Workshops will take place on Thursday, July 16th, and may have limited capacity. Please pre-register to participate.

9am to 11am – Electronic Literature + Live Coding Jam/Workshop

This is a 2-hour online workshop where participants will explore live-electronic literature by using and transforming speech. This workshop will be taught in Estuary — an online platform for collaboration and learning through live coding that enables the creation of sound, music, and visuals in a web browser ( Inside Estuary, participants will explore the live coding language TidalCycles ( which allows the performer to play, transform, and modify patterns using sound samples.

The workshop will be divided into two parts. The first part will be focused on showing how to work with TidaCycles’ patterns using pre-recorded voice/poetry samples that will be ready to use in Estuary. The second part of the workshop will be dedicated to running a jam session among the participants.

Technical requirements for the participants:

No previous experience is needed. Participants will access the Estuary platform via the web (, full information on how to log in will be provided during the workshop. There is no installation required but participants have to use one of the following browsers: google chrome, chromium, or opera*. Participants are encouraged to use headphones.

*Please note that other browsers such as Firefox will not work for this workshop.

Facilitators: Jessica Rodríguez, Alejandro Franco Briones, Alexander MacLean, Alex McLean, Luis Navarro, and David Ogborn

9am to 10am – Machines are Poets Too

Machines Are Poets Too is a short workshop on generative text, followed by a generative text jam of. The workshop portion will go over a brief history of generative text as an art form, then introduce a number of tools for getting started with text generation, from dadaist poetry techniques to GPT-2. All technical backgrounds are welcome, and beginner-friendly code samples will be provided for those who wish to pursue more computation-heavy techniques. After the workshop, participants will use the tools they’ve learned to create a unique work of generative text. Materials from a previous iteration of the session can be found here:

Facilitator: Brent Bailey

10am to 11am – Designing the Future: Creating Bespoke E-lit for Social Change

Educating patients on health topics. Encouraging action on climate change. Developing body image resilience. This workshop guides participants through the specific considerations of creating e-lit for specific social effects without resorting to the dreaded “edutainment”. Participants will begin with the fundamental questions of designing for persuasion in interactive digital works: audience trends, platform applicabilities, intellectual property considerations, and more. Session based on sample texts No World 4 Tomorrow and Only, Always, Never, designed to influence students regarding climate change and patients regarding antibiotic use.

Facilitator: Lyle Skains

11am to 12pm – Creative Writing Collaboration in GoogleDocs

A virtual writing workshop in which participants compose texts together in Google Docs based on prompts inspired by surrealist games. The idea behind this session is that multi-user online writing platforms like Google Docs can facilitate new forms of collaborative creative expression through affordances like synchronous writing and editing.

In the spirit of the conference’s theme, (un)continuity, I will collect texts authored by different participants in the session and arrange them using a randomized algorithm to create a collaborative work of electronic literature. The result will be shared with other conference attendees via social media.

Because of Google Docs’ limitations, a maximum number of ten people can participate in this workshop.

Facilitator: Laura Okkema

11am to 12:30pm – VR Narratives: A Workshop in VR, about VR

This 90 minute session will be held as a free, public event in AltspaceVR, a VR social space which works best for participants using consumer VR headsets but can also be accessed in 2D mode using an app on Mac, Windows and Android operating systems. There will be lightning talks (about 5 minutes each) on VR narratives by researchers and creators, followed by small group discussions among speakers and participants, and then a plenary Q&A session. Speakers include Caitlin Fisher, Director of the York University Augmented Reality Lab; Illya Szilak, author of the VR narratives Queerskins: A Love Story and the forthcoming work Queerskins: Ark; critic and scholar Anna Nacher of the Jagiellonian University, Scott Rettberg, co-author of the VR CAVE narrative Hearts and Minds, and Laryssa Whittaker, an audience insight researcher from StoryFutures, the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling. The session will be moderated by Jill Walker Rettberg and Maud Ceuterick, both of the University of Bergen.

In addition to the 2D access options for people who do not have access to VR headsets, we will write up a summary of the discussions to make the event more accessible to the ELO community. In addition, we foresee that some newcomers to the ELO community will participate as we will advertise the event to groups like Educators in VR.

Facilitators: Jill Walker Rettberg, Maud Ceuterick, Caitlin Fisher, Laryssa Whittaker, Anna Nacher, Illya Szilak, and Scott Rettberg.

1pm to 2pm – Sexting through the Apocalypse

Starting with a community discussion held over zoom, participants will share their sexting strategies, questions and insecurities. They will then be invited to take part in a collective, anonymous, and encrypted sexting experiment over discord. Participants will create their own persona and anonymously send texts, photos, videos, audio recordings, GIFs and emojis. Everyone will be invited to take part in this conversation, or not—voyeurism is also a form of participation ? Queer love and desire, explicit consent practices and guidelines, inclusive vocabulary and desirability policies will inform the exchanges and lay the foundations for consensual play. A version of this workshop was co-developed by Hannah Kaya and Kinga, for an artist residency at Studio XX, Montreal this past spring.

Facilitator: Hannah Kaya

1pm to 2 pm – The Digital Language Workbench

The Digital Language Workbench is an online platform for generating algorithmic poetry, computational literary experiments and conducting text analysis. It offers a unique visual programming interface to help writers combine different linguistic processors together with additional functions using an easy drag and drop editing tool. In general, the Workbench allows you to create, play with, and analyze language using algorithms and linguistic processors that you personally design and implement.

This Virtual Engagement Session welcomes conference participants to engage in a virtual workshop/jam session that will offer them the opportunity to set up and experiment with readymade generative language processors, while building new processors with its drag and drop interface. The session will encourage collaborative writing exercises culminating in a final open reading. A similar workshop with an earlier version of the tool was hosted at the 2016 ELO conference in Victoria, BC. It proved to be quite successful, attracting over 20 participants.

Facilitator: Andrew Klobucar

2pm to 3pm – Poememes for the quarantine

During these weeks of isolation most of us have submerged ourselves in an unending ocean of news, videos and images to not only stay up to date on the latest about the coivd-19 pandemic but also to escape it and carve out some safe spaces for our own mental health and sense of hope. In other words, we rely on the same devices, the same screens, to remain informed and to escape such information. That tension, ripe with poetic possibilities, is perfectly encapsulated by the barrage of internet memes that have emerged commenting, ridiculing and even attempting to explain our shared plight. These, along with my previous research into the language of Internet Memes, were some of the thoughts that went into crafting the poememe A Triptych para Pandemia, where a sense of urgency and hopelessness rubs up against the banality of internet visual culture.

Poememes for the Quarantine will explore this paradox further by interrogating large collections of covid-19 related internet memes while identifying their lyrical and metaphorical potentials. Participants will be guided through the process of appropriating, manipulating and personalizing memetic content so it reflects their own experience during the 2020 pandemic, in both a shared and personal manner. By the end of the session each participant will be expected to share their own poememe and post it in the social platform of their choice.

Facilitator: León G. De la Rosa Carrillo

2pm  to 3pm – Twitchy Twine Tales: Building a Text Game Live in Online Teaching

This session showcases Dr. Malone’s use of Twine on the Twitch live-streaming platform in one of her game-design classes at University of Wisconsin. It offers an occasion to consider Twine as a teaching tool, a demonstration of live design as a teaching method, and a view of Twitch as an academic platform. Malone and Moulthrop will each speak for about 5 minutes at the beginning of the session to set context for the video, which will run about 30 minutes. The presenters will take questions for 15-20 minutes after the video. No special technology will need to be downloaded or used by participants for the presentation, however if anyone is interested in knowing more here are links to various relevant sites:

The home and download site for Twine:

The Twitch channel of Serious Play, which includes both presenters:

Facilitators: Krista-Lee Malone and Stuart Moulthrop