November 29, 2012

Look out world, it’s time for the Twitter Fiction Festival


It’s official: Twitter is hosting a fiction festival. According to the Times’ Arts Beat blog, the festival runs for five days, and features “two dozen published and neophyte authors from five continents chosen by a panel of American publishing insiders.”

The Iowa-based writer Jennifer Wilson is posting photographs of gravestones and then writing “flash fiction” in response to epitaphs submitted by followers. The South African author Lauren Beukes is writing mashups, gathered under the hashtag #LitMash, based on “incongruous suggestions (the weirder the better!),” according to the festival’s showcase page.

The French fantasy novelist Fabrice Colin is writing a serialized story of five strangers trapped on a bus. And an anonymous Chinese author is contributing “Censortive,” a story exploring the limits of free speech in the People’s Republic, tweeted out in a series of late-night installments.

The festival will also have a nonvirtual component, with a live event on Saturday at the New York Public Library featuring several participants, including the writer Andrew Schaffer, who is contributing paranormal domestic comedy under the handle @ProudZombieMom.

But as of this writing, #twitterfiction has a whole lot of tweets from the media, but not much in the way of fiction.

Hopefully things get in order soon. If Twitter has taught us anything, it’s that patience is not a plot device worth developing.

Here’s more information on the festival. And here’s the Fiction Festival page.





Kevin Murphy is the digital media marketing manager of Melville House.