Dear wordsmiths, bookworms and word-lovers alike, we have some good news for you.
Brevity is never easy. Let alone brevity in literary expressions. However, online literature communities in many countries have surpassed the limitations and started using Twitter as their platform. In neighbouring country Indonesia, ‘Fiksimini’ (@fiksimini) has more than 77,000 followers and 400 active users who share their poetic lines and short stories in 140 characters.
The countless local initiatives have urged Twitter to hold a global virtual festival in which established and aspiring writers are provided with a platform to express their ideas.
Last night marks the kickoff world’s very first Twitter Fiction Festival where chosen writers from 20 countries in 5 continents will convey stories in 5 languages throughout the 5-day virtual festival (Nov 28 – Dec 2). This online literature breakthrough features both published and novice writers who were shortlisted by the committee and also ‘experts from around the publishing industry in the US’.
“Twitter is a frontier for creative experimentation, and we want to invite authors and creative storytellers around the world to push the bounds of what’s possible with Twitter content,” said Andrew Fitzgerald of Twitter.
Each tweet from the featured writers is compiled under the #twitterfiction hashtag to make it easier for tweeters to follow their storytelling updates. The storytelling process will be going on at all hours during the festival period, with story compilations exhibited in the official Twitter’s Showcase Page.
Earlier this morning, American author Elliott Holt (@elliottholt) unveiled a crime story from 3 different perspectives. The plot was meant to intrigue audience to draw their own conclusions from the evidences presented throughout the author’s 3-hour slot. Up to tomorrow, tweeters around the globe may tell Holt their chosen hashtag of #homicide, #suicide or #accident to indicate the cause of death in her story.
Other writers armed with their novelty premises at Twitter Fiction Festivals are UK’s Lucy Coats (@lucycoats) who will ambitiously be retelling 100 Greek myths in 100 tweets, an anonymous Chinese author who will be exploring the topic of freedom of speech in the People’s Republic of China in a story titled ‘Censortive’ (a combo between the words ‘censor’ and ‘sensitive’) and South African Lauren Beukes (@laurenbeukes) who has taken a challenge to write a ‘the weirder, the better!’ story based on tweeters’ suggestions compiled in one #LitMash.
Tweeters from all over the world (yes, that means you and me!) are welcome to join the festival, too. Simply convey your stories in a tweet, inserting the #twitterfiction hashtag on your entries to be identified by the committee and readers. Some stories will then be highlighted on @twitterbooks page. Here are some pointers on how to get involved:
– create a character and tell a story in his or her voice
– tell a story from your own account
– tell a story in a single Tweet.
So if you are a-ready to be a part of online lit history through the Twitter Fiction Festival, get the tweeting started! Meanwhile, we’ll just sit back and relax with our cuppa whilst scrolling over the Showcase Page during working hours.
For more info on the storytelling schedule at the Twitter Fiction Festival, head over here.