Last month, Writer\u2019s Edit attended the second annual Wollongong Writers Festival and gave a recap of the panel \u2018Art in Isolation\u2019, a discussion of community and interesting new projects. One article about a single fantastic panel doesn\u2019t do the festival justice, so here\u2019s the run-down on \u2018I want to read your live journal on a plane: opportunities in digital writing and publishing\u2019.\r\n\r\nThe panel was chaired by Patrick Lenton, who started off by saying:\r\nIt\u2019s weird that we\u2019re still talking about this, because the internet is a part of our everyday lives.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\nBut despite this fact, there seems to be two camps in regards to online publishing: there are those who believe it\u2019s just as legitimate as print publications, and there are those who consider it a \u2018lesser\u2019 form. Sydney-based writer, Oliver Mol, confirmed that when he was at uni:\r\n\u2026people shied away from anything digital. There was no look at social media or online publications. They said, \u2018It\u2019s a fad, it\u2019ll pass\u2019. It\u2019s 2014! It\u2019s not gonna pass!\u201d\r\nEmmie Rae, founder of Thin Walls Press, challenged the stigma against digital writing and said that the instantaneous nature of the internet lends itself well to writing (in particular, to poetry), and that for this reason, people should embrace it:\r\nEverything is online, and people will respect it just as much as print because your audience is immediately there\u2026 The internet has opened up a new audience for poetry. It shows that poetry is written by everyday people, not old dead guys.\u201d\r\nWriter and game developer, Adam Carr, agreed that there is a rebellion against digital writing and e-books that seems to be difficult for some people to let go of:\r\nOlder authors are afraid of e-books. As soon as people heard there were no page numbers they started getting anxious. If you digitise a book, you\u2019re eliminating the smell, the feel, and people struggle with it.\r\n\r\nTechnology getting a bad spin in the media is a sign that it is the new kid on the block. It\u2019s easy to make people afraid of change.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\nOliver Mol chimed in with, \u201cIt\u2019s the death of the novel! People have said that for the last 50 years!\u201d Oliver has used social media site Facebook as a publishing platform in the past, using it to get his writing to a wider audience and allow them to react in real-time (while admitting to now being addicted to likes). But now, he says, Facebook has gone too far. But something else will be next.\r\n\r\nAdam Carr proposed the idea of live-streamed writing, \u201cturning writing into a performance to show the act of creation and grow your platform\u201d. Patrick Lenton agreed that there is power within social media and exposing the writing process:\r\nPeople love hearing about people writing, the trials and tribulations. Having unprecedented access through Twitter gives a window to the ivory tower.\u201d\r\nFrom listening to these discussions, one thing is clear about the nature of digital writing: you have to set the trend before it becomes a trend. The internet loves new and exciting things, and this opens up endless possibilities for creative people. If you have a crazy new idea, you have to just go for it.