UK finalists join the 2014 #TwitterFiction Festival


Twitter and the world of fiction will come together March 12-16 for the second #TwitterFiction Festival, a digital storytelling event sponsored by the Association of American Publishers, Penguin Random House, and Twitter.

Today, as we gear up for the festival, we’re announcing the lineup of selected authors who will present their eclectic mix of fictional stories to the world on Twitter, including four UK finalists that will be part of the storytelling showcase:

  • Londoner Tom Mitchell (@tommycm) will chart the efforts of fictional failed actor Kay Richardson to fall in love. Taking place in real-time over a night, he will charts Kay’s increasingly desperate attempts in a ‘choose your own adventure’ story for the Twitter generation.
  • Katie Kahn (@Katy_Kahn), also from London, will be predicting the future one flash screenplay at a time, through her project @TimeUnravels. She plans to combine topical news stories with tongue-in-cheek creative license, to screenshot the future before it can be known.
  • Oxford’s Lynne Shepherd (@Lynn_Shepherd) plans to mimic the way reality shows like ‘The X Factor’ play out on Twitter by having eighteenth century writers Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding battle it out live for the title ‘Father of the Novel’. Her ‘show’ will be called ‘Who’s the Daddy?’ and will use the hashtag #WTD.
  • Tom Avery (@TeamAvery), from London, will be creating a story called ‘What remains’, a first-person murder mystery told in real time over the five days of the festival.

The four UK finalists will join the list of more than 50 showcase participants from 11 countries, who will tweet their stories in English, Spanish and Italian. Other finalists include David Javerbaum (@TheTweetofGod), who will tweet an entirely new book of the Bible, the Book of Bieb. It will relay the saga of the rise and fall of Justin Bieber, the younger brother of Jesus.

Finalists will tweet alongside a selection of invited authors from a wide variety of genres, including a number of UK authors:

  • Author of the international phenomenon the ‘No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ series, Alexander McCall-Smith (@McCallSmith), will run several stories in 20 to 30 single tweet chapters, entitled ‘The Intern’, ‘Love in the Alps’, ‘The Sociopaths’ Ball’ and ‘How to sing Grand Opera’.
  • New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger (@GailCarriger) will post 1-2 images of everyday items found in her world (a parasol, a fan, etc.), and crowd- source, asking her community to list one function for the given item.
  • Elizabeth Fremantle (@lizfremantle) is the author of ‘Queen’s Gambit’. She will tell the story of #TudorDog, recounting the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn from the canine’s perspective.

When it comes to tweeting fiction, Twitter is a wellspring of creativity. Entries this year make use of techniques like visual storytelling, crowd-sourced and multiple-character tales. Participating writers include everyone from journalists, to authors, to bloggers, to poets, novices and everyone in between; they explore a tantalizing array of genres including horror, romance, mystery, humor, sci-fi, drama, poetry and realism.

We’ve posted the full lineup here - be sure to follow along with these authors, all the others and @TwFictionfest as fiction comes to life on Twitter, March 12-16.