On Tuesday I’m going into the city to speak at this New Voices panel in front of a group of Scholastic employees and executives about Generation Z and the future of publishing. Generation Z, for those who don’t know, is the generation born roughly between the mid-nineties and right now. It’s going to be an interesting crowd to watch, I’m told, because they’re going to be the first true children of the Internet age – technologically literate, socially conscious, and globally connected. They’re also the final generation before we officially run out of letters, and their children will probably have either serial numbers or Greek letters. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s the dilemma I’m facing right now: I’m on the panel in my capacity as a political writer, both of fiction and non-fiction, to talk about the future of publishing to cater to the aforementioned socially conscious, globally connected kids. And, in that capacity, I feel like just a little bit of a fraud. Who am I to prognosticate about anything? I’m not really an expert in anything particular, least of all publishing. I know what I, personally, would like to read more of – and like any writer, that’s what I try to write – but any resemblance or relation my work may have to some sort of larger publishing zeitgeist is completely coincidental. Mostly I’m just writing for myself.
But then I remembered I have a blog. It’s not a blog that a lot of people read, but some of those readers are people who are smart about writing and smart about publishing. And while I more or less have an idea of some of the things I’d like to say, I’d love to hear input from you guys. If you were a child of the digital age, what would you want to read?