Willow Pattern

By Nick Earls, Steven Amsterdam, Krissy Kneen, Christopher Currie, P. M. Newton, Rjurik Davidson, Angela Slatter, Geoff Lemon, and Simon Groth

An experimental book written and published in 24 hours from if:book Australia.

9 writers. 24 hours. 1 book. On 11 June 2012, if:book Australia gathered a team of writers and editors together with the challenge of writing, editing and publishing a book – for both print and digital – within a single 24-hour period. Working at a furious pace, the team constructed a suite of stories interweaving a looming disaster, radio shock jocks, missing children, a beautiful vase, and a librarian named Sammi Bernhoff.

Conceived and created through my role with if:book Australia, the 24-Hour Book was one project I wanted to be directly involved in. I took the role of lead writer for the project alongside my chosen partner in crime Keith Stevenson as lead editor. There had been other 24-hour books in the past, but this was the first one to go to press, literally in print and digital, within its titular timeframe.

My chapter from the book is called Gifted and alternates perspective from a father looking for his daughter and the daughter who imagines that she can see words in her surroundings. It's an oddball premise for an oddball book. Willow Pattern will always take a special place in my bibliography because it was my first large-scale project of its kind that set an unreasonable goal and—bizarrely—actually met the goal. The first copy rolled off an Espresso Book Machine at the Brooklyn Public Library at about 11:48am, Brisbane time. I've never been so relived to see a photograph of a book posted to Twitter.