Short Edition - Short Story Dispenser

The first Short Story participants (photo by John Ogilvie)

Squire is proud to have received a grant to purchase a Short Story Dispenser. It shares 1, 3 or 5 minute stories with the touch of a button. The stories are free, inspiring, and printed on biodegradable papyrus paper.

Press Release March 27, 2019:
The Squire Foundation, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Public Market, is pleased to introduce the Short Edition Short Story Dispenser to the Santa Barbara community.

The dispenser will be available at the Santa Barbara Public Market for an entire year, beginning April 2, 2019.

Ribbon cutting ceremony on April 2, 2019 at the Santa Barbara Public Market with Ashley Hollister Executive Director of The Squire Foundation , Marge Cafareli Owner of the Santa Barbara Public Market, Santa Barbara’s newly inducted Poet Laureate 2019 Laure-Anne Bosselaar (not pictured), and Sarah Rubin York Executive Director of the SB Arts & Culture (not pictured).

This new public resource coincides with April Poetry Month.

The Santa Barbara Public Market, located at 38 West Victoria Street & Chapala, is a contemporary urban marketplace offering locally & regionally sourced food, wine, and beer. Nestled in the thriving performing and cultural arts district of downtown Santa Barbara, the Public Market is Santa Barbara's premiere dining destination for locals and visitors alike. With such a diverse collective of merchants under one roof, the Santa Barbara Public Market offers a truly unique experience to dine, drink, gather and host special events.

Short Edition is a French community publisher of short-form literature that in the past year has installed over 30 Short Story Dispensers in the United States alone - in major universities, government offices, restaurants, transportation hubs and many other places where people gather (short-edition.com/en/dispensers).

These dispensers represent an innovative concept in the dissemination of literature to the general public, and a wonderful new addition to the cultural footprint of Santa Barbara.

A Short Story Dispenser works like a free vending machine - it is shaped like a cylinder with three buttons on it's console that lets the user select a short story of varying lengths. When a button is chosen, the dispenser prints a randomly selected story onto a strip of eco-friendly paper. The stories printed are generated from an online literature platform maintained by Short Edition with over 9,000 authors (maintenance includes wireless content and software updates). Owners of dispensers can customize their content through an online dashboard, which provides real-time monitoring of each dispenser (statistics by site, paper consumption and monitoring of use).

Local writers will be included in this customized database, and authors selected sign a contract with Short Edition, enabling them to receive royalty payments. Our plans are to conduct writing contests in conjunction with local schools and outreach programs.

In 2018, Squire resolved to buy and operate this creative resource with business and community partners in Santa Barbara, with an initial purchase of one dispenser by January 2019 (with plans to add a bilingual Dispenser by 2020. At the time of purchase, a Spanish language option was not yet available).

Squire believes this project creatively addresses core issues of adult/child literacy, support for the arts, technology, and public wellness. It has the potential to be a portable, permanent source of free short-form literature for thousands of people in our local community.

Squire is very excited to partner with the Santa Barbara Public Market on this project. SBPM’s forward looking attitude to the use of public space in our community is an inspiration and is an admirable model for creating public wellness in our local business environments.

For more information, please contact:
Jana Brody, jana@thesquirefoundation.org

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Made possible by a generous donation from the Carroll Simpson Fund.