Since its inception in 2010, if:book Australia has published tens of thousands of words from some of the nation's best writers and thinkers on book futures, delivered workshops from Perth to Canberra to Alice Springs, created real-world story adventures, and took a complete book from concept to print in twenty-four hours. This year, we embark on an ambitious program that builds on previous work and explores the nature of what it means to write and to read in a hyperconnected and rapidly moving environment.
Want to see what he have planned?
The N00bz: New Adventures in Literature
This year's essay series challenges some of Australia's best writers to survey the intersection of technology and publishing and to try something they've never tried before - anything from building an author web site to writing for social media to using a tool or device that's entirely alien to them - and use that experience to discuss the impact of technology on the writer's craft and its implications for the work that emerges.
if:book manager Simon Groth will kick the series off with the harrowing account of his month spent composing new work entirely on a manual typewriter. Later in the year James Bradley will go graphic and Benjamin Law will brave the squiggly world of shorthand.
Willow Patterns: Remixing the 24-Hour Book
On 11 June 2012, if:book held Australia’s first 24-Hour Book project and the first in the world to produce both print and digital editions within its timeframe. The resulting book, Willow Pattern, features new work from writers as diverse as Nick Earls, P.M. Newton, Steven Amsterdam, and Krissy Kneen. It is now available both in print and digital worldwide.
The 24-Hour Book was a great success, but the project generated more than just a finished text. Every edit, annotation and interaction with the online audience was time-stamped, captured and stored in an online database.
The follow up project Willow Patterns will open the book’s complete database and invite responses and remixes of the data from artists, writers, poets, and coders.
And you thought it was just a book.
Memory Makes Us
Writers and publishers labour under the implication that published words automatically become part of a wider cultural memory. This sits in stark contrast to the last official estimate of annual titles published in Australia at more than 8,000, a figure from 2004 that will almost certainly be much higher in 2013.
Memory Makes Us is a project that highlights the frequently transient nature of reading and writing and the role of memory in works of cultural significance.
We will soon put the call out through the if:book web site for memories: snippets of text and images from the recesses of your long-term recall. They might be significant, funny, strange or simply mundane: if it's yours and you're willing to share, then we want to see it.
Choose Your Own
Our 2012 collaboration with the Queensland Poetry Festival is coming to the small screen. We are currently adapting work from Choose Your Own Poetry Adventure into an enhanced ebook for the iPad. Watch this space for coming launch details.
The Amplified Author
This year, we take our resources to the place they've always wanted to be. We are adapting our workshops for the web, combining written texts with video and visuals. In addition to our existing resources on the ebook ecosystem and creating your own ebook, we hope to create new resources on author platforms with content from if:book and guest presenters.
We have also given the web site a minor tweak to ring in the new year. The main menu now features each of our current projects. On the side menu you'll find our previous work under Past Futures.
We don't do this alone, so many thanks go out to the fabulous Australia Council for the Arts and QUT Creative Industries for their continued support of our work at if:book. Without them, the future of the book would be far less cool.