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This new vending machine will provide New Yorkers with short stories on the go.

Vanessa Willoughby

September 22, 2021, 2:38pm

Struggling to read more but just can’t find the time? Well, Brooklyn’s Center for Fiction may have the solution (for free!). The staff at the not-for-profit is curating short stories for NYC’s first Short Story Dispenser, which is scheduled to be in commission starting October 2nd.

Visitors to the Center can pick from three categories, and then a randomly chosen story will appear with the push of a touchless button. One of the three buttons will always feature children’s stories, and the other two will have different themes throughout the year. According to Time Out New York, the stories are sourced from the Center’s publishing company/creator Short Édition’s global database of literature as well as work from the organization’s network of affiliated authors, emerging writer fellows, award winners and nominees, teachers, and students.

Short Édition describes these dispensers as “stand alone kiosks delivering fiction to the public, while breathing new life into the art of storytelling.” As of now, there are more than 300 of these kiosks installed around the world. Stories can have 1 minute, 3 minute, or 5 minute reading times, by audience or language.

And if you’re a writer who wants in on this innovative technology, you can learn how to submit your work here.

I have yet to see one of these nifty things out in the wild, but I hope the stories are actually diverse and contemporary rather than the usual suspects we all had to read in school. I must admit that my uncontrollable to-read pile doesn’t currently feature any short story collections, but I did just zip through Samantha Irby’s Wow, No Thank You, which could be a goldmine for a future vending machine that only dispenses creative nonfiction. But, strictly speaking short stories, perhaps some of these new collections could fit the bill?

[via Time Out New York]

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