Being Hybrid Guide launched by CRIPtic Arts and Spread the Word


CRIPtic Arts and Spread the Word are pleased to announce the launch of the Being Hybrid Guide for festivals, literature organisations and publishers.

Written by Jamie Hale, Director of CRIPtic Arts in consultation with deaf and disabled writers, the Guide is designed to support time- and resource-limited organisations in working out what they need to do to offer the best hybrid programme possible.

With a full return to in-person events, more and more literature organisations are casting Zoom to the winds and reopening doors to welcome back the crowds. In doing this, they are closing the door to people who are more likely to be geographically dispersed, disabled, poorer, have caring responsibilities and who are likely to have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, where online programming was vital to people’s connection to the world.

Jamie Hale, Director of CRIPtic Arts said: ‘Far from being expensive and time-consuming, hybrid programming for in-person events can be simple and quick. Being Hybrid is a guide to the cheapest and fastest ways of offering online as well as offline access to events.’

Ruth Harrison, Director of Spread the Word said: ‘As London’s literature development agency, Spread the Word is committed to keeping our work open to the communities we work with and for. Being Hybrid is an invaluable tool in ensuring that we, and other programmers of literature events, workshops and festivals, put access and opportunity for writers and audiences at the heart of our work.’

The Guide covers:

  • five reasons for making an event hybrid;

  • going hybrid with limited time and tech;

  • putting it into practice;

  • hybrid speakers and facilitators, and

  • access and hybrid events.

To access Being Hybrid in full, summary, Plain English (text and audio), BSL versions visit Being Hybrid: A Cheap and Easy Guide to Hybrid Events for the Literature Sector.

The Being Hybrid Guide builds on CRIPtic Arts’ and Spread the Word’s partnership. In 2020 they launched the UK’s first accessible and free online writers’ retreat, Experimental!, for deaf and disabled writers and currently run the UK’s only regular online accessible space for deaf and disabled writers, the bi-monthly CRIPtic x Spread the Word Salon.

In July 2022 they will be launching the Access to Literature Report, funded by Arts Council England, looking at the barriers to access in the literature sector for deaf and disabled writers and audiences, and seeking to improve access to in person and online literature opportunities. Our work on Access to Literature has informed the creation of the Being Hybrid Guide.


The Being Hybrid Guide is available in the following formats:

  • Full Guide (pdf) and Plain English (audio)
  • Summary Guide (pdf), Plain English (pdf, audio) and BSL (video)

The Guides are available at: Being Hybrid: A Cheap and Easy Guide to Hybrid Events for the Literature Sector.

About Jamie Hale

Jamie Hale is the Artistic Director at CRIPtic Arts, a creative development organisation focusing on making the arts industry more accessible, and supporting, developing, and championing deaf and disabled creatives. They are also a poet, curator, writer, trainer/facilitator, and multi-disciplinary creative.  In 2021 they won the Evening Standard Future Theatre Fund Award in Directing/Theatre-Making and became a Jerwood Arts Poetry Fellow. Their work has been described by Hannah Gadsby as “fantastic”, Jack Thorne described them as “an extraordinary voice”.

About CRIPtic Arts

CRIPtic Arts focuses on three areas of the arts:

  • Creating opportunities for deaf and disabled people in the arts, through workshops, readings, and events
  • Creativing, developing, and producing work accessible to deaf and disabled audiences
  • Supporting institutions to put access at the heart of their practice

They offer individual artists a wide range of events, workshops, and creative writing sessions alongside funding application support, 1:1 advice and a community drop-in for deaf and disabled artists. CRIPtic also works with companies and institutions to make creative work more accessible, and to offer speeches, training and institutional disablelism reviews. Their artistic programming is of ground-breaking creativity within disability arts, challenging audiences to consider new perspectives and limited priorities. They look to find, create, and champion work by all deaf and disabled people, with a particular focus on those whose access requirements are not met elsewhere.

As well as their artistic programming, CRIPtic Arts are currently working with Spread the Word on Access to Literature; carrying out Arts Council funded research into the experiences of disabled performers with significant physical access needs in London theatres; Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded research into whether inaccessible work should be boycotted, and developing an online tool for creating access riders.

About Spread the Word 

Spread the Word is London’s literature development agency, a charity and a National Portfolio client of Arts Council England. It is funded to help London’s writers make their mark on the page, the screen and in the world and build strategic partnerships to foster a literature ecology which reflects the cultural diversity of contemporary Britain. Spread the Word has a national and international reputation for initiating change-making research and developing programmes for writers that have equity and social justice at their heart. In 2015 it launched, Writing the Future: Black and Asian Writers and Publishers in the UK Market Place. In 2020 it launched Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente, Goldsmiths, University of London, in partnership with The Bookseller and Words of Colour. Spread the Word’s programmes include: the Wellcome Collection x Spread the Word Writing Awards, the London Writers Awards, CRIPtic x Spread the Word Salon, City of Stories Home, the Deptford Literature Festival and Runaways. 


Published on 14 June 2022