Vending Machine Dispenses Short Stories for Angelenos

Edwin Rodarte, Senior Librarian, Emerging Technologies & Collections,
short story print out with 2 rolled up with red ribbons

Disconnect from technology and the busy life in Los Angeles for a few minutes as you explore the world of short stories. Los Angeles Public Library invites you to visit Central Library to pick-up a short story, freshly printed from our Short Story Dispenser. On the go? no problem. Take the story with you as you go about your day.

Created by the French company, Short Édition, the Short Story dispenser is home to thousands of stories written by more than 9,000 recognized authors. Short Édition manages and curates them. Members of the public are able to vote on favorite submitted works through their website and can submit stories when open competitions take place.

Why Short Stories?

“The art of storytelling goes back more than 17,000 years to the earliest known place, the Lascaux Caves in southwestern France, where ancient stories are told through painted symbols on the walls of the caves. Today in France, Short Édition is keeping this art form alive with their own modern innovation, attesting to the timelessness of literature.

The French publishing house’s Short Story Dispensers are delivering fiction to the public and breathing new life into the art of storytelling. The dispensers are connecting readers across countries and cultures by publishing contemporary short stories, free of charge.”

In today’s busy lives with so many distractions available, Short Édition seeks to create a moment of protected reading, where no notifications, calls, or pings get in the way. What better way than to enjoy a story on your way to work or while on your lunch break.

How Does it Work?

Readers have the ability to select from a one minute, three minute, or a children’s story. The machine will dispense the story in the form of a receipt selected from a cloud library of short stories. Stories are randomized so you never know what you're getting! Genres include romance, classics, feel good, sci/fi, fantasy, poetry, and suspense among others.

Authors submit their short stories via their online platform and if selected can sign a contract to protect their intellectual work. Authors are paid in royalties any time one of their works is printed.

If interested in reading the rest of the stories and voting for your favorites, visit Short Édition’s website and create an account.

What’s Next?

Los Angeles Public Library is always looking for ways to engage our library users and welcomes technology and innovation, and we have resources for short stories available in our Literature & Fiction department and through our e-media. We also encourage our users to submit their short stories to Short Édition starting July 1, 2019.

In the meantime, enjoy a short story on us!