Aspiring authors across the globe, you're going to want to grab your calendar and a pen. May 11 through May 15 will mark the third annual Twitter Fiction Festival, and you can participate alongside some absolutely huge names in the industry. Some examples? Oh, how about Margaret Atwood? That could be enough, but don't worry, there are more. Everything I Never Told You's Celeste Ng, Broken Monsters' Lauren Beukes, YA and new adult author Katie McGarry, Lemony Snicket of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and One Plus One's JoJo Moyes, among others, will also take part in the Twitter extravaganza. Got that pen still handy? Great, because open submissions to join them as a featured participant start March 2.
The Twitter Fiction Festival aims to bring fiction to life using Twitter in creative ways, by tweeting out full stories line by line, telling whole stories in 140 characters or fewer, creating new illustrations, or using the social media platform for storytelling in innovative ways we haven't even thought of yet. The contributors are joined together using @twfictionfest and #TwitterFiction. The event is a collaboration between Twitter, of course, as well as Penguin Random House and the Association of American Publishers. And there's a live, in-person component, too, on May 13, for anyone who can make their way to New York City and snag tickets.
For a taste of the kinds of things to expect come May, let's look back at the 2014 Twitter Fiction Festival. The Edgar Award-winning Megan Abbott used images to create a crowd-sourced story in the film noir style.
The Vacationers' Emma Straub created a story titled "How to Go On Vacation with a Man You’ve Just Started Sleeping With."
After the End's Amy Plum pulled an Edward Gorey and concocted a macabre, rhyming story set in Paris about how characters starting with every level of the alphabet died. See what I mean:
Even comedians Jim Gaffigan and Michael Ian Black got in on the fun, telling an improvised fictional story back and forth about a fake trip to Scotland.
There's no telling what kind of hilarious, imaginative, or truly great storytelling will be done this year but all of us readers and writers should be paying attention.