Age trials a ‘mobile tale’

MELBOURNE newspaper, The Age, is to launch a 20-episode “tragi-comedy” by cult writer Marieke Hardy that is available on mobile phone only.

Editor Paul Ramadge said: “It will be quite riveting. Marieke is a wonderfully talented and immediately engaging writer.”

This is an experiment for The Age, as it wants to “gauge the story’s reception, get reader feedback, and further develop the ability to talk to Age readers in multiple ways”.

The newspaper is also holding reader feedback sessions to help it decide whether it should follow its sister newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, and convert its print business and sports sections from broadsheet to tabloid.

The mobile book, called the Vigilante Virgin, will be available each day at 7am (AEST) from October 12 to November 6.

Subscribers will receive, via a web link in an SMS, a chapter of the story. To subscribe to this Australian first in mobile books, simply text “Marieke” to 19700043.

The cost of subscription via SMS is $0.25, and $0.55 per instalment or message received. (Readers can opt
out at any time by texting STOP in an SMS reply). Subscribers can also follow Marieke Hardy on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MARIEKEHARDY) as she tweets about her daily instalments.

Ms Hardy is a writer, broadcaster, television producer and former television actress. She won a Bloggie award in 2008 for Best Australia/ New Zealand blog for Reasons You Will Hate Me under the pseudonym “Ms Fits”.

She has also written several episodes for the successful Australian television series “Packed to the Rafters”. She is a regular commentator for both The Age’s Green Guide and Frankie magazine.

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