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Original author(s)Jay David Bolter
John B. Smith (UNC Computer Science professor)
Michael Joyce
Developer(s)Eastgate Systems
Initial releaseOctober 1987; 35 years ago (1987-10)
Stable release
3.2.0 for MacOS
Operating systemCross-platform

Storyspace is a software program for creating, editing, and reading hypertext fiction. It can also be used for writing and organizing fiction and non-fiction intended for print. Maintained and distributed by Eastgate Systems, the software is available both for Windows and Mac.


Storyspace was the first software program specifically developed for creating, editing, and reading hypertext fiction. It was created in the 1980s by Jay David Bolter, UNC Computer Science Professor John B. Smith, and Michael Joyce. Bolter and Joyce presented it to the first international meeting on Hypertext at Chapel Hill in October 1987.[1][2]

Artistic and educational use[edit]

Several classics of hypertext literature were created using Storyspace, such as Afternoon, a story by Michael Joyce, Victory Garden by Stuart Moulthrop, Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson, and Figurski at Findhorn on Acid by Richard Holeton.

Storyspace has also been used extensively in secondary and tertiary education for teaching writing skills and critical thinking.[3][4] It has been used for teaching creative writing in particular,[5] and was especially popular in the early years of the web when hypertext linking was less fluid and web pages had to be hand-coded in HTML. Proponents argue that Storyspace's visual maps of how hypertext nodes are connected allow students to focus on writing in hypertext rather than on technical issues, and that linking and/or visually juxtaposing ideas allows students to develop a visual logic.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bolter, J. David and Michael Joyce (1987). "Hypertext and Creative Writing", Proceedings of ACM Hypertext 1987, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States, pages 41-50.
  2. ^ Hawisher, Gail E., Paul LeBlanc, Charles Moran, and Cynthia L. Selfe (1996). Computers and the Teaching of Writing in American Higher Education, 1979-1994: A History Ablex Publishing Corporation, Norwood NJ, p. 213
  3. ^ Russell, G (1998). "Elements and Implications of a Hypertext Pedagogy" Computers and Education, 31(2), pages 185-193.
  4. ^ Taylor, Pamela G. and B. Stephen Carpenter, II (2002). "Inventively Linking: Teaching and Learning with Computer Hypertext" Art Education, 55(4), pp. 6-12.
  5. ^ Murray, Janet H (1997). "The Pedagogy of Cyberfiction: Teaching a Course on Reading and Writing Interactive Narrative", in Barrett, Edward and Marie Redmond (eds.) Contextual Media: Multimedia and Interpretation, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  6. ^ Tan, Kenneth Paul A.S.-S. (2002) "Storyspace: Using Hypertext in the Classroom" The Technology Source, July/August.

External links[edit]