MacGuffin a ‘jukebox for literature’


Google Play (Android): MacGuffin Stories
App Store (iOS): MacGuffin Stories (coming soon)


Independent publisher Comma Press launches a ground-breaking selfpublishing platform for poetry and short stories.

MacGuffin is a ‘jukebox for literature’. All content is in text and audio form, so users can read the text, or stream the audio on the go via the app. You don’t need professional audio-recording equipment to upload work – just a home recording on laptop or smartphone.

It’s built to help writers reach new audiences for their work. Readers can add hashtags to anyone’s poem, to describe the content and share it with other readers. #nature #ice #2minutelisten #feminist #sundaysonnets

The Spec:

  • MacGuffin is a website and an app for iOS and Android.
  • MacGuffin is free to use for readers and writers.
  • MacGuffin hosts fiction, non-fiction and poetry in text and audio form. Authors upload their text, and an mp3 reading (no specialist equipment needed – you can record on smartphone); anyone can stream audio, and toggle between the two.
  • Anyone can self-publish their work on MacGuffin, but there’s also lots of content from publishers. • Using Twitter-style hashtags, any end-user can tag anyone else’s work to describe the content, contribute to a meme or add it to a reading list.
  • MacGuffin is developed in association with Manchester Metropolitan University and fffunction (a UX company based in Bristol).


Notes for editors

  • The project is supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts – a £7 million fund to support collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers. It is a partnership between Arts Council England (, Arts and Humanities Research Council ( and Nesta ( The fund wants to see projects that use digital technology to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector. With a dedicated researcher or research team as part of the three-way collaboration, learning from the project can be captured and disseminated to the wider arts sector. Every project needs to identify a particular question or problem that can be tested. Importantly this question needs to generate knowledge for other arts organisations that they can apply to their own digital strategies.
  • For behind-the-scenes insights about the development of MacGuffin visit
Google GmailTumblrFacebookPinterestTwitterWhatsApp
Tagged with: ,
Posted in Event Diary, Fiction, Poetry