AmbITion Re:connected – Litfest Case Study

This is a live blog of the AmbITion Re:connected  event at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester.  If you spot any errors or inaccuracies or would simply like to contribute to the conversation, leave us a comment!

Andy Darby from Litfest is now sharing how they are engaging audiences and making great digital content.

Litfest have built their own website.  Web development in cash terms cost £100.   In times of energy expended, time involved it’s cost a lot more.

Content they are working on:

Flax – publishing imprint of Lancaster Litfest.  Publishes short stories and poetry from some of the best writers living and working in the North West of England.

Very simple format – PDF.  Which suits their conservative users base.  There is a disconnect between how the writers feel valued because they have a ‘read’ publication versus a ‘print’ publication.


Flax books – include audio recordings featuring the writer reading from the story.  Flax Media player pops up with audio output.

Allows a festival director to be able to read and find out how the writer sounds.

Stay in the format the writer is already familiar with.

Also provide two other formats.   ‘Do it your self edition’ i.e. print it yourself or ‘Order a copy’ and buy as a high quality pamphlet version sent by Litfest.   Quite a few have ordered copies.

Multiple channels for the same piece of work.

The writers want a physical book but litfest helps them value the digital work.  The initial publication happens online, then you have the DIY version then a lot further down the road there is a print version that litfest can launch.

Offer coaching and marketing sessions.  Also have a Flickr session with the writers so that the writers have their own head shots.
Professional head shot photographs for writers are few and far between, have you looked at the back of a Harper Collins recently?
The writer is stood by a garden shed!

They are getting a group of writers who can do stuff for them and who they can do stuff for too.   They can help writers with website development.

A writer they developed that is now in the 2 for 1 offer in Waterstones(?) now wanting paid for professional development.

Did an experiment with YouTube content.  Have said it doesn’t work for us.    It’s more natural for us to do podcasts as an organisation.  So they are doing podcasts for all the writers they are working with.

Each publication had 500-700 downloads.  Print publication numbers around 120 normally.

Successful film work shown on the big screen in the Lancaster network.

They brought in a professional film maker to make films accompanying a writer’s story.  They have said that going forward they will use a film maker in this way as they bring so much to the table.

Internal argument ongoing is that that content should have been on YouTube, Vimeo on other websites…  If only for the search engine optimisation (SEO) benefits.

It’s something they are looking at, they currently argue that it has to be really high quality video.

Now onto Jamie Wooldridge from Ludus Dance sharing about Ludus Dance’s work with Film.

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