Hacking Electronic Literature, team-taught by Riham Hosny, John Barber, and me, was a full-day, hands-on workshop on the tools used in creating electronic literature (e-lit). Hosted at RIT Dubai and sponsored by the ELO, it was the first workshop of its kind ever offered in the Arab World specifically aimed at teaching digital tools used in creating electronic literature (e-lit).

It was divided into two parts: Part One introduced the field and provided examples of works and genres that constitute it. Part Two guided participants toward producing their own works of e-lit.

The workshop aimed to provide participants a good understanding of what e-lit is and how it is produced. As such, this workshop filled an important knowledge gap for Arabic artists and scholars about the emerging field of born digital literature.

Structure of the Workshop:

10:00-12 noon
Part One: Introduction

Understanding What is Electronic Literature?

10:00-11:30:  What is e-lit? Examples of e-lit; led by Dene Grigar
11:30-12:00: Programming in Arabic and Western e-lit; led by Reham Hosny

Break for lunch

1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Part Two: Hands-On Production

1:00-2:20 p.m.: Writing stories with Twine, an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories; led by Reham Hosny

2:20-3:20 p.m.: Memes, Tracery, and Twitterature

3:20-4:00 p.m.: Scripting and Prototyping for E-Lit NetProvs & Video Essays

4:00-5:00 p.m.: Sound & Electronic Literature


  • Classroom
  • Free WiFi for all the trainees
  • Data show
  • Access to computers for participants


Language: English, Arabic or both according to the nature of the trainees

Duration: Six hours on the day before the conference