This summer I finally became a Doctor of Nearlyology. I completed my practice-based PhD in digital writing at Bath Spa Uni. Many thanks to my supervisor, the wonderful Kate Pullinger, supportive and talented fellow Phders, and my other supervisors, Philip Hensher and Donna Hancox. My thesis, Nearlywriting Nearlyology included an 80,000 novel WHAT DIDN’T QUITE, part of a transmedia fiction which also involves songs, soundscapes, live workshops and performance. The novel was praised by my examiner, the author David Almond, and a range of other readers of different ages and backgrounds. Last week, just as I was sat in a cafe trying to get motivated to send the manuscript out to more people, David kindly emailed me this wonderful quote which I immediately put on the front of the site.
“Chris Meade is an artistic explorer. It’s great to see his work come to such vivid life. The Nearly Project is fascinating, playful, serious, wide-ranging, truly thought-provoking. What Didn’t Quite is beautifully written.”
Heartened by that, I now want to put Nearlyology further out into the world. Sadly my research at Bath Spa suggested that the publishing world is currently fearful of transmedia projects. But the text works in its own right as a print novel. I was advised to approach ‘conventional’ publishers but not mention the transmedia elements which might put them off. That flies in the face of my thesis which argues how writers today should feel free to compose using whatever media they wish on the basis that the end result can somehow be made and distributed in digital or analogue form. After all that work, I want to enjoy amplifying and expanding my story world in all sorts of ways.
So for now I’ve made TIME LIMITED DIGITAL EDITIONS of the latest draft of the novel and my contextual research which you can download from www.nearlyology.net as PdFs or read online for free. Next I’m planning to give the text a good revise and produce an e-book, a series of paper mini-booklets, a full album of Nearly Songs with the Ifso, launch THE NEARLY SHOW, a podcast interviewing all kinds of people about their nearly lives, and I’m keen to be Nearlyologist in Residence in different venues, gathering stories, running workshops and doing live performance with the Ifso Band.
I would value working with others on this. I’m still looking out for a publisher to do a print version, and I’m very interested in all kinds of creative collaboration – with digital producers, agents, artists, writers… I’d also love to do a pop-up Nearly Store somewhere.
If you’re interested, please get in touch.