Why writers need technology

Here’s the thing – I’ve had a story published! Yippee and all that. Well, more than one story actually. I’m tempted to use the term several in relation to the number, which is something that as a beginning writer I could never have imagined. Who could ever say, airily, ‘Oh, I’ve had several stories published this week’ and how would they ever survive the drubbing that the literary gods would give them for such hubris?

But there you are – several stories have indeed been published. Bizarrely, I am having to beg a virtual stranger to meet me for coffee so that I can verify this truth for myself. Because they have been published by iPhone.

Oh yes. Ether have taken some of what a Guardian reviewer described as the ‘maiden aunts’ of the literary world (not just mine btw, everybody’s short stories are maiden aunts, apparently) and made them sexy. I am keeping company with Hilary Mantel and Paul McCartney, at least in the world of iPhone apps! Makes me want an iPhone just to show off …instead I am meeting a twitter-friend for the first time to see my stories on her phone. And if I hadn’t been twitterate, I wouldn’t have known that she had an iPhone, and that’s why writers need technology and should get on with writing and stop panicking over whether the book is gently decaying into honourable decline. It’s not our business to stress over what form our work appears in, it’s simply up to us to write the best work we can.

And also I met an artist, Jill Tattersall, on Greencycle with whom I struck up such a good conversation that I ended up going round for coffee and to beg some flower seeds from her and now I’m going to attend the preview of her collective’s Open House at The Wolf At The Door (regular readers will know why the title of the show gave me a frisson of magnificent proportions) which is part of the Artists’ Open Houses taking place in Brighton & Hove in May. It looks utterly delicious, right down to the iron wolf in the front garden …

How could any of that have happened to this recluse if technology hadn’t made it possible?


  1. Jessica Rosen
    28th April 2010

    How exciting, Kay – congratulations! I agree that we need to embrace the new technologies. We also must maintain an open mind about which are “winning” in the format department. I’m reminded of the days of VHS vs Beta formats.

    You raise an excellent point regarding shy writers. I would add the new technologies are of great use to the disabled as well.

  2. Lauraajk
    16th May 2010

    I’m fascinated by the use of various media and technology for writing and publication avenues, and how that changes the way we think about literature and publishing, both as writers and as readers. With pdf, ebooks, even twitter stories and poems, the opportunities seem endless, but then so does the amount being written and self-published in these less regulated formats – is it a case of separating the wheat from the corn, or do we just encourage the freedom of it all?

    Saying that, I have now downloaded the Ether books iphone app, and very much enjoyed your volcano story so far.

  3. Paul
    1st July 2010

    Congratulations on having “several” stories published!

    I agree with your sentiment that we writers should only be concerned with creating the story and not with the medium of its presentation.

    When I think of the days of making submissions using paper and postage and return envelopes, I am thankful for the technology that lets me do it ever-so-more-easily (and quickly) by email!


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