Short story dispensers on campus


Earlier this month, the Brigham Young University College of Humanities began a short story initiative that hit campus with a large assistance from English professor Leslee Thorne-Murphy. 

Currently, there are a total of two machines on campus. One vending machine is located in the Cougareat in the student Wilkinson Center, and the second is in the Harold B. Lee Library on the ground floor. 

These machines offer randomly selected literature that prints three different options for stories. Including a one, three, or five-minute read using rolls of receipt paper. Luckily for college students there is absolutely no cost to get one, and it is touch-free — making it coronavirus-safe.

BYU English professor Leslee Thorne-Murphy said, “We want to make sure that these are available to the entire campus. Because really, BYU students at large and the community that surrounds us, we know cultures really well. We know languages really well, and so we think this taps into a great strength that BYU students and the community at large has.” 

The French nonprofit, “Short édition,” made these machines and many more worldwide. This organization also uses student-written work in their dispensers, and they are highly encouraging BYU students to submit a story in this year’s contest. Any student is welcome to submit a short story, poem or creative non-fiction to by Nov 19th, and should see their story printed by finals week. 

Some of the other universities submitting stories in the competition include: Harvard, Michigan State, William & Mary, Penn State and many more. 

Professor Thorne-Murphy advised, “Even if you’ve got just a few minutes to let your creativity go wild and write down a story, a poem, a personal story even, you can submit it.”

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