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Suffolk novel inspires interactive treasure hunt

  • Date

    Wed 22 May 19

Ellinor Friström holding a copy of Ruins by Joshua Winnings

When Multimedia Journalism student, Ellinor Friström was tasked with telling a story through different kinds of media, a novel set in Bury St Edmunds provided just the inspiration she needed.

The second-year student has developed an interactive treasure hunt, based on a book by regional author Joshua Winnings, for the Creative Media module of her degree. 

Ruins by Joshua Winnings is the second book of the Sentinel trilogy, a young adult series about an underground society which protects the Earth against evil.

Ellinor, who is from Stockholm, Sweden, said she came across the author’s work by chance on Facebook and shortly after, discovered the book was set nearby.

“I decided to contact him and he was more than happy for me to do this. I read the book over Easter before starting on the project and I absolutely loved it and couldn’t have been happier that I had stumbled upon it,” said Ellinor. 

The treasure hunt is based on QR codes made using a combination of Photoshop and a QR code generator. The aim of the game is to travel to the locations featured in the book, scan the code hidden there and then be sent a chapter with the scene set in that location and the next clue. Those who complete the hunt will be given a form with the last chapter for the chance to win a special prize.

“I knew I wanted to create my project around a story and since I am better at retelling stories than coming up with them myself I decided I wanted to make use of someone else’s book whilst also helping them spread it at the same time,” said Ellinor. “My goal was to get people to read a good book whilst also going outdoors and experiencing their surroundings.”

In the future Ellinor wants to continue telling people’s stories through engaging ways in journalism and perhaps take a page from her own book in the future on how to do that.

The Creative Module of Essex’s BA Multimedia Journalism degree tasks students with telling a story across different platforms.

This article was written by Multimedia Journalism student Jess Clayton-Berry while on work experience in the University of Essex Communications Office.