The N00bz: New Adventures in Literature
Edited by Simon Groth
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.
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
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 digitised 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.
The best of the resulting essays—Simon Groth on using a typewriter, Carmel Bird on trying to publish an ebook, Caroline Baum on spruiking for Booktopia and Emily Stewart on giving away her favourite books—demonstrate both an excitement from the authors at thinking differently about what they do, and some conclusions.
Another if:book Australia project, this one conceived as a collection of essays. Again, this was a concept I wanted to be involved in, mostly I think because I had a yen to write using a typewriter for a while. My chapter from the collection TypeFace is one I'm pretty proud of, but the whole collection reads as a kind of celebration of venturing into the unknown, of pushing yourself just that little bit into discomfort. The results, from a stellar line up of authors, speak for themselves.