The Short Story Vending Machine

Meet the short story dispenser!


In 2016 the French publishing company Short Edition invented a vending machine that prints out a story for free to encourage people to stay off their mobile phones while they wait. You can even choose whether you would like your story to be one, three or five minutes. The first prototype took place in France and eventually spread around the world. It’s still fairly new with the majority of machines centered in France. While watching a video about it (link below) I couldn’t help noticing that they’ve pinned a location in the Middle East as well. And from the looks of it, it’s in UAE. It might just be a possible future location though.

So the way it works is that people create an account on Short-Edition’s website, which enlists the person in a writing competition to determine whether their text will be published or not. Short Edition’s editorial board and a group of readers will determine the winner.

On a positive note this is a great idea for many reasons, some of which is obviously to inspire people to read more. Not to mention it’s often original provided that the literature printed is presented by the mass public and therefore something new no one has read about yet.

On the flip side; however, I think it could be wasting a lot of paper (and probably the bad type of paper) especially under the hands of a mischievous trigger-happy bored small brat. Having said that, I think it would be nice to have one or two installed locally in waiting areas.

There’s a short video reviewing the dispenser here.

Links: Literary Hub “France’s Beloved Short Story Dispensers Are Coming to America” by Matt Grant, April 2, 2018. 




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