Electronic Literature Collection — Call for Works

The Electronic Literature Organization seeks submissions for the first Electronic Literature Collection. We invite the submission of literary works that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the computer. Works will be accepted until January 31, 2006. Up to three works per author will be considered.

The Electronic Literature Collection will be an annual publication of current and older electronic literature in a form suitable for individual, public library, and classroom use. The publication will be made available both online, where it will be available for download for free, and as a packaged, cross-platform CD-ROM, in a case appropriate for library processing, marking, and distribution. The contents of the Collection will be offered under a Creative Commons license so that libraries and educational institutions will be allowed to duplicate and install works and individuals will be free to share the disc with others.

The editorial collective for this first volume of the Electronic Literature Collection, to be published in 2006, is:

N. Katherine Hayles
Nick Montfort
Scott Rettberg
Stephanie Strickland

This collective will review the submitted work and select pieces for the Collection.

The editorial collectives for each volume will be chosen by the Electronic Literature Organization’s board of directors. The tentative editorial collective for the second Collection, to be published in 2007, includes Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Marjorie C. Luesebrink, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin.

Literary quality will be the chief criterion for selection of works. Other aspects considered will include innovative use of electronic techniques, quality and navigability of interface, and adequate representation of the diverse forms of electronic literature in the collection as a whole.

For the first Collection, the collective will consider works up to 50 MB in size, uncompressed. Works submitted should function on both Macintosh OS X (10.4) and Windows XP. Works should function without requiring users to purchase or install additional software. Submissions may require software that is typically pre-installed on contemporary computers, such as a web browser, and are allowed to use the current versions of the most common plugins.

To have a work considered, all the authors of the work must agree that if their work is published in the Collection, they will license it under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License, which will permit others to copy and freely redistribute the work, provided the work is attributed to its authors, that it is redistributed non-commercially, and that it is not used in the creation of derivative works. No other limitation is made regarding the author’s use of any work submitted or accepted.

To submit a work:

  1. Prepare a plain text file with the following information:
    • The title of the work.
    • The names and email addresses of all authors and contributors of the work.
    • The URL where you are going to make your .zip file available for us to download. The editorial collective will not publish the address of this file.
    • A short description of the work — less than 200 words in length.
    • Any instructions required to operate the work.
    • The date the work was first distributed or published, or “unpublished” if it has not yet been made available to the public.
  2. Prepare a .zip archive including the work in its entirety. Include the text file from step (1) at the top level of this archive, and name it “submisson.txt”.
  3. Upload the .zip file to a web server so that it is available at the specified location.
  4. Place all of the text in the “submisson.txt” file in the body of an email and send it to collection@eliterature.org with the name of the piece being submitted included in the subject line.

The Electronic Literature Collection is supported by institutional partners including the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW) at the University of Pennsylvania, ELINOR: Electronic Literature in the Nordic Countries, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.

A New ELO Project: The Electronic Literature Collection

The ELO is proud to announce a new project, the Electronic Literature Collection.

The Electronic Literature Collection will be an annual publication of current and older electronic literature in a form suitable for individual, public library, and classroom use. The publication will be made available both on the Web and as a packaged, cross-platform disc, in a case appropriate for library processing, marking, and distribution. The contents of the Collection will be offered under a Creative Commons license so that libraries and educational institutions will be allowed to duplicate and install works and individuals will be free to share the disc with others. The Collection will feature a variety of electronic literature in many forms and genres – a broad selection of quality work. This will include new work that has been selected by editors as well as notable electronic literature from the past.

The Electronic Literature Collection is supported by:

A longer version of this announcement, with information about what electronic literature is and with information about the ELO, is also available: http://www.eliterature.org/publications/elc-announce/

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MACHINE Reading Series Gears Up for 2006

The MACHINE reading series, which takes place at the Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia, on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, has a new Web page. MACHINE is co-sponsored by the Electronic Literature Organization, and the three events in the series so far have featured ELO board members Scott Rettberg, Stephanie Strickland, and Nick Montfort along with several other electronic literature authors: Interactive fiction authors Emily Short, Dan Ravipinto, and Star Foster, and Unknown co-authors William Gillespie and Dirk Stratton. Past events have included Interactive Fiction Walkthroughs and Joint Work, a reading of literary collaborations with digital dimensions.

Two Spring 2006 events are being planned now; information about them will be added to the page and announced on the ELO site as soon as it is available.

Thom Swiss Seminar at University of Queensland

ELO President Thom Swiss will be at the University of Queensland’s St. Lucia campus on Tuesday, August 9th, to give a talk on “New Media Literature and Art: A Writer’s Perspective”. Swiss will discuss “the possibilities for literature offered by the electronic convergence of words, images, and sound.” For complete information on this event, visit the University of Queensland’s Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies. This event is free and open to the public.

ELO’s Born-Again Bits Released

Following up on its pamphlet Acid-Free Bits: Recommendations for Long-Lasting Electronic Literature, ELO has released online Born-Again Bits: A Framework for Migrating Electronic Literature by Alan Liu, David Durand, Nick Montfort, Merrilee Proffitt, Liam R. E. Quin, Jean-Hugues Réty, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. Part of a continuing series of publications by ELO’s Preservation, Archiving, and Dissemination (PAD) initiative, Born-Again Bits is a white paper that presents a conceptual, technical, and institutional framework for imagining how electronic literature — more experimental and harder to preserve than many other kinds of digital materials — can follow standards-based paths of migration into future technical environments. Two main kinds of migration strategies are addressed under the titles: “Interpreter Initiative” and “X-Lit Initiative.” (For a printed copy of this publication, contact Carol Wald at ELO.)

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New ELO Website

The ELO’s new site, designed and engineered by Nick Montfort, is now in place. Thanks go to Scott Rettberg for his help, which included migrating much of the content from the old site, and to Noah Wardrip-Fruin, who prepared many items that will appear in coming weeks in the new showcase.

The showcase is designed to feature exemplary electronic literature. The five most recent items are visible at the top of the main page, and everything featured to date is accessible via the “Showcased E-Lit” link just below the search field. An RSS feed of the showcase is available so that readers can automatically keep bookmarks to the current entry or syndicate the showcase on their own pages.

News entries and other pages on the site are now easily searchable. The news is also accessible by category and by date. We have tried to redirect as many previous URLs as possible to current resources, to avoid leaving anyone with page not found errors. The new site is also designed to be easier to maintain and manage into the future, allowing the ELO to communicate with members and the reading public more effectively.

The new ELO website is powered by WordPress and uses a theme based on Joni Mueller’s Zen Minimalist.

We hope you enjoy the new site. Please let us know what you think of it, and if you encounter any problems. The email you should use to contact the ELO can be found, along with our phone number and postal address, on the “contact” page.

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ELO Partnership with University of Iowa

The University of Iowa has announced its partnership with the ELO. The partnership was initiated by Thom Swiss, a professor of English and the Rhetoric of Inquiry at Iowa who is the new president of the organization. The ELO is based at UCLA; this partnership initiates a new form of the organization, where different campuses will be able to participate as “nodes,” helping the ELO reach its goals in different ways.

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ELO Elects New Officers

ELO has elected a new slate of officers. Thom Swiss of the University of Iowa Department of English and editor of The Iowa Review Web succedes Margie Luesebrink as president; Nick Montfort and Noah Wardrip-Fruin become co-vice presidents; and Scott Rettberg succedes Celia O’Donnell in the post of treasurer. Rob Swigart continues as secretary for another term. Margie Luesebrink and Celia O’Donnell will continue to serve on the board of directors.

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Re: Writing–Writers, Computers, and Networks

“Re: Writing–Writers, Computers, and Networks” will feature readings by ELO board members Nick Montfort and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, along with performances by Thalia Field and John Cayley. Co-organized and presented with turbulence.org, and funded by the LEF Foundation and Literary Arts, Brown University, the event will take place during the 2005 Boston Cyberarts Festival, on April 25 in Providence, and at the Boston Public Library on April 26.