Can You Write “Mifiction”?

By Maeve Maddox

I’ve discovered a new word for “interactive fiction” and a contest to go with it: mifiction.

By definition, mifiction is interactive fiction written for the youth market, mainly young people aged 14-24 years. My children read something like this in the Eighties, little stories written in second person and printed on cheap paper:

You are walking through the forest. A panther is closing in on you. You come to a river that flows beside a cave. You have two options. You can hide in the cave or jump into the river. If you jump into the river, go to page 25. If you hide in the cave, go to page 30.

That’s before cell phones morphed into entertainment centers. This new mifiction is high tech stuff.

The word mifiction appears to be the coinage of Mobile Interactive Horizons Ltd, a company registered in the UK and, according to their publicity, founded “to publish interactive text for standard mobile devices such as phones and PDAs.”

The company is conducting a contest for writers interested in breaking into mifiction publishing. They plan to launch about ten new stories in February 2010.

The contest is open to writers 16 years and older. Entries must be in English. Most genres are acceptable, including action, adventure, science fiction, fantasy, romance, war and sports

The guidelines call for entries that do not exceed 3,000 words. Because mifiction is designed to be read on small screens, the entry must be divided into sections of 200-300 words each.

Prizes
Cash prizes will be awarded: first place £300; second place £200 and third place £100. Six runners up will receive £50 each. In addition, all winners will be offered a publishing contract with mifiction.

Deadline
All entries must be submitted electronically to competition@mifiction.co.uk no later than 5 p.m. (GMT) on Monday, 30 November 2009.

For all the details, go to http://www.mifiction.co.uk/ (Update: Website is no longer live)

NOTE: Address any questions about the contest to the mifiction website.

Click here to get access to 800+ interactive grammar exercises!


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6 Responses to “Can You Write “Mifiction”?”

  • Shirley

    Ah yes, I remember those, Choose Your Adventure books.

  • Paul Russell

    How, I wonder, does one pronounce mifiction? My-fiction, or miff-iction?

    –paul

  • Richard Nelson

    These stories raise some interesting issues around creating an interactive story that also has a well written plot. As I work in education I am very interested in trying this method of story telling, to help get messages across to the young learners who are attached to their mobile phones. The ‘Digital Planet’ podcast, from the BBC World Service has just covered this topic by following developments of a literacy campaign in South Africa.

    The Episode is dated 27/10/2009 at:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/science/2009/03/000000_digital_planet.shtml

    The idea was to increase young people’s involvement in reading, however one interviewee stated that she enjoyed the mobile story, but she would not go to the library to read a ‘real’ book.

  • Maeve

    Paul,
    I forwarded your question to the contest sponsor. The answer is “My-fiction.”

    I was pronouncing it the other way. I guess one must think “iPhone.”

  • Maeve

    Richard,
    Books are not the cult objects for young people that they are for my generation. I have walls of books in my house. I shudder to think of the piles of money they represent. In a very few years they will be no more than quaint reminders of the days before mobile phones and electronic readers. They’ll probably finish in the landfill.

    Scrolls used to be big. The end is nigh for the codex. 🙂

  • david jon

    hi,hey man pull yourself together,you should not think of the “money-spent” on your books but of the pleasure that they have given to you. It is not very often that you have begrudged even one penny that you have spent, i will bet (i know that is the case with me). If you are worried about the fate of your books just give me a shout and i will come around and take them off your hands. Be careful,you sound as though you are becoming brainwashed by the people who sell technology and lets be honest,99% of it is the same as the previous model but a different colour with maybe a couple more buttons. Most of it is total rubbish and can never replace reality. Remember long-play albums being written-off not so very many years ago and now people are remembering just how tactile they were. The cover-sleeve was passed around and discussed,there would be surprises like posters inside and just like books they made a great impact when displayed,well they are back on sale due to public demand. At first people raved about face-book but when one steps back and actually looks at it all you can see is loads of strangers saying what they think other people want to hear. Do not get into the fog too deep as you might not find your way out. Real debate should be in your local or on street corners etc…(what does etc…mean by the way,cheers,david

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