inspire people to make videogames, start new conversations about them, and find new ways in which they can contribute to culture, society and education. From our experience, there is huge potential for growth in this project. I look forward to seeing the results of this project when they are showcased at the GameCity Festival in October.”
Sandeep Mahal – Director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature said; “We firmly believe that investing in literacy, especially among young people, is the key to improving their future life chances. ‘Storysmash’ is a vital project for young people to experience the power of creative writing and the power it can give them in building confidence and vital life skills.”

About ‘Storysmash’
‘Storysmash’ started on 1 April and will deliver a 12 month programme of activities using the close connection between reading, creative writing as well as creative gaming to develop confidence, new skills and to address issues of low literacy in those aged 11-25 years in Nottingham City.

Participants will take part in six expert led creative gaming workshops, supported by creative writers and author visits. ‘Gaming Hotspots’ will be set up in libraries and around the city to deliver the project.

Workshops will take place in Aspley, Bulwell, Clifton and St Ann’s libraries, Nottingham Central Library, and HMP Nottingham where targeted work will take place to improve rehabilitation and reduce re-offending.

The project will be showcased as part of the GameCity Festival in October, attracting a footfall of over 10,000, in which completed games will be shared in public spaces. This validates, rewards and encourage the efforts of participants as well as maximising access to their work.

Press registration is essential for this event. For further information on ‘Storysmash’ and to register your attendance, please contact Jane Barton – Communications and Marketing Officer on 0115 8761222 or email