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Putting Our Favourite Fictional Settings on the Map

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Funded by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, comes a fresh initiative from the minds of author Andrew Bardin Williams, geographer Kathleen Colin Williams and software engineer Steven Young. Launched in June, 2013, Placing Literature is a website where the fictional meets the real world.

Designed especially for lovers of literature who are interested in the settings of their favourite novels, Placing Literature allows you, the reader, to map out fictional scenes in their actual locations. Hundreds of scenes have already been plotted by keen readers including those from the classics such as The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald and Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street by Herman Melville. More locally, scenes from the work of authors such as Ruth Park, Malcom Knox and Richard Flanagan have been plotted in Sydney.

Users have the ability to map the scenes from their favourite fiction themselves as well as use the search tool to research their area for literary references and ‘Check in’. We can also see how many people have visited the location, the characters the scene involved and any notes that the user wishes to divulge. Over the upcoming months, we fully expect Placing Literature to gain steady momentum. Co-founder Andrew Williams says: [quote]We’re constantly working to add new features to the site, and our goal is to make it as easier for readers to plot the scenes from their favorite novels and explore the literature that takes place in their communities. Users can expect to see improvements in the next several months that will make the data more searchable and more personable. We’re also going to start to spotlight specific authors and books. So far the feedback has been incredible, and we’re hoping to continue to improve the user experience.”[/quote]

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With Writer's Edit currently based in Darlinghurst, Sydney, we’ve checked into the Kings Cross location just down the road, which plays home to a scene from Richard Flanagan’s novel The Unknown Terrorist. Do you have any favourite scenes to plot, or simply want to check out what fictional events have been set near you? Click here to explore Placing Literature.