Reading in the E-Future at Sydney Writers’ Festival 2013

What is the future of reading?

Reading in the E-Future

  • How has your reading changed over the last five years? Have you moved on or stayed with predominately reading on paper?
  • Do you read on your computer, smart phone or tablet?
  • And do you have a preference?
  • Does the choice of what form you read on change what you read?
  • Is there a need for newspapers when we all know that Twitter is first with breaking news?
  • Do you read paper newspapers or online or on a Tablet or via the Facebook page of the news service?
  • Will the readers of the future only consume content in 140 character counts or short updates via their social media of choice?
  • And how will that that impact how we write?
  • Are words enough anymore or do readers need accompanying audio or video and will this stop us being immersed in what we read?
  • Or will extra digital content help us understand the creation in a deeper way?
  • Does language need to evolve to suit different forms?
  • And if so, how should language evolve? 
  • Is there a difference in understanding between linear and non-linear reading?
  • A difference in our cognitive approach?
  • And how do you design for the E-Future when you’re in the here and now?

I won’t pretend to have all the answer to these questions, but the wonderful panel I am facilitating at the 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival may have some discussions along these lines.

Reading in the  E-Future is presented in collaboration with Vivid Ideas and supported by the Plain English Foundation.

The panel features the following speakers:

Dr Neil James is an expert in the rhetoric of writing. He has published more than 75 essays and articles in publications as diverse and the The Telegraph and the TLS. His current book Modern Manglish skewers the worst excesses of buzzwords and suit speak. Neil’s Writing at Work has become a standard on the reform of contemporary rhetoric. As @drplainenglish at the Plain English Foundation, he helps workplace writers to communicate with clarity.

Eli Horowitz is the co-creator of The Silent History, a serialized, exploratory novel for the iPad and iPhone. He was the managing editor and then publisher of McSweeney’s for eight years, working closely with authors including Nick Hornby, Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates, William Vollmann, and Stephen King. He is the coauthor of The Clock Without a Face, a treasure-hunt mystery, and Everything You Know Is Pong, an illustrated cultural history of ping pong, and his design work has been honored by I.D., Print and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Before McSweeney’s, he was employed as a carpenter and wrote science trivia questions tenuously linked to popular films. He was born in Virginia and now lives in San Francisco.

I have only just finished reading The Silent History so I’ll be keen to talk to Eli Horowitz about the serialised novel for the iPad or iPhone he created with Kevin Moffett. I first heard about it on an email list and was intruidged by the concept of geographical unlocked-content to add extra layers to the novel. These “field reports” can only be accessed at specific geographic locations and weave other stories into the constructed serialised novel. With a new short chapter published every work day it meant that at times I had to wait for the next instalment, which build some anticipation at tense moments in the history. Originally only unlocking the first volume, I immediately unlocked the second, and then clearly all the rest. I never expected to buy content in that way, so it was an interesting experiment and see how the right content can drive user behaviour. My behaviour in this case! You can buy the app here.

As an evangelist for the web since the early 90s, Stuart Buchanan has been driving digital innovations in the arts and creative industries for over 20 years. In 2010, he founded the award-winning agency The Nest, and last year launched the digital publishing company, Branches; specialising in interactive books, magazines and playtexts. He was a founding member of Sydney’s community media network FBi, and is currently the chair of Underbelly Arts, an initiative which supports independent artists at a grassroots level.

Stuart Buchanan and his team at The Nest developed the app The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll app for Currency Press.

Quintin Schevernels from the Netherlands is CEO of Layar, the global leader in mobile augmented reality. His experience spans tech start-ups and print publishing in the Netherlands, including a role as CEO of Telegraaf Classified Media, a publicly listed media company behind the biggest newspaper and radio station in The Netherlands. He is a jury member of the Dutch Interactive Awards, and board member and adviser for the 1% Club, a crowdfunding platform supporting projects and entrepreneurs in the developing world.

An update 13/5/13: Unfortunately Quintin Schevernels from Layar can no longer attend. Instead we are lucky to have a new member of the panel:

Mauro Bedoni was born in Italy in 1979 and graduated from the University of Padua with a degree thesis on Photojournalism. As a photojournalist he worked for various Italian photo agencies, principally shooting spot and general news. In 2007 he started working as the photo editor of COLORS, the internationally distributed bilingual magazine published by Fabrica, the Benetton’s communication research center, assigning more than 100 photographers in almost 50 countries. For COLORS, he has been often sent to give lectures in various universities, art schools and festivals around the globe. He has served as a portfolio reviewer in various international photo festivals and as a juror in the PDN Photo Annual 2010, the 2012 Angkor photo workshop and the 2013 CENTER Project Launch Grant. He’s been nominated for picture editor of the year at the Lucie Awards 2011.

The event is on Friday 24th May 2013 from 1-2pm. Tickets are available for $20, or $14 for concession. You can book tickets here or read about the event on the website of Sydney Writers’ Festival here.

This should be a very interesting session so don’t delay – book your tickets before they all sell out!

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