Hackaton literature

What are innovative ways to give literature and poetry a platform for a wide audience?

02 Mar - 
03 Mar
March 2, 2017 T/M March 3, 2017
9:30 AM - 10:00 PM
VPRO Medialab, Eindhoven
Register for this Hackton

VPRO looking for innovative forms of storytelling for literature and poetry

The paper book has been declared dead many times over. And yet we are still reading and literature has reinvented itself time and time again: e-books are taken in digital piles on holiday, bookshops are full, reading clubs and festivals have become the standard repertoire of the modern publisher and many people are also listening to literature, as can be seen in the popularity of audio books and podcasts. Are we searching for a wider experience than sitting on the sofa with a book? Do we want to experience novels in a 360 degree VR environment? Or play literature games based on poetry? What other digital formats are possible for innovative storytelling for literature and poetry?

This is the reason why the VPRO, that has dedicated a lot of attention to literature and poetry on TV, radio and in the Guide, has started looking for innovative ways to give literature a platform for a wide audience. This search plays a central role in the fifth VPRO Medialab Hackathon on 2 and 3 March. 

Participants wanted!

We are looking for curious and enthusiastic participants for this Hackathon. Creative developers who themselves are actively looking for innovation in the world of literature and poetry, for original thinkers and (concept) developers, for coders, programmers, designers and other technical prodigies who can transform new ideas directly into working prototypes.

On the right you can read the article about the last Hackaton in which VPRO was looking for a bot.

Hack along!

You can register for the Hackathon via this link. Tell us your motivation for wanting to take part and all about your background and experience. Participation is free, and meals, drinks and snacks are included. Do you live further away and travel longer than 45 minutes to reach Eindhoven? Then we can also offer you a night’s accommodation. Please mention this when registering. Travel expenses can be claimed after the event. For more information, please mail medialab@vpro.nl.

Note! If you should be unable to attend, you must cancel before 16 February. After this date administration costs of €40 will be charged. 


A team of professionals from the literature and media fields will assess the various groups’ prototypes during the final presentations. We will announce the jury members soon.  

Hugo Blom (48) is publisher/chief editor of the VPRO Gids, VPRO Koos, vpro.nl and VPRO Cinema. He has worked for the VPRO Gids since 1991, including many years as (final) editor. Together with Jaap van Eyck (direction) he wrote the scenario for the Lolamoviola ‘Benidorm’ in 1999 and then waited until 2015 to publish his first novel ‘Een kleine moeite’ // ‘Little Effort’ (De Geus), which was shortlisted for the ANV Debutant Prize 2016. A second novel is germinating, but he must combine writing it with a full-time job, three (almost adult) sons and a great love.

Paulien Dresscher has been an active researcher, curator and advisor in the field of visual art and digital culture since 1994. Projects she is involved in include the Interactive programme of the Dutch Film Festival, the Art Programme of ITGWO and the new work of artist Floris Kaayk. Furthermore she is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Letterenfonds and is connected to the Humanities department of the University of Utrecht. Paulien Dresscher earned her BA at the Minerva Academy in Groningen, an MA New Media and a Research MA Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

Jan Verhagen had been fascinated by books since primary school and thus went on to study literature in Tilburg. During his studies he realized that he also held a keen interest for art and design, and since then he has tried to combine both interests in his career. He worked for publishers for many years, including a publisher of art books, and has been the director of bookstore Van Piere in Eindhoven since September 2014. Alongside running the bookstore, he has also set up numerous other initiatives to make the book industry interesting again to a wide audience. He has been a member of the DWDD book panel since January 2016.

Public final presentations

At the end of the second day, the teams will present their prototypes to each other and the jury. Unlike the previous Hackathons, the presentations for the coming edition will be open to the public. Anyone interested in the results is welcome! More information about the location and registration will follow soon.  

Practical information

Date: Thursday 2 (9:30 – 21:00) and Friday 3 (9:00 – 22:00) March 2017
Location: VPRO Medialab, Kastanjelaan 500, 5616 LZ, Eindhoven.