Short Story Dispensers Installed at Carolina!

Eight short story dispensers will make their way to Chapel Hill this week as part of a collaborative partnership with UNC Press, the Department of English & Comparative Literature, UNC’s Creative Writing Program, and Arts Everywhere. The dispensers deliver original UNC student, faculty, and staff writing into the hands of the public.

Built especially with the Carolina community in mind, the dispensers will be customized to feature two buttons—a customization first created specifically for UNC. The two buttons would be “Carolina Stories” and “Global Stories.” The “Global Stories” button will populate from the Short Story Dispenser’s own catalog of short stories from around the world. The “Carolina Stories” button will be a mixture of authors who publish with UNC Press and UNC students and faculty who can submit their stories and poetry to be included in the dispensers, curated by UNC Press and UNC Creative Writing. In addition, the Creative Writing program will use the dispensers as a platform to feature their student competitions’ written work each year.

UNC’s agreement with Short Edition, a French publishing company and creator of these innovative machines, has enabled the company’s development of a new style of story dispensation. Short Edition’s short story dispenser were originally manufactured to print text based on length of reading time—one minute, three minutes or five minutes. The reader would press a button based on the desired read-time length and receives a narrow printout similar to a shopping receipt. At Carolina, the eight dispensers will instead feature two buttons with related content: “Carolina Stories” and “Global Stories.” The stories are printed on an eco-friendly paper which is certified FSC and BPA free, and due to innovative printing on demand, there is no waste, no ink, and no cartridge.

Seven dispensers will be installed in locations across the UNC campus including the Carolina Union, UNC Adams School of Dentistry, and Davis Library, among others. The eighth will be initially installed inside the Chapel Hill Public Library, the latest initiative of an increasing partnership between the university and town of Chapel Hill. Several of the units will rotate throughout the year, providing additional locations across campus and the community for people to engage with the literary arts.

HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED A STORY MACHINE AT UNC? Share your reactions via social media using the hashtag #shortstoryunc