When my daughter came home over Thanksgiving break, she came home bearing gifts. She had stumbled upon a machine in the Oakland Airport that offered free short stories. My first thought was, how cool is that? My second thought was, how I can be down and (third thought) why isn’t LAX doing this?
Basically, you tell the machine how long of a story you want – one minute, three minutes or five minutes, and it prints it out for you. According to the press release, the machine offers more than 9,000 authors with stories for both children and adults. The Airport, in a partnership with a French company, Short Édition, installed the on-demand short story dispensers on October 10, 2019 in both terminals, and distributed 2,000 stories in the first two weeks.
My daughter received a story in the Absurd Humor category by Makaila Keyes called, You Give Me Butterflies. You can read it here.
Short Édition accepts online submissions year-round and will select stories to appear on their website and in their dispensers. They pay $125 for each selected short story and $75 for each poem as an advance payment on the royalties that each author will receive on a yearly basis from the Short Story Dispenser subscriptions. *I’ve heard from an author that they have not been paid and have not received a response to their emails.*
From their website:
What are we looking for, you might ask? Short stories and poems to delight, inspire, surprise, and, most importantly, move our readers. Button fiction — very short fiction published at the push of a button — is found in unexpected places, whether it’s when you’re savoring the last sips at the local coffee shop, waiting in line at the DMV, or strolling through the airport. We want to insert a bit of storytelling into the mundane moments, elevating the role of story in the everyday.