Added to Creative Stoke, 12th April 2012

NESTA currently has a call for online hyperlocal projects seeking funding of up to £50,000…

“to test the next generation of hyperlocal media services”

This comes alongside the launch of a new NESTA report on the state of online hyperlocal media in the UK, Here and Now: UK Hyperlocal Media Today (PDF link, sadly no Kindle edition)…

” To our knowledge, this is the first time that such a comprehensive review has been undertaken. […] traditional media providers have found it hard to adjust their high-cost models to a sufficiently local area. Meanwhile, hyperlocal bloggers find it difficult to develop a critical mass of audience and to define the right business models to grow their offers into more sustainable services. Little evidence is publicly available on the success or failure of these services.”

Added to the Writing and Publishing page, A Little Bit of Stone, a hyperlocal news website for the town of Stone.

Congratulations to Stoke-on-Trent’s local politics blog Pits ‘n Pots. With the support of the Journalism Foundation and Staffordshire University journalism students, 50,000 copies of a 16-page print version of the blog have this week been distributed to local homes in the city.

Khoros is a new interactive musical instrument developed and produced in Stoke-on-Trent. Available now, it…

“will have you creating aural masterpieces in minutes, whether a musical novice or seasoned composer!”

The Weston Park Granary Fine Art Open Competition 2012 is now on. There’s a special prize for entrants from Staffordshire and Shropshire. Painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, print making, multi-media are all accepted. There is a £15 entry fee per work, and works must be for sale. The overall Winner will receive £2,000. The Shropshire/Staffordshire winning artist will win £500. Deadline: 29th June 2012. See the Web page for full details.

There’s to be a special Owl and Raptor Photography Workshop at Trentham Gardens in Stoke-on-Trent, on 14th May 2012. The cost is £99. It seems to be “in the wild” photography, rather than photographing tame birds in studios. Interested? Call 01782 646646.

Cheadle and District Book Club is a new book discussion club which meets at the Moshi coffee shop, High Street, Cheadle, on the first Monday of every month, to discuss a pre-selected book.

Stoke-on-Trent’s Prototype magazine for students and recent graduates has begun its new IndieGoGo fundraising campaign to raise awareness and funds for print editions…

Job:  Red Nile is seeking to commission an innovative print designer, based in the Midlands, to…

“produce a brand new Factory Nights publication [offering] creative ways to feature images from the Factory Night events, images of the artwork and events as part of Unique Commissions and pieces of creative and critical writing which respond to the innovative way Factory Nights commission artists and support their development.”

The total budget for design and print is £3,000 and they are hoping to produce the publication by September 2012. Application deadline: 27th April 2012. Full brief and specs from:

Your editor is giving away book-cover rights on a new picture. This 6″ x 9″ inch (2925px x 1913px, 150dpi) version of my “The Pilot’s Dilemma” is licenced as Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivs. But if you are an author who is self-publishing a suitable novel (or a scholarly book on science-fiction, virtual worlds, or similar) then feel free to use it commercially ‘as is’, without asking. Note that the place to add the title and author name is at the bottom of the picture, rather than the top…

I’m also available for book-cover commissions, to make similar works.

The summer 2012 edition of the UK’s Writing in Education magazine will reportedly have a focus…

“on the work of writers in schools. We should like to invite you to contribute to this, with the proviso that articles submitted will be subject to the normal selection process by the editorial board.”

The Government is reportedly on the verge of letting £33m of contacts to organisations that will provide support and grants to communities seeking to use the new rights enshrined in the new Localism Act. Community groups can now force local Councils and other bodies such as the Post Office to hand-over buildings and other amenities deemed to be… “assets of community value” if they are under threat of official neglect or closure. This is potentially relevant to the survival of local libraries, galleries, museums, and other cultural venues.

Added to the Directory: RCA Entertainments is an entertainment agency based in Tean, Staffordshire.

Bursaries are on offer to eight selected students who intend to graduate in summer 2012 from B.A. and M.A. Fine Art or Art & Design degree courses in the West Midlands. Selected graduates will receive one year’s free membership to Birmingham’s Extra Special People (ESP) based at the contemporary art gallery Eastside Projects in Birmingham. Application deadline: 11th May 2012. See the Web page for full details.

Job: The New Art Gallery, Walsall, is currently seeking a marketing professional… “to work with its staff on an exciting year-long project for young people”. This entails 20 days of work spread over 12 months, until March 2013. The overall fee is £4,000. Application deadline: 18th April 2012. Full details from Ioannis Ioannou, Audience Development Curator, at:

Interested in the fusion of crafts and gadgets? The online crafts maketplace Etsy is offering $5k Hacker Grants for women to attend Hacker School in New York. This…

“is a three-month, full-time school in New York for becoming a better programmer. We’re free as in beer, and provide space, a little structure, time to focus, and a friendly community of smart builders dedicated to self-improvement.”

From the FAQ

“Q: I’m not a US citizen. Can I do Hacker School?

Yes, assuming you can legally be in New York for the entirety of the batch (just under three months). We don’t pay you, and we’re not an official academic institution, so you shouldn’t need a work or student visa.”

The Etsy grants are worth $5,000 each, and there are 20 places available.

BT’s Infinity “up to 100Mbs” fast broadband package should now be available in Leek and Stafford, from 31st March 2012. A roughly 38Mbps real-world download speed should be available, and BT have just announced that the upstream on Infinity (all varieties) will be boosted five-fold to 9.5Mbps. This upstream boost will be especially useful for those needing to upload huge media files to “need it yesterday” clients, live webcast with video, etc. Next on the Infinity upgrade list is Newcastle-under-Lyme, which is penciled in for a switch-on on 31st December 2012. Stoke-on-Trent will presumably follow in 2013.


One Comment on “Added to Creative Stoke, 12th April 2012”

  1. Deborah says:

    Reblogged this on Dappled Sky and commented:
    Just been reading some interesting items on the Creative Stoke newsfeed this morning, including … a Grant Opportunity for female crafts makers interested in gadgets – you could be in New York for 3 months having an amazing time ( via Etsy) Also the Weston Park Granary Fine Art Exhibition with winners prizes of £2000 and £500 for Staffordshire and Shropshire artists… plus other opportunities and news.

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