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Writing the Future of Text

Join us to be inspired, engage in dialog & write the future of text. Your work will be featured in the second edition of 'The Future of Text' and you will use newly developed software.

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The written word is a fundamental unit of knowledge. Therefore, how richly we interact with our text determines how richly we interact with our knowledge—and each other.

This is why I have hosted the annual Future of Text Symposium for a decade, as well as edited and published the book ‘The Future of Text,’ featuring wonderfully brilliant minds.

This is also why I built the Augmented Text Tools; Author, Reader and Liquid, because it is not enough to speculate about the potential of unleashing the power of digital text, it is also necessary to make it happen by implementing what we know now, and then iterating as we learn more about how augmenting text can augment us.

Furthermore, the future must be built collaboratively. I therefore invite you to join me in a 6 part course of inspiration for the future of text, where each week you will write on a specific topic about the future of text and your final piece will be included in the next edition of book ‘The Future of Text’, due out this year.


The cohort costs $250 for 6 sessions.

You will also need to download the Augmented Text word processor Author which is where we will be doing our essay writing. The use of this software is integral to the course. You may choose to unlock the In-App Purchase to enable Export at an additional $15.

There is a student discount on the course for those who show a strong interest in the subject, and who have downloaded the required Author software. Please contact the facilitator if this applies to you: frode@hegland.com

Course Goals

Learn to think about text in a deeper way by using novel tools, thinking and writing about the future of text every week to inspire deep discussions.

Though you will learn about aspects of text history and infrastructure, the focus is on your thinking and invention, with the past as an inspiration, not something to learn by rote.

Since the facilitator of this course is the developer of the Augmented Text software you will use, you will have a unique opportunity to learn not only how it works but why it works the way it does, and more importantly, influence how it will develop further.

Who Should Attend

You should take this course if you are eager to join the dialog on the future of text and to learn new tools for reading, writing and citing.

If you are a power user of your knowledge environment–or if you want to be–if you are interested in the history of Hypertext, or if you simply want to write a better future, this is for you.


Please download the Augmented Text software before we start. It is free so you can decide if you like it as this is your essay writing toolset for this course. If you like it and decide to enrol in this cohort, you can optionally choose to unlock the Export function through an In-App Purchase on the macOS App Store, at $15. augmentedtext.info

You can choose to get ‘The Future of Text’ book (download the free PDF or buy a printed version) but you may also choose to start the course with fresh eyes. futuretextpublishing.com

Course Structure

There will be 6 weekly sessions of 1 hour each. Each session will start with a review of the essay set in the previous session, followed by a lecture to stimulate thought for your next essay topic.

Every Session Start: We will start the class by discussing your Essays. This will be collaboratively mapped out in a Dynamic View in Author in a process where we will collaboratively map out the space we are working on.

Every Session End: Weekly essay subjects will be assigned.

2 Days Before Each Session: You are required to submit your essay 2 days before the next session so that it can be included in our weekly Augmented Journal (see below), for everyone to read before the next session in order to facilitate the next weeks discussion.

Additional Material: You will receive a draft advance copy of 'The History of Text', a short book listing major moments in the history of text, to be published this summer. The book will be discussed in class and you will have the opportunity to contribute to the book, any contributions will be credited.

Course Outline

  1. Welcome to the Future of Text We will explore why text is important and highlight that yes, we can invent better ways to read and write. There will also be a full introduction to the Augmented Text Tools software including Author.

  2. Infrastructures Weekly Lecture: We will look at the history and state of the art of infrastructure with a focus on metadata as the scaffolding of digital text, and introduce Visual-Meta. We will also look at PDF, DOI and DNS for a good mix of acronyms.

  3. Connected Writing We will go through linking and citing to discuss how they are different, as well as explore further aspects of connected writing, including the use of glossaries.

  4. Interactivity & Views The fundamental importance of Interactivity will be explored, as well as different views of text.

  5. History We will go into deep history, text history and the history of digital text thinkers.

  6. Final Discussion In this final session we will review the previous essays and finalise our Dynamic View for final Journal Edition which will be included as a chapter in ‘The Future of Text’.

Augmented Journal

You will have a weekly essay assignment which you will write in Author and email to the facilitator. You will then receive a PDF of everyone's essays for that week in what we call our Augmented Journal. You are encouraged to read them all before the next session.

Your essay must be in a specific, but simple format, as described here: Augmented Journal Document Format.

Remember, the future is not yet written.

I look forward to seeing you online.

6 weeksUp to 20 learners

You need to use an Apple Mac/macOS computer since that is the platform for which the tools have been developed. You should also be comfortable using basic keyboard shortcuts, such as cmd-c to copy text. You will also have the option to pay $15 to enable Export in the required software (Author), paid separately via the macOS App Store.

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