New creative work inspired by Alan Turing

I’m delighted to announce that the Take Tea With Turing interactive digital anthology is newly available as a free download for android devices Continue reading “New creative work inspired by Alan Turing”

Take Tea With Turing anthology app AVAILABLE NOW for free download

I’m delighted to announce that the Take Tea With Turing anthology app is now available as a free download via the iTune app store.

Download TTWT app from iTunes app store


Those of you without your own iPhone or iPad will have to beg or borrow (ViccyIsWriting does not officially endorse stealing) friends/family/colleagues’ devices to get full access to the app, but the contributor bios & short essays about the inspiration behind some of the work featured in the anthology can be found on the TTWT website. Anyone interested in producing an alternative version of the anthology can drop me an email: vsadams [at] or tweet me @ViccyIsWriting.


TTWT screenshot

update: Take Tea With Turing

Exciting news- we have a date for the launch of Take Tea With Turing: an anthology of creative work inspired by the life and legacy of Alan Turing. The launch will be on Friday 23 November, at Inspace in Edinburgh. Further details to follow.

Details of the contributors to the anthology are now up online, along with a series of short accounts of the inspiration behind some of the pieces of selected for the anthology.

Informatics: unexpected opera

The sun is back in Edinburgh; today I enjoyed some unexplained opera singing from the BBC garden outside the office window. Then I met science fiction writer Hannu Rajaniemi for a cuppa and a chat about how stories-within-stories can be compared to mathematics. Hannu (along with Samuel Halliday) has just been awarded an Alt-w production award (congrats!) to develop a project using data visualisation techniques to explore experience of insight when reading; in this instance, when reading a short story Hannu will write specially for the project. It sounds really exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Hannu also managed to explain the Halting problem for me in a way which made a lot more sense than anything I’ve read about it so far.

Today I also had the pleasure of writing my report for the Arts Trust for Scotland, who gave me a grant that enabled me to attend the Accredited Training in Coaching Skills for Writers course run by the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) in association with the Arvon Foundation in June and July. The course was run to a very high professional standard and was seismically perception shifting (‘life-changing’ seemed too trite a thing to write…). My only regret is that I didn’t do the course last summer, before starting this residency. I’d highly recommend it to other writers, both in terms of expanding/clarifying your skills and also from the personal/professional benefits of being coached. Incidentally, the next deadline for funding from the Arts Trust is noon on 16 August.

Informatics: compiling snippets

Yesterday I came in to catch up on some work and to see how the Forum feels on a Sunday, out of term time. the answer was quiet, but not empty or dark at any point. There were only a few offices with people visible in them, but I still heard the lift announcing that it was going down, closing doors, opening doors and so forth at frequent intervals. The early pieces of writing abut Ada and GIL used the ‘night hours’ of the Forum as a dark and private space, and it looks as though there’s never a time when the Forum is entirely unpopulated. Given that the corridor lights are motion sensitive, the darkness aspect doesn’t really exist either.

As a result, I’ve gathered together my different snippets from the last ten months and am about to start excavating them into an approximate order, to work out which parts of the various plots need to be changed (for plausibility rather than verisimilitude). I’ve reached a point where I’m ready to start finding holes again, so I can start asking questions to plug them. Continue reading “Informatics: compiling snippets”

Informatics: drums, drums in the deep…

Drum soundchecks on the BBC stage outside the office window. One of my office-mates almost gave me a heartattack- I was deep in the middle of writing, with Fat Boy Slim blaring out of my headphone when she tapped me on the shoulder to ask if I minded if she shut the window. Don’t think I’ve laughed as much in this office at any other point over the past ten months.

The story for ~Flow turned out to be three times longer and much darker than I’d planned, and it took me the entire day (including cancelling lunchtime yoga) to finish, but it’s done. I emailed it out for feedback, then had a quick play around with the visualisation tool. I was interested to see a strong correlation between anticipation and sadness, but mainly I was still too stuck in the ‘just having finished it’ to be able to start thinking about which areas need the heaviest editing.

Continue reading “Informatics: drums, drums in the deep…”

Informatics: writing traditions

Continuing with yesterday’s newly minted tradition, this morning I met with Pippa Goldschmidt, who has been writer-in-residence at the Genomics Forum for the last four years. Over tea on the roof garden (lucky with the sunshine again) we talked about science, scientists and writing, and how the term ‘writer-in-residence’ covers about as broad a spectrum of possible roles as the term ‘scientist’. Pippa will be running a workshop on fiction inspired by science at the Edinburgh BookFestival as well as chairing some debates there for the Genomics Forum, so I’m hoping to run into her at the Writer’s Yurt for a glass of wine & to continue the conversation.

The BBC soundchecks continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon, though they’d moved on to a series of spoken whoops – ‘Oh Yep’ ‘Oh Yep’ – as well as the usual ‘One Two’. I assume there is a logical reason for the whoops- please do get in touch if you know. Appleton Labs- the ugly building next to my beautiful Forum – has been transformed into Fringe Central for participants, media and arts industry professionals taking part in the Fringe. This means that visiting the offices over there is much more colourful than usual as actors are starting to drape themselves across sofas in the lobby, complaining loudly about the Dreadful Standards Of Hygiene at the flat they’re sharing with the twelve other members of their company. Continue reading “Informatics: writing traditions”

Informatics: nursing thoughts

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting up with Nicola White, who found me through this blog when googling to see what other Leverhulme Artists in Residence have been up to. Nicola started as the Leverhulme Trust writer in residence at the school of Nursing Studies, University of Edinburgh in March. She came across to the Forum and we had a cup of tea out on the roof garden and talked about how our residencies had come about, what we’d planned to do, and what we’ve actually ended up doing. It was very reassuring to find that similar themes were coming up- timekeeping, commuting, the intricacies of working in a space as an ‘alien’. I was particularly intrigued to learn about the anatomy museum, where she plans to hold some workshops for staff, and hope to visit it with Nicola later in the month. It was also enjoyable to look at the space I’ve been working in for the last ten months through a fresh pair of eyes.

Continue reading “Informatics: nursing thoughts”

Informatics: Creative Writing Research

Would you like to have a go at an engaging online creative writing exercise, while possibly making a contribution to research in writing tools development? The School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, is conducting an online experiment investigating the use of cutting edge computer speech on the creative writing process. All you need is a computer connected to the internet.

Just visit :

and we will send you a link shortly!

Also, don’t forget to send in your submission for Take Tea With Turing– an anthology of creative work inspired by the life & legacy of Alan Turing. Deadline is Sunday 15 July.

Informatics: Take Tea With Turing call for submissions

Alan Turing is considered by many to be the father of modern computing; the ‘Turing Test’ is still used as a marker for comparing machine and human intelligence. Turing’s work in mathematics, logic, cryptography, morphogenesis and computer science continues to inform contemporary research in these fields. However, Turing was also prosecuted for being homosexual, underwent chemical castration, and died from cyanide poisoning shortly before his 42nd birthday; an inquest determined that he committed suicide.

2012 is the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth and is being celebrated world-wide with a year-long programme of events to honour his life and achievements. He is perhaps best known outside of academic and computing circles for his work at Bletchley Park during WW2, but readers of his many biographies will also know him as a keen runner, chess player, and ceaselessly curious investigator into the human condition.

Take Tea With Turing is a digital anthology of original creative work inspired by all elements of the life and legacy of Alan Turing. Departing from the more traditional ‘e- book’ format, Take Tea With Turing will utilise basic augmented reality and image recognition technology to make the anthology a more playful, interactive experience. The anthology will be edited by Dr Viccy Adams- Leverhulme Trust writer-in-residence at the School of Informatics, the University of Edinburgh. The anthology will be available as a prototype on display at Inspace during the Turing Festival in Edinburgh, 23-25 August 2012. After this it will be made available as a free-to-download app.


Please email your submissions to by midnight on Sunday 15 July. Any submissions after this date will be deleted, unread. Previously published work is welcome, so long as you still hold copyright. Prose and poetry will primarily be made available as audio pieces in the final anthology. Please bear this in mind when selecting work to submit.

  • Prose up to a maximum of 2,000 words (flash fiction VERY welcome)
  • Poetry up to a maximum of 40 lines
  • Animations up to a maximum of 1.5 minutes
  • Audio pieces (including songs, spoken word, and other audio forms) up to amaximum of 3 mins

    Your creative work should be attached to the email in a standard format.
    The subject line should read ‘SUBMISSION’ followed by the title of the piece and your full name.
    Please include your full name, contact email address, the title/format/length of the work you are submitting, and a 50-word bio in the body of the email.

    We are particularly keen to encourage computer scientists and writers with a connection to Edinburgh University to submit work, but all submissions will be considered equally.

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