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Where Do Stories Come From?

You are invited to make the shift from reader to writer, from observer to active participant.

Start your writing adventure right now at and view a gallery of other people’s creative contributions.*

*This experience is best enjoyed on laptop or desktop computer, as it mirrors the writer at a desk more closely. You’ll also need headphones. Please note: the experience in this prototype form is currently unsuitable for those with a visual impairment.

In this interactive online exhibition from UEA’s flagship project Future and Form, you are invited to make the shift from reader to writer, from observer to active participant, as you inhabit the world of the writer as they craft the story.

Using a unique combination of archive material from award-winning Malaysian born novelist Tash Aw, computer-generated imaging and responsive machine learning, you will travel 6,000 miles away to where the story begins in Hong Kong. There, you will immerse yourself in the creative process, from the spark of an idea to the decisions that build imagined worlds populated with fully-realised characters.

The choices you are invited to make throughout the experience will influence the outcome and, by the end, your contributions will have formed a unique digital postcard that can be emailed to you. The postcards will form a gallery of creative responses illustrating the myriad ways the writer can shape and craft a story.

Inhabit the world of a writer as you craft your own story.


If you’ve enjoyed this work, please take two minutes to give us your feedback at

Your feedback will help us make improvements and continue to offer this programme to the general public for free.


Tash Aw


Dan Shorten

Creative Director

Sam Ferstenberg

Sound Designer

Isabel Woodings


Richard Moores

Technical Supervisor

Aaron Dore

Website Developer

Isaac Clarke

Website Developer

Black Shuck Co-op

Giovani Rossi

Video Designer

Clare Partington

Production Manager

Kim Nicholson

Production Assistant

Kieron Tilley

Account Director

Justine Mann

UEA Lead

Tim Wright

Executive Producer

Wes Brown

CHASE Researcher & Web Editor

Venue Partners

Norfolk Library and Information Services

Norfolk Library and Information Service has a network of 47 public libraries and six mobile libraries across Norfolk in rural and urban settings. The service promotes literacy and an enjoyment of reading, provides information for life, encourages lifelong learning and supports local communities. We actively engage with communities and individuals and are working hard to combat social isolation and improve wellbeing through our programme of outreach and activities.

The British Archive for Contemporary Writing

The British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) is an incredible collection of archives including material from world renowned writers, such as Doris Lessing, Lee Child and JD Salinger, and prize winning and acclaimed contemporary writers such as Naomi Alderman, Adam Foulds, Charlie Higson and Tash Aw amongst many others.

BACW participates in and progresses the University of East Anglia’s international reputation for creative writing, the status of Norwich as a UNESCO City of Literature, and UEA’s strong links with writers of world renown. It does this through international literary festivals, the British Centre for Literary Translation and the National Centre for Writing.