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The Electronic Literature Organization promotes literature that is digital in form. More specifically, this group supports works of literature that are "born digital," meaning that a digital medium or digital technology has been integral to the form of the work since the earliest meaningful drafts, as opposed to, say, a short story or poem that was designed for the printed page, and then flatly ported over to a blog or webpage. To the end of promoting digital works of literary art, the ELO puts together conferences and funding and things of that nature. The organization is based in the US but active worldwide. The Board of Directors of the ELO and the organization's Literary Advisory Board are made up of literary-type creative writers, professors and authors with a primarily academic existence: these are John Barths, not John Grishams (not that one variety of John could be called superior to the other; Also, there are Ritas and Marjories and Katherines too).

The ELO represents the extension of the literary fiction industry and the poetry establishment into the digital world. Most people of that ilk are not so hot to embrace new media, though there are a few bastions of literary electronic advancement. The intrepid Brown University, for example, offers an MFA with a focus in electronic literature, as well as the usual poetry, fiction, and drama concentrations. Brown is where Robert Coover teaches, who is one of the foremost members of the ELO, and who was key in its founding.

Electronic Literature, by the definition of the ELO, includes fiction and poetry in hypertext, and versions of the same that are interactive in other ways. It can include chatterbots, and novels that take the form of blogs or emails, and even computer-generated poems or narratives. There is other stuff, too. Electronic literature can include "collaborative writing projects that allow readers to contribute to the text of a work," according to the ELO. They have a showcase of works and a directory of works, with many free examples of electronic literature available online.


Source: The "About" page of the Electronic Literature Organization, http://eliterature.org/about/

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