Skip to content


Emergence is a mysterious property of nature currently being explored by the cutting edge of science. It describes what happens when simple interactions combine to give rise to a complex system greater than the sum of its parts.

Could such a phenomenon take place in literature? Could a collection of poetry, short fiction and art compiled using a few simple rules interact to create a work of literature greater than the individual works or authors? That is the question this project seeks to answer through a literary experiment called Emergence.

How it Works

The experiment begins with a blank journal and a simple set of rules.

The Rules

1. The writer reads the book.
2. The writer adds an original piece of literature or art to the book.
3. The writer reflects on the experience in an entry published to the project’s online journal.
4. The writer passes the book onto another writer who will follow the same set of rules.

Outside of these simple rules, the writers are free to add their own unique touches to the project. Click here to read a more detailed version of these rules (written mostly for project’s participants, though everyone is free to read them).

When every page of the book has been filled, the last writer will mail it back to Tripping Light Press. Entries from the online journal will then be integrated into the book, possibly with help from the online community. At this point an electronic version of the book will be made available at no cost. A print version may follow if resources are available.