Wordlife, Opus Independents

Wordlife is dedicated to showcasing original writing to new audiences in innovative ways

71 Hill Street, Sheffield, S11 9AZ +44(0)7814 728487

VISIT website


Wordlife is a literature organisation based in Sheffield delivering events, projects and publications designed to showcase original writing to new audiences in innovative ways.

We have worked extensively across the North of England, and while we also run event and workshop based outreach programmes, we also specialise in working with literature and new technology. As a registered not-for-profit social enterprise, we are also committed to supporting socially beneficial projects, such as professional development for writers and researching how literature can help expose inequality and encourage active citizenship.

We are interested in exploring the barriers to literature engagement and ways we can overcome them. We have delivered a variety of projects, including cross-artform events in unusual spaces to website based literary projects, virtual reality poetry installations and digital storytelling apps.

Our key areas of work at the moment are regular event programmes in Sheffield, Wakefield and Hull, alongside large-scale digital and outreach projects for literature festivals and universities across the region.

VISIT website

International Priorities

Digital Writing Maps and Large Scale Projection

Key Strengths

Wordlife is a very flexible and dynamic organisation that is able to take on a variety of projects, from grassroots community outreach programmes consisting of events and workshops to new projects exploring the meeting point between literature and technology.

We regularly work with a range of partners including The Arts Council, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Museums, Freedom Festival, Wakefield Literature Festival and Off The Shelf Festival of Words.

Our key areas of achievement are developing innovative projects that meet both our clients and funders expectations while bringing new audiences to literature.

These areas of work often consist of;

  • Regular events and workshops across the North of England designed as literature outreach programmes that serve as both audience and artistic development.
  • The creation of poem films that are designed for large scale projection.
  • Digital Literature Projects including writing maps and digital storytelling apps. 

Seeking Partnerships With

Our experience in England has largely been based on building partnerships with arts organisations, literature festivals and universities. We would love to take previous experience of working with these organisations to an international level. However we are generally interested in forming partnerships with anyone who is interested in the way literature can reach out to new audiences. Another large area of our work is looking at the social benefits of literature and we would like to continue to explore how literature can help engage with other issues such as active citizenship. 

Purpose of Partnerships

Our digital projects have the most potential for international partners. These include

  1. Large Scale Projection Work - We have commissioned and delivered 8 poem films that have been designed for projection using techniques such as animation, illustration and projection mapping. This work has the potential to reach large audience numbers in areas of high footfall. This work would be perfect for literature festivals in international cities who are looking at ways that might engage large numbers of people they haven't reached before in public spaces.
  2. Digital Writing Maps - Our digital writing maps are designed to showcase and celebrate the literature infrastructure in any given town or city. They create a one stop shop for people to find out about literature events, organisations whilst holding the possibility of hosting cross artform content such as poem films. This work would be great for arts organisations or universities who are looking at innovative ways of developing a community around literature and how this might lead to new opportunities and collaboration.
  3. 360 Degree Videos - We have recently created two pop up poetry Virtual Reality installations by filming poets in 360 Degree Film. These are immersive one to one experiences that are especially good as a platform for poems that explore a sense of place. This work is viewable using Samsungs new gear VR technology which allows work to be viewed through an inexpensive headset and through android phones. This work would be appropiate for any arts organisations who are looking at developing literature activity as an installation or as an add on for a pre existing project and event.