A hair-raising ghost story from Goosebumps creator R. L. Stine; a brand new book of the bible, a choose your own adventure romp around London and the erotic inner life of Mr. Bates from Downton Abbey. Each story told in bursts of 140 characters or less as part of the second #TwitterFiction Festival, opening on Wednesday night.
A digital storytelling extravaganza, the festival is about embracing, exploring, and developing the art of storytelling on Twitter. It will give authors the opportunity to bring their stories to life in real time, while allowing readers to experience fiction in a brand new way. More than just tweeting fiction line-by-line though, authors will be encouraged to great creative with parody accounts, crowdsourcing collaborative storylines, video and images.
Not sure where to find excellent Twitter fiction during the event? Grab a bag of popcorn and log on, book nerds, we’ve rounded up the top 20 accounts for you to follow.
1. R. L. Stine, who scared millions of kids with his popular Goosebumps series, will be among the authors taking to the festival’s live stage in New York on opening night. He plans to tell a "true ghost story I made up". If it’s anything like Night of the Living Dummy, you might want to keep the lights on. R. L. Stine on Twitter.
3. When a winter storm paralyses an unspecified metropolitan airport, Twitter reveals the hopes, fears and frustrations of the passengers and staff whose destinies have been put on hold, for better or worse. Around the clock for 48 hours, this story traces the drama of travel delays affecting lives at the airport and across the globe. Chris Arnold will set the stage using tweets, images, maps and video.
4. Jason Lasky will explore his infant daughter's experience in his wife’s womb. The sounds she hears, the lights she sees, the food she eats – each tweet will be from the unborn baby’s perspective. Jason Lasky on Twitter.
5. In a humorous and sad short story told in the second person, Emma Straub will publish a guide to How to Go On Vacation with a Man You've Just Started Sleeping With and May Not Actually Like, all in tweet-sized bites. Emma Straub on Twitter.
6. Throughout the festival, a ghost, Paul, will use Twitter to settle the question of his death and bring some emotional peace to Kat, the woman he left behind. She must figure out what is really going on when her dead lover's Twitter account comes back to life, and what message he's trying to send her. Tweets will be by author Alma Katsu.
7. Nicola Brown, protagonist in our very own Rosie Blake’s How to Get a (Love) Life will be taking over Rosie’s Twitter account on Wednesday from 7:00-9:30pm. She will be live tweeting and asking for advice during a particularly horrendous first date. You can follow Nicola’s misadventures and tweet your advice to Rosie Blake.
8. Author Andrea Cremer is set to take followers on a journey, which takes form when an aged letter is discovered; its envelope unopened, its words never read. The contents of the letter will be tweeted from end to beginning. Suppositions and suggestions from readers will play a part in shaping the story that emerges: the hopes, losses, confessions – the triumph or tragedy that may or may not have been fulfilled.
9. #TudorDog, voiced by Elizabeth Fremantle, will recount the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn from his own unique canine perspective. Read as he inveigles his way into Anne Boleyn’s favour, where the snacks are the best in the palace, profiting from her rise, but when the King’s attentions turn to another will #TudorDog bite the hand that feeds him?
10. The team behind The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (@berniesu and @noblerorick) will be presenting a week long story campaign bringing Lizzie Bennet back online, almost one year to the day when she started dating Mr. William Darcy. After Mr. and Mrs. Bennet finally decide to sell the family house, Lizzie will have to postpone her birthday and anniversary plans to come back to her childhood home for the final time.
11. Join author R. E. Kemp as he tweets the story of a woman who is shrinking – one letter at a time.
12. High Altitude is the story of Adam Popescu's 18,000 foot journey to Mt. Everest Base Camp. Passages of high suspense moments: weather, physical pain, and significantly low oxygen levels. 31 Australians traveled at the same time as his group. Only 19 made it to Base Camp, the rest were medically evacuated. The trip will be documented through photos, maps, and videos.
13. A clique of thirty-something couples are set to gather for a three-day vacation at a ramshackle beach house named Eden. No serpent is required for the sins, carnal and otherwise, to pile up, culminating in an event that changes the group forever. Novelist Julia Fierro will tell the story in real-time over three days using four different perspectives.
14. Daniel Parish, a one-time bestselling novelist whose career has taken a downward turn, has just joined Twitter at the behest of the publisher of his latest book. Tweets by Gabrielle Zevin.
15. Omar Sakr will be tweeting as a young man who dies while updating Twitter, and continues to live on through social network.
16. A hostage situation at a bank plays out in real-time over a tense daylight hour as Ben Winters tweets for the police, the criminals, and the bank itself.
17. Fat Kerri is the story of a woman who wakes up the morning after her 39th birthday party still somewhat drunk, in a tiara and a tulle skirt and a full face of makeup. Her home is a wreck. Her body is a wreck. Her style is a throwback to a 90s New York that only existed on HBO. The dreams she came to NYC to pursue are faded and almost forgotten. Tequila helps. She spends her day roaming the streets, asking herself an important question: to stay or go. Tweets by Kimberly Sparkle.
18. It's a London night to end all London nights. You are failed, twenty-something actor Kay Richardson and you have decided to fall in love. A choose your own adventure story for the Twitter generation by Sunday Tom.
19. NYT Bestselling author of The Rosie Project brings his characters off the page. Don and Gene are friends from different time zones (Australia and NYC). Graeme Simsion will create a Twitter conversation between the two men. Don is advising his friend over a crisis in Gene's marriage (he has been caught cheating). Don will also seek advice from Twitter users and incorporate feedback into the conversation.
20. Author Jennifer L. Armentrout will tell The Proposal, focusing on a fan-favorite couple that won't be revealed until the end. Ah, we love a good proposal story.
With the #TwitterFiction Festival 2014 kicking off Wednesday 12 March and lasting all the way through to Sunday 16 March and so many fabulous authors taking part, we’re not sure how we’re going to much done over the next five days.
Which #TwitterFiction premise has caught your eye?