Dayton Daily News

Area lit­er­ary jour­nal launches mul­ti­me­dia con­test

- Sharon Short Sharon Short (www.sharon­ is a nov­el­ist and di­rec­tor of the An­ti­och Writ­ers' Work­shop. Con­tact Sharon with news about your book club or or­ga­ni­za­tion. Email: sharon­short@sharon­ Twit­ter: @SharonGSho­rt Entertainment · Arts · Literature · Poetry · Findlay, OH · Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer · Google · Starbucks · University of Findlay · Valley Springs, CA · Onyx · Vandalia, IL · Oakwood · Centerville Public Library · Centerville, IA · Dayton Metro Library · Wright Memorial Public Library

Since 2013, Slip­pery Elm Lit­er­ary Jour­nal, pub­lished by The Uni­ver­sity of Find­lay, has pub­lished fic­tion, poetry, cre­ative nonfiction and visual art.

Now, Slip­pery Elm is hold­ing its in­au­gu­ral mul­ti­me­dia con­test — open to all kinds of works, from videopo­ems, to il­lus­trated sto­ries, and more.

First-, sec­ond- and third­place win­ners will re­ceive cash prizes; all sub­mit­ted work will be con­sid­ered for on­line pub­li­ca­tion. (Learn more and sub­mit at www. slip­peryelm.find­ sub­mit/)

I re­cently chat­ted with Dave Essinger (, a cre­ative writ­ing pro­fes­sor at The Uni­ver­sity of Find­lay and a nov­el­ist and writer, about this unique con­test.

Why do you think mul­ti­me­dia art ap­peals to peo­ple as read­ers and view­ers?

Essinger: I think that, in gen­eral, we’ve be­come more ac­cus­tomed to re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion si­mul­ta­ne­ously via mul­ti­ple senses. More than just multi-task­ing, this multi-track­ing ef­fect can layer and deepen the aes­thetic ex­pe­ri­ence in in­ter­est­ing ways. Time and pac­ing also be­come part of the shaped ex­pe­ri­ence. Then, in in­ter­ac­tive work, we can be more in­volved as read­ers or view­ers, and re­spon­si­ble in a way for the out­come of the story or poem or work — some­times it’s fun to be par­tic­i­pa­tory rather than pas­sive.

If some­one is new to mul­ti­me­dia work — say a pho­tog­ra­pher who rarely writes, or a poet who doesn’t draw — how can they go about ex­plor­ing this genre? Or should they work col­lab­o­ra­tively with other artists — such as a poet team­ing up with a pho­tog­ra­pher?

Essinger: Col­lab­o­ra­tions can be very gen­er­a­tive! We’re happy about col­lab­o­ra­tive works at Slip­pery Elm, too, as long as the sub­mit­ter has all of the nec­es­sary con­sents or rights to the work sub­mit­ted.

For artists or writ­ers look­ing to ex­plore mul­ti­me­dia more in­di­vid­u­ally, well, the pos­si­bil­i­ties have just ex­ploded in re­cent years. Ap­pli­ca­tions like Pow­erpoint and WordPress and oth­ers make it as­ton­ish­ingly easy to cre­ate non­lin­ear hy­per­texts, too — just build the pages, link in what­ever or­ders you want, and you’re off!

For writ­ers new to mul­ti­me­dia, I think videopo­ems or book trail­ers (think, pro­mo­tional trail­ers like they do for movies, but for your book or short story) are great en­try-level projects. Google ei­ther of those terms for plenty of ex­am­ples, but some years ago, my mother Cathy Essinger recorded a poem se­ries as if for read­ers’ the­ater, and I lay­ered video onto that au­dio to cre­ate these videopo­ems: aLDes&list=PL2102280D­8A F90DCE

Ekphras­tic poetry has been around for a long time. Is this an out­growth of that form? Is the dif­fer­ence that tech­nol­ogy (web based pub­li­ca­tion for ex­am­ple) makes it eas­ier for a cre­ator to com­bine visual art and writ­ten art?

Essinger: Sure, ekphras­tic poetry goes back to an­cient times — doesn’t it? — and the­ater is es­sen­tially mul­ti­me­dia, too. I think one out­growth is sim­ply the abil­ity to cre­ate and record and dis­sem­i­nate that work in­cred­i­bly eas­ily. In the same way that the pho­to­graphic cam­era changed the art world — why worry about paint­ing re­al­is­tic por­traits any­more? — and ush­ered in Im­pres­sion­ism and ev­ery­thing that fol­lowed, ex­panded tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties both al­low us to ex­plore new pos­si­bil­i­ties, and con­tin­u­ously cre­ate new un­ex­plored ter­ri­tory, which de­mands artists ex­pand into it. No, I don’t think sin­gle-medium work is ever go­ing away — there’s some­thing im­mer­sive about just read­ing, for ex­am­ple, whether it’s turn­ing print pages or on a screen or plug­ging into an au­dio­book, and sim­ply piling up more sen­sory stim­uli can’t take any­thing away from that. That said, mul­ti­me­dia work can be uniquely provoca­tive and evoca­tive in its own way, and it’s never been so easy to cre­ate or en­counter it. I’m ex­cited to see where things will go from here!

Up­com­ing lit­er­ary events

■ Mon­day, Sept. 10, 1-3:00 p.m., Wash­ing­ton-Cen­ter­ville Pub­lic Li­brary, Cen­ter­ville Li­brary Lobby, 111 Spring Val­ley Road — This month’s “2nd Mon­day Au­thors” pro­gram fea­tures Mindee Ar­nett, a Young Adult au­thor, whose fea­tured book will be “Onyx & Ivory,” and Trudy Krisher, an award-win­ning multi­genre au­thor, whose fea­tured book will be the chil­dren’s book “Bark Park!”

■ Mon­day, Sept. 10-Mon­day, Oct. 8 — The Dot­tie Yeck “Good Life Award Writ­ing Con­test” opens for sub­mis­sions. For more details, see next week’s Lit­er­ary Life col­umn or visit www.wcli­

■ Mon­days, Sept. 10-Oct. 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Oak­wood Star­bucks, 2424 Far Hills Ave., Day­ton — Word’s Worth Writ­ing Cen­ter (www.wordsworth­day­ of­fers a Fic­tion Work­shop with an in­struc­tor new to the or­ga­ni­za­tion: Christina Con­solino. She is a pub­lished writer and an ed­i­tor for the pop­u­lar Lit­er­ary Mama blog. Learn more about her at www.christi­na­con­ She will teach par­tic­i­pants how to give and re­ceive feed­back, and lead par­tic­i­pants (lim­ited to six max­i­mum) in work­shop­ping each oth­ers’ work. See the web­site to reg­is­ter.

■ Thurs­day, Sept. 13, 5-6 p.m., Day­ton Metro Li­brary, Vandalia Lo­ca­tion, 330 S. Dixie Drive, Vandalia, Com­mu­nity Room — Au­thor Tim Wag­goner will share tech­niques for writ­ing ef­fec­tive hor­ror fic­tion. For teens. Tim has pub­lished nearly 40 nov­els and three col­lec­tions of short sto­ries. Learn more about him at www.timwag­

■ Sun­day, Sept. 16, 2:304:30 p.m. Wright Memo­rial Pub­lic Li­brary, 1776 Far Hills Ave., Oak­wood — Writ­ers’ Café, a ca­sual hang out for writ­ers ages 18 and up and of all ex­pe­ri­ence lev­els, meets the first Fri­day (7 p.m.) and third Sun­day (2:30 p.m.) of each month.

■ Tues­day, Sept. 18, 7-8:30 p.m., Wright Memo­rial Pub­lic Li­brary, 1776 Far Hills Ave., Oak­wood — The Wright Li­brary Poets meet monthly to share work and hone craft; be­gin­ners wel­come. For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact El­iz­a­beth Sch­midt sch­midt@wrightli­ or 294-7171.

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