Transmedia Storytelling Resources

What is Transmedia Storytelling?

Here's what a few of the experts say:
  • Transmedia immerses an audience in a story's universe through a number of dispersed entry points, providing a comprehensive and coordinated experience of a complex story." - Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture & Spreadable Media
  • Transmedia storytelling is "the process of conveying messages, themes or story lines to a mass audience through the artful and well planned use of multiple media platforms. It is a philosophy of communications and brand extention that broadens the life cycle of creative content." -Jeff Gomez, Starlight Runner Entertainment

Transmedia Storytelling & The Future Of Children's Publishing

I believe as digital experiences become more prevalent, the intimacy of a paper book becomes more valuable and meaningful. Transmedia Storytelling will make the book more precious.

More than a brand extension, transmedia storytelling is an opportunity for storytellers & publishers to engage fans, build communities & create multiple revenue streams on multiple platforms - all connected by single story world (universe). This is the future of children's publishing.  Editors, designers, illustrators, writers, marketers, librarians, teachers and fans co-creating connected stories built around communities offering content  24/7. 

I believe children's publishing is in a unique position to take advantage of transmedia storytelling techniques because:

  • Children's book writers & illustrators already have visual literacy super powers
  • Children already love books-and so do parents, the book as object is already valued
  • Children are already online, why not meet them where they are by creating a back story or new mobile experience
  • Children's Publishing has an amazing back list of content & characters available to play with
  • Children's characters easily translate into great brand extensions like toys, games, apps
  • In order to participate and prosper in the 21st century, kids will need to develop a new range of digital skills (literacies). These new digital literacies being developed by educators & librarians now, can act as entry points into transmedia stories.
  • Children's book creators already have ties to librarians & educators (developing the digital literacies)
  • Children's book creators (some) have already developed their own platforms and fans
I don't believe Transmedia Storytelling dilutes the story, it makes the book experience that much more precious. We're already seeing this. Paper books sales remain steady as mobile keeps exploding.
It's not either or, it's and.

The future is already here.

 "The traditional book is no longer necessarily the starting point of this 360 degree value chain," says
Holger Volland, describing this 360 degree exploitation of content as one of the 3 Publishing Megatrends.

So many Adventure Time fans pinned & made crafts that there is a new craft book being published in October 2014 by Potter Craft: Adventure Time crafts: Flippin Adorable Stuff To Make From The Land of Ooo. Fans want to be able to engage with a story everywhere. 

Adventure Time Crafts, Potter Craft
Curious?  Check Out These Examples & Best Practices of Children's Transmedia Storytelling (loosely defined as using 3 platforms to tell the story)


Transmedia Storytelling & Education.  

In order to participate and prosper in the 21st century, kids will need to develop a new range of digital skills (literacies). These digital literacies can act as entry points into a transmedia story, encouraging engagement

Henry Jenkins:
In Confronting The Challenges of Participatory Culture, Media Education for the 21st Century published by The MIT Press {free download}, Henry Jenkins defines the 11 Core Media Literacy skills as:
1.  PLAY: The Capacity to experiment with the Surroundings as a form of problem solving
2.  SIMULATION: The ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
3.  PERFORMANCE: The ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
4.  APPROPRIATION:  The ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
5.  MULTITASKING:  The ability to scan the environment and shift focus onto salient details
6.  DISTRIBUTED COGNITION:  The ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
7.  COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE:  The ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
8.  JUDGEMENT:  The ability to evaluate the readability and credibility of different information sources
9.  TRANSMEDIA NAVIGATION:  The ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
10.  NETWORKING:  The ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
11.  NEGOTIATION:  The ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms
Educators & Librarians are embracing transmedia storytelling as a  powerful way to engage kids in deeper self directed learning.

Dr. Doug Belshaw:


Amanda Hovious: Designer Librarian defines The 7 Literacies of Transmedia Storytelling as:
1. Multimodal Literacy
2. Critical Literacy
3. Digital Literacy
4. Media Literacy
5. Visual Literacy
6. Information Literacy
7. Game Literacy

"Developing a narrative over multiple platforms while interweaving learning outcomes creates transformational learning experiences. Participants engage, inform, inspire, connect and collaborate over content. It is this interconnectedness that fosters a dialogue which connects learners around the world. Transmedia storytelling exemplifies learning in the 21st century." - Laura Fleming, Inanimate Alice

ABC SLPASH AND LEARN! Videos, games and education resources for Australian students and teachers. There are some great articles here written by Christy Dena.
1. Opening the door to transmedia projects by Christy Dena
2. Transmedia Stories & Games Explained by Christy Dena

The USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center produced "a much needed guidebook to transmedia in the lives of children age 5-11 and its applications to storytelling, play, and learning" called T is For Transmedia written by Becky Herr-Stephenson, Meryl Alper & Erin Reilly. The introduction is written by Henry Jenkins (see links below).

Read more about transmedia & education

Talking Transmedia with Laura Fleming, School Library Journal
Why Use Transmedia In Early Education?, U.S. Department Of Education
Transmedia & Education: Three Essential Readings, Jeff Watson

Transmedia Storytelling 101 by Henry Jenkins

by Gary Hayes

By Julie Giles

(AWESOME!) designed & developed by Dr. Siobhan O'Flynn & Anthea Foyer

The Hunger Games case study for publishing nerds.

The participatory Documentary Cookbook: Community Documentary Using Social Media
by Jenny Weight


BOOKS & blogs:
Henry Jenkins
"If it doesn't spread, it's dead." - USC Professor Henry Jenkins 
web: Confessions of an Aca-Fan, The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins.
twitter: @henryjenkins
twitter bio: Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts, USC

Lance Weiler Writer, Director, and Experience Designer for Film, TV, and Games
bio: Lance Weiler is a storyteller, entrepreneur and thought leader. An alumni of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer for the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him "one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood." He sits on two World Economic Forum steering committees: one focuses on the Future of Content Creation and the other examines the role of Digital Media in Shaping Culture & Governance. Lance teaches at Columbia University on the art, craft and business of storytelling in the 21st century. He is currently developing a number of film, television and gaming properties.
web: Class teaches a class at Columbia called BUILDING STORYWORLDS.
twitter: @lanceweiler

Siobhan O'flynn, PhD
twitter: @sioflynn
twitter bio: I advise on digital storytelling, trans/crossmedia ,, & .
in the most surprising places 
scoopit: Tracking Transmedia

Frank Rose
twitter: @frankrose
twitter bio: Author of The Art of Immersion. Writer and speaker on the impact of technology on entertainment, advertising, and society. Digital anthropologist.
New York
book: The Art Of Immersion
The Art Of Immersion
How the digital generation is
remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue
and the way we tell stories.

Andrea Phillips
twitter: @andrhia
twitter bio: Transmedia writer, game designer, consultant, freelancer. Author of A Creator's Guide to Transmedia Storytelling, out June 22
book: A Creator's Guide to Transmedia Storytelling
A Creator's Guide To Transmedia Storytelling
How To Captivate and Engage Audiences
Across Multiple Platforms

Sara Grimes, PhD
twitter: @saragrimes
blog bio: Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. PhD in Communication. Researcher of children's new media and literature; digital games and the intersection of play, technology and transmedia intertexts.

Jeff Gomez
twitter: @Jeff_Gomez
twitter bio: CEO, Starlight Runner Entertainment. Creator and producer of storyworlds and transmedia entertainment franchises.

Caitlin Burns
web: Caitlin Burns CV Tumbler Spectacular
web: The Mystery Of Girl's Media
twitter: @Caitlin_Burns
twitter bio: Transmedia Producer, Board Member of the Producer's Guild of America's New Media Council
New York, NY

Alison Norrington
web: Alison Norrington, Story Central Digital
twitter: @storycentral
twitter bio: Crossplatform/Transmedia producer, writer, strategist. Novelist & PhD Transmedia Storytelling. StoryWorld Conference Chair. Online Community TEDx Transmedia.

Christy Dena, PhD
web: Christy Dena, You Suck At Transmedia
web: Christy Dena, Universe Creation 101
twitter: @christydena
twitter bio: Emerging transmedia/blah designer, writer, director. Dev an online comedy drama ;;; Transmedia PhD
Melbourne, Australia 
twitter: @transmediaVic
twitter bio: An exciting transmedia event for theatre, film, TV, gaming & digital folk ran in 2011 in Victoria. Yay! This acc run by Hashtag = #transvic

Scott Walker
twitter: @scott_walker
twitter bio: Storyteller, world builder, creative catalyst. Also, typing monkey.
web: Shared Storyworlds, A Resource For Collaborative Worldbuilding

Simon Staffans
twitter: @simon_staffans
twitter bio: Content developer. Cross media, transmedia, social media, brand integration etc. Television, online, mobile.. and all combinations. At MediaCity Finland.
web: MuchTooLongBlog

Lina Srivastava
web: Transmedia Activism, Lina Srivastava & Vicki Callahan



Tracking Transmedia
"Tracking Transmedia, Crossmedia, interactive & digital storytelling"
curated by Siobhan O'Flynn, PhD

The Digital Rocking Chair
Transmedia: Storytelling for the Digital Age
curated by Fiona Milburn

Pervasive Entertainment Times
"Augmented locative stories, experiential transmedia games collaborative social TV"
curated by Gary Hayes

"The art of telling stories over multiple platforms in a common storyworld"
curated by Simon Staffans

Transmedia 4 Kids
"Transmedia Storytelling in children's publishing and digital literacy as social action"
curated by @CynthiaJabar

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