Professor Graham Mort was project leader of the British Council/Lancaster University African writers mentoring scheme, Crossing Borders (2001-2006), which linked young writers in Africa with experienced mentors in the UK. He was then the consultant and designer for a new British Council/Lancaster University project in Africa, Radiophonics (2006-2009), which developed new writing for radio in partnership with Nigerian and Ugandan FM stations: 60 writers, 150 school students and 48 teachers participated in Radiophonics training events. The new writing developed was specifically designed to stimulate public debate on air in relation to the issues of democracy, education, social inclusion, corruption in public administration, and free speech. He was also the UK adviser for, the Beyond Borders pan-African literature festival in Uganda in October 2005, an event hosted by the British Council and involving writers from the UK and 17 African countries.
This work has led to unprecedented, groundbreaking achievements by inexperienced writers taking to a world stage. Seventy-two writers have been published in Crossing Borders Magazine, four writers have been published as Mallory book titles, and many Crossing Borders mentors and mentees were invited as delegates to the Beyond Borders festival. Our project reached international readers and mass radio audiences for the Under the Sun and BBC World Service Network Africa broadcasts. Writers involved in the projects won prestigious prizes such as Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2003 (Jackee Batanda), the Macmillan Prize for Literature 2005(Glaydah Namukasa), the Caine Prize 2007(Monica Arak de Nyeko) and many more have published books and in journals. Writing, editorial training and publishing projects have continued since 2010 in Uganda in partnership with FEMTITE Women Writers Association.
As part of the AHRC-funded Creative Exchange project based at Lancaster University, Graham Mort worked in 2012/13 with the Digital Fiction Factory, BBC Learning and digital designers Atomhawk and Desq to create three new interactive digital prototypes derived from existing BBC programmes. These prototypes were for user-testing across four digital platforms and represent the Department’s interaction with knowledge exchange via commercial companies and its engagement with the development of new media within public digital space.