Author Archive | if:book

Ooh, I Don’t Know About This…

ifbook podcastOur guest for the August podcast is the inimitable Ryan O’Neill on what it was like to be Lost in Track Changes, the criticism inherent in remixing, and a suggestion for a new marketing angle for continued cancer research: saving lives and broadening Australian short fiction.

Our thanks to guest artist Musique De La Garde Républicaine de Paris who come to us all the way from 1898 with a beautifully preserved cylinder recording of En Pologne.

Stuff we talk about:

If you haven’t been reading The Drover’s Wives, then get cracking and keep following the updates. It’s essential.


Podcast Feed // iTunes


The N00bz Book Launch in Sydney

the noobzOur own Simon Groth will lead a panel discussion with fellow n00bz Benjamin Law, Greg Field, and Keith Stevenson on literary experiments at the official launch of The N00bz: New Adventures in Literature. First published to this very web site, The N00bz is a collection of writing about writing in which authors experiment with their craft and document their quest to continually improve amidst rapid industrial change. The launch celebrates the second digital and first print editions of the book, including a new n00b adventure from Jennifer Mills and contributions from the talented crew of intrepid tweeters and bloggers who answered our call for a crowd-sourced chapter.

Location Better Read Than Dead 265 King Street, Newtown NSW
Time Tuesday August 12 6:30 pm
RSVP 02 9557 8700 or

Can’t make it to Sydney for the launch? Head over to the Editia site where you can order print and digital copies.


An if:book Australia project edited by Simon Groth and published by Editia

Romy Ash |Ÿ Caroline Baum |Ÿ Carmel Bird |Ÿ James Bradley Ÿ| Jodi Cleghorn Ÿ| Emily Craven Ÿ| Duncan Felton Ÿ| Greg Field Ÿ| Raelke Grimmer Ÿ Simon Groth Ÿ| Charlotte Harper Ÿ| Sophie Masson Ÿ| Benjamin Law Ÿ| Elizabeth Lhuede Ÿ| Jennifer Mills Ÿ| Zoe Sadokierski Ÿ| Ronnie Scott Ÿ| Lefa Singleton Norton Ÿ| Jeff Sparrow Ÿ| Keith Stevenson Ÿ| Emily Stewart Ÿ| Sean Williams Ÿ| Freya Wright Brough



Lost in Remixology

ifbook podcastOur favourite topic du jour gets another guernsey in this month’s if:book Podcast where Simon and Emily discuss if:book’s take on the remix in literature and some of the wider discussion around remix culture.

Guest artist is dotCommunism with a classic track from 2006—you know it well—’Untitled 4‘ from the smash remix EP Wizard Hat. Rock on, dude.

Stuff we talk about:



Podcast Feed // iTunes


Family Tree

MMUOn 30 May 2014, Levin Diatschenko created a new work of narrative fiction for Memory Makes Us using your memories as his inspiration. Levin sought from the public memories on the theme of ‘family tree’.

At the conclusion of the extraordinary work produced, he decided he’d like to expand the story a little further. Maybe a lot further.

So Levin is expanding the story into a novel and he would love to continue receiving your ‘family tree’ memories.

We have set up a dedicated page over at the Memory Makes Us web site for Levin’s project. Memories submitted to the new page will be delivered directly to the author for his consideration and inspiration. Selected memories may also feature in our complete project repository.

Like the main event, Levin is also writing the new extended work in a form visible to everyone. You can follow his progress here.

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Memory Makes Us: Melbourne

MMUWe’re ready to host your memories again. Memory Makes Us is taking place in four Australian cities throughout 2014 and today we’re proud to announce the authors and topics for Melbourne.

The authors begin writing on Sunday 31 August at Federation Square. If you can’t make it to the event, you can share your memory with us at any time from now at the project web site.


The Body by Paddy O’Reilly

Memories of bodies may be personal and intimate: memories of your own and of others, but memories are not restricted to the corporeal. Bodies of work, of evidence, even of water might yet trigger a memory in you.

Paddy O’Reilly writes novels, short stories and screenplay. She has won a number of short story awards and her stories have been published and broadcast around the world. Her books have been shortlisted for major awards as well as nominated as best books of the year in various publications. Paddy’s latest novel is The Wonders.

Desire by Angela Meyer

It’s something you always wanted, but what are the consequences of acquiring the object of your desire? What are the consequences of never acquiring it?

Angela Meyer is an author (Captives), editor (The Great Unknown), reviewer and literary journalist. She has a Doctor of Creative Arts from the University of Western Sydney, and has blogged for more than seven years at Literary Minded. Her fiction, articles, essays and reviews have been widely published.

Lies by Nicholas J Johnson

Everybody lies, sooner or later. What lies have you told or been told? Who can you believe?

After decades of rubbing shoulders with fraudsters and liars, Nicholas Johnson now works as a performer, writer and consultant, educating the public about the tricks of the con artist’s trade. His live shows have featured at corporate events, schools and private events simultaneously entertaining and educating audiences about con artists and scams.

His debut novel, Chasing The Ace, is now available.



Introducing Lost In Track Changes

LTCif:book’s latest literary project kicks off next week right here on this very site. This project takes the personal and intimate craft of memoir and turns it over to the cut-and-paste transformation of remix culture combined with a hint of old-fashioned parlour games.

Five writers have written a short piece of memoir, a vignette. Each work is passed onto another author within the group, tasked with transforming the piece into something else. In the background, if:book tracks the changes. The newly minted remix is passed along again and so on until each of the pieces have passed through all five authors.

It’s called Lost In Track Changes.

Introducing the five authors who have stepped up to the challenge:

Krissy Kneen is the author of the memoir Affection, the erotic fiction Triptych and the novel Steeplechase. Her erotic novel Holly’s Incredible Adventures in the Sex Machine will be out in November (Text).
Fiona Capp is the internationally published author of seven books: three works of non-fiction including That Oceanic Feeling, which won the 2004 Kibble Award and My Blood’s Country, a journey through the landscape that inspired the poetry of Judith Wright, and four novels – Night Surfing, Last of the Sane Days, Musk & Byrne and Gotland.
Robert Hoge has worked as a journalist, a speechwriter, a science communicator for the CSIRO and a political advisor to the former Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier. He has had numerous short stories, articles, interviews and other works published in Australia and overseas. His memoir, Ugly, is about growing up ugly and disabled. It’s also about bad haircuts and reading and awful teen love poems and underarm bowling as a metaphor for… well, you’ll just have to read the book.
Cate Kennedy writes short stories, poetry, non-fiction and is currently working on her second novel. Her work has been published internationally and she is the recipient of the 2010 NSW Premier’s Literary Prize People’s Choice award for her novel The World Beneath, the 2012 Queensland Literary Award for her short story collection Like a House on Fire and the 2011 Victorian Premier’s Award for her poetry collection The Taste of River Water. Her non-fiction work includes Sing and Don’t Cry; a Mexican journal about her time living and working in a credit cooperative in Mexico. She edited the 2010 and 2011 Best Australian Stories anthologies and more recently New Australian Love Stories (due for publication Sept 2014).
Ryan O’Neill’s fiction has appeared in The Best Australian Stories, The Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin, New Australian Stories, Wet Ink, Etchings and Westerly. His work has won the Hal Porter and Roland Robinson awards. His book, The Weight of a Human Heart has been shortlisted for the 2012 Queensland Literary Prize – Steele Rudd Award. He teaches at the University of Newcastle.

Each piece and its remixes will be published in weekly instalments at if:book over the next five months. We are also working on print and ebook editions of the complete project and an event at the project’s conclusion in November.

The ebook edition will feature design work from Megan Hoogenboom.

Megan Hoogenboom is an independent graphic designer, living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Using a self-invented design system and a fuelled by fascination with the transformation from the analogue to the digital, Megan creates and philosophises on the form of the digital book: the .ePub.

Quality Gasbagging

ifbook podcastJune’s if:book Podcast features Donna Hancox, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Queensland University of Technology. Emily and Simon discuss with Donna community storytelling and interactive narratives told across media.

Links to the projects discussed:

Cool Stuff We Found On The Internet:

Featured artist this week is Enrico Caruso. You might know him as tenor-singing superstar the Great Caruso (as distinguished from other Greats such as Alexander or Catherine). Caruso sings La Donna e Mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto. You may recognise the music from advertising that attempts to associate its product with Italy in some form.

Originally recorded for the Victor label in 1904, this song comes to us from the Internet Archive.




Podcast Feed // iTunes


Becoming N00b

the noobzThe collected essays from if:book’s project The N00bz is now available and ready as a single downloadable volume for your reading pleasure. But why stop at reading?

Would you like to be one of The N00bz?

To coincide with its publication, if:book and publisher Editia are offering emerging writers the chance to be published alongside Romy Ash, Carmel Bird, James Bradley, Sean Williams, and Benjamin Law.

Submit a tweet or blog post about your own literary experiment and let us know about it via Twitter using the hashtag #TheN00bz (don’t forget the zeroes).

If you submit by midnight on 7 July, your work may be selected for inclusion in the print edition (and second digital edition) of The N00bz to be launched in August.

Editia has more information and some handy suggestions for experiments you can try at home. 

You can also read our official announcement of the competition over at Books + Publishing.  

About the book

Change your tools for storytelling, change your routine, learn a new form, engage with parts of the wider industry you have never had to previously. See what happens and report back. This was the challenge taken up by contributors to The N00bz: New adventures in literature, a joint project between if:book Australia and digital first publisher Editia.

The book is a collection of writing about writing that documents pure curiosity and the quest to continually improve amidst rapid and constant industrial change. The results are by turns insightful and amusing if, just occasionally, a bit harrowing.

Sean Williams deprived himself of sleep and observed its effect on his creativity. Sophie Masson established her own independent press. Emily Stewart gave away her library. Greg Field closed his bookshop and joined Wattpad. Romy Ash tackled Twitter storytelling. James Bradley tried his hand at creating a graphic novel. Carmel Bird digitized a title from her backlist. Benjamin Law braved the squiggly world of shorthand. And Jeff Sparrow wrote something that’s definitely not a book.

Setting up your own press, leaving your previous career behind, and giving away your books are not experiences that can be undone as easily as Command-z. But the intention of The N00bz was to encourage writers to step outside their typical routines and find new perspectives … perspectives that stay with you long after you finish reading these essays, even if you don’t end up encoding your own ebooks.

So get your n00b on and in the meantime pick up a virtual copy of The N00bz from the following digital emporiums:



Willow Patterns: The Complete 24-Hour Book

willow patternsTwo years ago today, one of if:book’s most ambitious projects to date took a book from concept to print within a single twenty-four hour period. The race around the clock produced a collection of interdependent stories about a library, a flood, missing children, and a vase. It was called Willow Pattern.

Because the book had been written online using the platform Pressbooks, we were able to collect every change made to the stories in progress. Every save, whether made consciously by the writer or surreptitiously by the system, was captured and stored in a database.

Last year, we cracked open that database and made it free to browse, search and download the data. We explored the numbers behind the book’s creation, drawing stories from graphs and making connections between the book’s content and it evolution. We then invited a group of poets and students to conceive and create ‘remixes’: artistic responses that relied less on the book as a finished product and more on it as a process, a series of alphanumeric strings to be pulled apart and reordered.

Through it all though was a desire to represent the project beyond a 150-page paperback or a searchable collection of fragments. We wanted to capture the epic scale of the project and provide a sense of the undertaking in something tactile, something visceral.

We wanted to produce the database in print.

And so, today, we present Willow Patterns: The Complete 24-Hour Book. This collection reproduces every version of every story from the 24-Hour Book project and lays them out in ink and paper and in chronological order.

Continue Reading →


Remix Your Face

ifbook podcastIt’s not that the May episode of the if:book Podcast is delayed. It’s just that we have renamed today the 36th of May.

This month’s guest is Michela Ledwidge from the amazing Mod Productions discussing remix literature and the extraordinary ACO Virtual, an interactive installation featuring the Australian Chamber Orchestra that allows you to become the conductor you always wanted to be.

Links to the stuff we discuss in situ:

And cool stuff we found on the internet:

What is this? Suddenly if:book’s all hoity toity and we’re not wasting ten minutes discussing the music?

Well, the featured artist this month takes its cue from ACO Virtual with an artist you may have heard of—Johann Sebastian Bach—and the first Allegro movement from his Concerto No.2 in C for 2 Cembalos. It’s kind of chamber music.

This concerto, scored for two harpsichords, two violins, viola and continuo, and lasting around 19 minutes, is probably the only Harpsichord Concerto by Bach that originated as a harpsichord work. The first version was for two instruments unaccompanied (BWV. 1061a,in the manner of Italian Concerto, BWV. 971) and the addition of the orchestral parts may not have been by Bach himself. In fact, the strings only appear to augment cadences.

The recording and description comes to us via the good people at Musopen, a non-profit providing recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions.

And the reason we never quite got around to talking about it? Well, we already waited until the 36th May. How much longer did you want to wait?



Podcast Feed // iTunes



This is the future of the book, but not the one you were expecting.