Literary festivals come to town and go, and for whatever reason you just couldn’t make it out to all you wanted to see this year. Fear not! Now the festival can come to you.
Today is the first day of Twitter’s very own Fiction Festival, an event that draws writers and readers from around the globe together on one page. Literature has never been so instant, accessible, or succinct, as authors craft stories from afar in real time, sometimes as short as 140 characters.
The Festival showcase will be a completely virtual event, taking place on Twitter with participants from five continents and stories in five languages. For five days, Wednesday, November 28 to Sunday, December 2, you’ll be able to find creative experiments in story-telling on Twitter around the clock.
Want to get involved? At this festival, you’re not relegated to the sidelines. Jump in with your own fiction, and use the tag #twitterfiction for all to see your work. You could:
- 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
…and of course, any other creative ideas you have.
A showcase page of all the festival’s entries can be found at this link. Missed the daily live retweeting of Hamlet? Don’t worry, all of the selections are collated for you like this. You’ll never miss a lit festival again.
To give you a heads up on the happenings, here are a few highlights. No need to grab a map and traipse from tent to tent! You can also head to Twitter’s blog for a complete schedule:
- Starting with the idea of a Twitter feed used as evidence, author Elliott Holt (@elliottholt) will tell the story of a crime. The audience will see that story unfold via three different perspectives, and then will have to weigh the presented evidence for themselves. Wednesday at 7pm EST
- Perhaps no story is more powerful than a myth. Lucy Coats (@lucycoats) from Northampton UK, will re-tell 100 Greek myths in 100 Tweets. Wednesday 21 Nov. till Sunday 25 Nov. 9am EST
- Emmy Laybourne (@emmylaybourne) and Anna Banks (@byannabanks) will put a humorous spin on the paranormal young adult story with love affair between a teenage girl and a…Sasquatch. Wednesday through Sunday at 4pm EST (21:00 GMT)
- For author Kurt Crisman (@unpublishedguy) online descriptions of TV episodes tell a story all their own. He’ll weave a whole story together out of these to describe five seasons of a science fiction show with an absurdist twist. Every day, updated hourly
- Ifeoluwapo Odedere offers a satire, written in the style of the King James Bible, about a Nigerian community whose attempts to find a sustainable power source are continually thwarted by a saboteur. Thursday through Saturday at 8am EST
- In a tense psychological thriller, Andrew Pyper (@andrewpyper) re-tells the classic Henry James ghost story “The Turn of the Screw” — set in a present-day White House. We will follow the Tweets of the new nanny, who is increasingly convinced something strange is afoot. Thursday through Sunday at 7pm EST
- A group of four authors in Paris plan to work together to build collaborative sonnets in French, which they call #TwitRature. Thursday to Sunday at 5am EST
- AND if you’re lucky enough to be in New York, the New York Public Library will be hosting the festival’s only non-virtual live event this Saturday.
I love that all of these creative people have embraced the idea of “twitterature.” I’m sure it’s a challenging way to stretch (squeeze?) one’s writing skills, and really brings the audience something innovative. What are your thoughts on how Twitter is changing the literary world?
Check back next week for a summary of the festival’s highlights!