There have been some good examples of how writers have used Twitter to experiment. Most notably in May Jennifer Egan released an 8,500 short story on Twitter, called ‘Black Box’, in a serialisation experiment with the New Yorker’s fiction Twitter account @NYerFiction. There was also Teju Cole’s ‘Small Fates‘ and Dan Sinker’s @mayoremanuel.
At the weekend The Guardian got in on the act. It challenged some well-known writers – from Ian Rankin and Helen Fielding to Jeffrey Archer and Jilly Cooper – to come up with a story of up to 140 characters in a Twitter fiction experiment.
I liked Rankin’s take: “I opened the door to our flat and you were standing there, cleaver raised. Somehow you’d found out about the photos. My jaw hit the floor.” The are plenty of other good ones there and now this from Twitter: a five-day Twitter Fiction Festival.
To be held next month the Twitter Fiction Festival will be a virtual storytelling celebration held entirely on Twitter. Twitter says the Twitter Fiction Festival (#twitterfiction) “will feature creative experiments in storytelling from authors around the world”.
If your Designated Mate is widely feared, the beauties at the house party where you’ve gone undercover to meet him will be especially kind.
— New Yorker Fiction (@NYerFiction) May 25, 2012
Twitter wants to invite authors and creative storytellers around the world to push the bounds of what’s possible with Twitter content.
If you’d like to take part in the Twitter Fiction Festival, submit your idea here. Tell Twitter how you are going to explore content formats that already exist on Twitter — short story in Tweets, a Twitter chat, live-tweeting — or, even better, how you’ll create a new one.
It wants to know how will you work with the real-time and its global reach? The proposal has to fit into the time window of the five day virtual festival. That said the an individual project could run for the length of the festival, or just for an hour.
Twitter plans to announce the selected authors and festival agenda on Monday, November 19th and the festival itself will kick off on November 28th.