“The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps,  the antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.”

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities


A city has a secret language written in its landscape. A discourse unique to its people, where reality runs up against fiction and stories are born...  Philly Storied City is our endeavor to give place, or a physicality, to storytelling throughout Philadelphia.



Philly short story dispenser storied city writers local

The Project

Starting this fall our Short Story Dispensers will be delivering literature written by local residents at the push of a button across the city. At Short Édition, we're inspired by a collective desire for stories to be a way of connecting with others, to serve as a spark for conversation and self-expression on a daily basis, delivered and read in a new way: on the go, free of charge, and in unexpected places. We view literature as something to be enjoyed by everyone and thus we see our Short Story Dispensers as necessary public services, making both international and local stories available to all.

Created in partnership with some fantastic organizations, publishers, and nonprofits based in the Philly area, this is a community project – thought up by a community, for the community. Short Édition is proud to call Philly our American home as of January 2020.

We want this project to bring diverse voices of the city out into an open dialogue, to connect local organizations and institutions promoting awareness and equality.

We invite all Philadelphians to submit their poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction of 8,000 characters or less, to be considered for publication online and in the Short Story Dispensers throughout the city.

Submission Guidelines »