You forced us to read Hamlet in high school. Then you shoved Pride and Prejudice down our throats. And although we complained along with everyone else, secretly we loved Elizabeth and Darcy. We memorized soliloquies and chanted them silently while we swam laps after school or sat the bench at basketball games. We were your best students, and now we are your biggest fans.
Because we are thankful and nostalgic and all grown up, we want to help you out with those iPads, Smartphones, and laptops in your classroom. We want to help you meet Common Core Standards by providing you with excellent contemporary short literature to work into your curriculum—short literature that can, one day, help your students find their way to Hamlet.
Our job at PhoneFiction is to build an addictive platform that gives great stories a fighting chance in today’s world. Your job is to, well, keep doing the really hard stuff.
This project of ours is valuable because it has the potential to build an ongoing relationship between students and short literature. We want students to read and discuss the story that you, Beloved English Teacher, have assigned. And then we also want them to be able to hit the ‘Hate It!’ button when you aren’t looking. That way, they can also read something they’ve chosen themselves. We want to help you create that mishmash of defiant individuality and humble curiosity that reading literature engenders. (Then again, reading literature also encourages people to write sentences like that one. Mishmash of defiant individuality? Yuuuck.)
Two pilot programs are currently underway in local Columbus, Ohio high schools. Because those are going very well, we’re on the lookout for more interested schools and teachers. PhoneFiction Fridays is a weekly, in-class reading program designed to get the most out of those thorny Friday afternoons. It’s also an easy way to test whether PhoneFiction is a good fit for you and your class.
We work on a class-by-class basis so you’ll get all the personal help you want. And because we’re a new operation, we have the flexibility to tailor things to meet your needs. This whole big mission of ours doesn’t work unless we’re making something useful to you, which means that we’ll do pretty much whatever you tell us to do—like I said, the good students.
One benefit to reading contemporary literature is that the people who wrote the stuff aren’t dead. Many of our honest-to-goodness-still-living authors are enthusiastic about the prospect of a bunch of high school kids reading their stories—it’s usually only other writers who read literary journals, which is where all of our content comes from. As our network grows, we hope to have authors in every city. But until then, if we don’t have a writer near your school, we’ll arrange a Skype meeting: read the story, and then talk to the lady that wrote it, whether she’s down the street or in another timezone.
The same thing goes with literary journal editors. Many of the people who edit these journals are college professors, or college professor hopefuls, or just cool people who love literature and art. If you want to work publishing into your curriculum somehow, we’d be willing to facilitate relationships between your class and the literary journals we’re working with.
We are in the process of getting professional actors to record our authors’ stories. There are two on our home page that you can try out right now.
If you’d like to try PhoneFiction in your classroom, or if you’d just like to talk more about what that might entail, or if you’d like to chat with other teachers who have used our program, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Founders of PhoneFiction