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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.

SHARE YOUR MEMORIES HERE

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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:

 

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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 →

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Loading Memories

MMU

We are busy preparing for this year’s Memory Makes Us. We are mere weeks away from the call out for your memories, so keep an eye on the site for details.

Kate Pullinger’s wonderful Memory Makes Us story has now faded away entirely while we build a whole new space for our writers to work in for this year. Her work lives on though in a gallery of photos taken from the event from 9 July last year.

By the way, doesn’t the theme of ‘memory’ just keep on giving in the form of pun-tastic post titles?

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My Robot’s Jam

ifbook podcastThe if:book Australia Podcast kicks off 2014 with special guest Christy Dena, focusing on her project Robot University for The Cube at QUT, which you can check out online for more information. Christy also kept a developer’s blog at robotuniproject.com.

Other projects we wanted to discuss in more detail, but have reluctantly left for another time are:

And of course, we always have Cool Stuff We Found On The Internet:

 

Featured artist is  Freaky Steve with the track 140rendmess. Thanks, Freaky.

 

Play

Podcast Feed // iTunes

 

 

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Lost in Memory, if:book in 2014

MMU

Memory Makes Us

The pilot stage of Memory Makes Us took place in July 2013 with a live writing experiment by Kate Pullinger. The project sought contributions from the public both leading into and during the event in a unique interaction between artist and audience.

Three Events, Nine Authors

In 2014, Memory Makes Us will be expanded to three events in different cities around Australia. We will also expand the number of authors for each event to three. We will announce locations and featured artists for Memory Makes Us soon.

Memory Makes Us will continue to use a combination of online and live face-to-face interaction between contributors and artists, including web submissions, social media, handwriting, and (of course) manual typing. Readers online will be able to follow the authors’ progress via a new dedicated project web site.

LTC

Lost in Track Changes

Lost in Track Changes is a writing experiment that combines contemporary notions of remix culture with old-fashioned writing games and parlour tricks.

Five writers are being commissioned to write a short memoir vignette and pass it along to another writer in the group who will adapt and creatively change the work before passing it along again. The result will be five pieces that evolve and adapt sometimes in unexpected and surprising directions. But regardless of what happens, if:book will track the changes an document their evolution.

Look for the first Lost pieces later this year.

 

ifbook podcast

if:book Podcast

The if:book Australia podcast will be produced once a month and will discuss future book projects, whether they be our own or those of the forward thinking writers and creative people we interview. Get ready for discussions of boundary pushing projects which poke, pull and transform our ideas of books, storytelling and publishing.

If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast, contact us with a pitch and bio. Make sure you listen to our previous podcasts first to determine if  your project is a good fit. To get an idea of the types of topics and projects we discuss please listen to our previous podcasts.

amplified author

The Amplified Author

So you’re overwhelmed by the mass of information about digital publishing? You hate wasting writing time researching how to publish your own work? We created the Amplified Author just for you.

The Amplified Author is an online suite of resources giving you the tools to navigate digital and self-publishing. This course is all you need to navigate the digital revolution by providing you with information about ebooks and the publishing industry and teaching you the practical skills to produce your own ebooks. You can either grab the full course, or sign up for a short mini-course to fill in a gap in your knowledge.

Originally developed in 2011 as a series of presentations and consultations, the Amplified Author is now available as a set of online resources—text, links, and videos—covering both broad industry trends in digital and independent publishing through to practical skills development in areas such as ebook creation, design and publishing to various online platforms.

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The Best Bits of 2013

As we prepare to unleash our 2014 program on your senses, Simon and Emily have taken a moment to compile their favourite if:book Australia posts from 2013. Reacquaint yourself with some of our amazing essayists or discover something you might have missed first time around. Enjoy!

Simon’s Choices

  • All Your Pods Are Belong To Us: This interview with Kate Pullinger was conducted on a phone in a cafe and yet sounds kind of half decent. A great discussion over some pretty good food. We should do more podcasts in cafes. Plus the finished product features Moonshine Kate, one of my favourite musical discoveries from the year. 
  • I Will Say This Only Once: I loved all the Willow Patterns remixes, but I probably spent more time with Pascalle Burton’s than the others. The video upload was an ordeal in transcoding and choked bandwidth, but the result was worth it. Trust me, listening to (and watching) this piece over and over again unlocks its depth. I’m yet to listen to it without hearing something I hadn’t noticed before.
  • Memory Makes Us, the short-term team: The original conception for reader contributions to Memory Makes Us was split into two stream: long-term and short-term memories. The generosity of our readers in providing their memories was overwhelming and the result was beautiful, if a bit voyeuristic. Sometimes overlooked though was the short-term memory team, a gang of intrepid postgrad students wandering the streets and gardens of Brisbane collecting moments. En masse like this, the result is bizarre and intriguing. A day documented.
  • Collabor-bake: Can a cake be a remix of a book? Shut up. It’s cake.
  • Cn u rd ths?: I told myself I could only select one N00bz essay for this list and it appears last here because I still can’t make up my mind. I’m deeply grateful to all our brave n00bz as they battled with coding, closing, drawing, making, scribbling and procrastinating. But Ben was one of the first writers to agree to this ridiculous pitch with his own idea of learning shorthand. From the distance of an editor’s desk, I assured Ben that not being a champion shorthander by then end of the experiment was still a valid result and the essay would still turn out great.

Emily’s Choices

  • Memory Makes Us, The Short-Term Team: Memory Makes us was a grand experiment. While it was wonderful to have Kate Pullinger in Australia and writing this amazing piece, I found the thoughts and moments captured by the short-term team on Twitter to be the most beautiful product of the day. For those of you who completely missed it, we collected all the thought provoking tweets into one post. : )
  • To Sleep No More (Perchance To Write): This Noobz essay was awesome, and not just because I like human experimentation (whoops, did I say that out loud?). It was a wonderfully light and engaging read on Sean Williams experience with sleep experiments. This essay confirms to me how cheeky writers truly are.
  • Robots with 808s: Don’t let the horrible synth music at the beginning turn you off, this podcast was one of my most favourite interviews of the year, with the delightful Noah Rosenberg, founder and editor in chief of Narratively. In fact we liked it so much we couldn’t bring ourselves to cut the original hour interview down to one twenty minute segment, so we split the interview over two podcasts. It covers all my favourite things like crowdfunding, and mixing media to tell a story the right way.
  • The Leak: Though I’m not one for poetry, Nathan Curnow’s cento poem has to be one of my favourite remixes of the Willow Patterns data. I love the fact that the whole thing was stitched together using phrases from the book which then created an entirely new story. Most of all, I loved seeing what part of the poem came from which original author (and not only because I wanted to see which author Nathan had a literary crush more…).
  • Dazzled by the Undoable: Another Noobz essay to finish the list, you can’t go past this very funny essay. Who can pass up an opening line like this: Hello. My name is Ronnie and this is the story of how I failed to draw a comic.
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New edition of Hand Made High Tech

blackHiOur collected essays from 2011, Hand Made High Tech, has been included in the latest ebook bundle from our friends at indie online store Tomely.

Like Willow Pattern in the previous bundle, our book becomes available as a social media bonus. Tweet or post to Facebook about your purchase and the book is yours.

Hand Made High Tech features essays from John Birmingham, Jackie Ryan, Paul Callaghan, and Christy Dena and more. For Tomely, we have created a brand new edition with an updated introduction and a new section of ‘Bonus Remix’ essays (not actually remixes, but more recent essays from the if:book vault).

Check it out.

 

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Willow Patterns, plural

willow patternsThe countdown has again ended. Exactly twelve months ago today, if:book Australia gathered together nine authors, ten editors and a mighty support team on two continents. Their goal was to write, edit, and publish a complete book from scratch in just twenty-four hours.

You know how it went down.

Featuring work from Nick Earls, Steven Amsterdam, and Krissy Kneen and others, the 24-Hour Book proved a great success, but the project generated much more than just 142 pages of finished text. Every edit, annotation and interaction with the online audience was time-stamped, captured and stored in an online database.

This is where Willow Patterns comes in. This project opens the book’s complete database, creating a web site that will let you browse through every version of every story. It’s fascinating stuff. Already I’ve spent hours trawling through page after page, scrolling through the numbers, inferring what happened when, watching word counts rise and, sometimes, fall. The data tells its own stories about how our writers worked, about their style, about the choices the editors made and the consequences of those choices.

This is Willow Patterns.

Those of you who know your way around databases and coding can download the raw data and create your own applications, visualisations and animations. We have already created a simple graph on the site that chronicles the book’s total word count. We’re also presenting the complete data as a one-off multi-volume printed work: the book behind the book, if you like. Later this year, the project will hear from artists, poets, and others responding and remixing the book to create new works in both digital and physical forms.

Want to get involved? Let us know.

All books—all stories—are made from data. Usually we see only a fraction of the data that goes into the finished product. The idea behind Willow Patterns is to lift the veil, explore the book’s hidden machinations before exploding it into myriad works and responses that will inspire visitors to step outside of ‘the book’ and consider a future where anyone can engage with stories on their own terms.

Check it out.

 

 

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