Simon Groth recently presented if:book Australia and Memory Makes Us to the Books in Browsers conference in San Francisco. The good folks at Publishing Perspectives captured the presentation (along with the rest of the two-day program) and have made it available online
Tangles of hair and the music of life will surround the final Memory Makes Us event for 2014. Our memories bid their farewell in Perth for the Disrupted Festival of Ideas.
Kate Fielding will be writing to the theme of Haircut
Describe your favourite salon. What was your worst hairdressing experience? And what was your best? Did you ever cut, colour or style someone’s hair? How did it feel?
Maxine Beneba Clarke will be writing to the theme of Harmony and Rhythm
Music infuses our lives and the rhythm of life often creates recurring motifs: birth cycles, death cycles, seasonal cycles. Harmony may lead to thoughts of forgiveness and reconciliation, interpersonal and otherwise.
Memory Makes Us is a live writing event that challenges two writers to create a new work using as their inspiration collected memories from the general public. You can watch the work unfold and deliver your memories to the author in person or contribute and check in via the web site.
On the web, your memories can take the form of text, images, or video. If you join the authors live at the State Library of Western Australia, you can scribble or type your memories and deliver them by hand. Then keep an eye on the work in progress. Your memories may be picked up by the authors and used to spur their creative work.
Location: State Library of Western Australia
Time: Saturday 1 November
10:30am – 4:30pm
Authors: Maxine Beneba Clarke
Saturday 27 September, 6.00pm
Bogong Theatre at Gorman Arts Centre
To launch The N00bz, a panel of industry professionals will discuss the fresh perspectives generated by literary experiments and their impact on both the writer and the reader.
Alex Adsett – CHAIR
Alex Adsett is a consultant offering publishing contract advice to authors, publishers and booksellers. Alex has more recently extended her services into the more traditional role of literary agent. She has fifteen years experience working in the publishing and bookselling industry, including stints at Simon & Schuster, Penguin and John Wiley & Sons.
Duncan Felton – Panellist
Duncan Felton is an editor and writer who also works in a library. He’s founding editor at Grapple Publishing (grapplepublishing.com) and one of the co-coordinators of Canberra literary collective Scissors Paper Pen (scissorspaperpen.wordpress.com). His words have appeared in FIRST, BMA, Burley, Voiceworks and Verity La, among others.
Charlotte Harper – Panellist
Charlotte Harper (@editia) is founder and publisher of Editia, a Canberra-based digital first press focused on short non-fiction and longform journalism. Charlotte is a former Fairfax journalist, a Walkley Award-winning web producer and ex-literary editor of The South China Morning Post.
Simon Groth – Panellist
Simon Groth (@simongroth, simongroth.com) is a writer and editor of fiction and non-fiction. His books include Concentrate and Off The Record: 25 Years of Music Street Press. His first two novels were shortlisted in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and his short fiction has been published in Australia and the United States. As manager of if:book Australia, Simon writes and speaks regularly on the future of the book and took the role of lead writer for the 24-Hour Book project.
Our 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 betterreadevents.com|
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 | Caroline Baum | Carmel Bird | James Bradley | Jodi Cleghorn | Emily Craven | Duncan Felton | Greg Field | Raelke Grimmer Simon Groth | Charlotte Harper | Sophie Masson | Benjamin Law | Elizabeth Lhuede | Jennifer Mills | Zoe Sadokierski | Ronnie Scott | Lefa Singleton Norton | Jeff Sparrow | Keith Stevenson | Emily Stewart | Sean Williams | Freya Wright Brough
On 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.
We’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.
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:
Two 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.
We called this extended database version of the book Willow Patterns. Plural.
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.
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?
The 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:
- AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS. Check it out at authenticinallcaps.com
- DIYSPY (previously “Pop Up Spy Academy” and even more previously “5 Minute Spy”) diyspygames.com
- Seance for Lost Stuff , which will be played at the Fresh Air 2014 Festival in Melbourne.
And of course, we always have Cool Stuff We Found On The Internet:
Featured artist is Freaky Steve with the track 140rendmess. Thanks, Freaky.