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!
- 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.
- 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.