To facilitate and promote the writing, publishing, and reading of literature in electronic media.
The Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1999 to promote and facilitate the writing, publishing, and reading of electronic literature. Since its formation, the Electronic Literature Organization has worked to assist writers and publishers in bringing their literary works to a wider, global readership and to provide them with the infrastructure necessary to reach one another.
What is Electronic Literature? The term refers to works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer. Within the broad category of electronic literature are several forms and threads of practice, some of which are:
- Hypertext fiction and poetry, on and off the Web
- Kinetic poetry presented in Flash and using other platforms
- Computer art installations which ask viewers to read them or otherwise have literary aspects
- Conversational characters, also known as chatterbots
- Interactive fiction
- Novels that take the form of emails, SMS messages, or blogs
- Poems and stories that are generated by computers, either interactively or based on parameters given at the beginning
- Collaborative writing projects that allow readers to contribute to the text of a work
- Literary performances online that develop new ways of writing
The ELO showcase provides a few outstanding examples of electronic literature.
The Electronic Literature Directory
The Directory provides an extensive database of listings for electronic works and their authors. Bibliographic information on pre-Web and other offline work is included, along with links to a great deal of work that is only a click away. The descriptive entries cover poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction works of electronic literature, including hypertexts, animated poems, interactive fiction, multimedia pieces, text generators, and works that allow reader collaboration. The directory allows readers and students to easily list all of an author’s works and to browse through different genres of work.