Spotlight App: MacGuffin, a Jukebox for Fiction and Poetry!


Independent publisher Comma Press is launching a ground-breaking self-publishing platform for short stories and poetry. It’s called MacGuffin, and avid readers will absolutely love what it has to offer.

What is MacGuffin?

MacGuffin is a ‘jukebox for literature’. All content is in text and audio form, so users can read the text, or stream the audio on the go via the app. You don’t need professional audio-recording equipment to upload work – just a home recording on laptop or smartphone.

It’s built to help writers reach new audiences for their work. Readers can add hashtags to anyone’s story, to describe the content and share it with other readers.

For example, your hashtags could be: #epiphany #20minutelisten #feminist #slipstream or #jimsfavouritestories

Where Can I Get MacGuffin? Does it cost anything to use?

MacGuffin is a website and an app for iOS and Android.

MacGuffin is free to use for readers and writers.

MacGuffin hosts fiction, non-fiction and poetry in text and audio form.

How does it Work?

Authors upload their text, and an mp3 reading (no specialist equipment needed – you can record on smartphone); anyone can stream audio, and toggle between the two. Anyone can self-publish their work on MacGuffin, but there’s also lots of content from publishers. The open analytics show where in the world stories have been read, and key stats to help self-editing, including ‘reader drop-out’ graphs. Then, using Twitter-style hashtags, any end-user can tag anyone else’s work to describe the content, contribute to a meme or add it to a reading list. 

We’re pretty excited about this. It’s new, innovative, and a great way for authors to promote work, and readers to enjoy a social aspect of reading online! What do you think?

The Short Story and Flash Fiction Society is not affiliated with MacGuffin.

MacGuffin is developed in association with Manchester Metropolitan University and fffunction (a UX company based in Bristol). For behind-the-scenes insights about the development of MacGuffin, visit

Want early access? Sign up here!

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