So, I have some exciting news to share. I’ve been selected as a Featured Storyteller for the upcoming Twitter Fiction Festival!
This is only its second outing as an annual festival, and reflects the growing popularity and strength of short stories, poems and other narrative mixes taking place on the micro-blogging medium.
The festival itself will be a round-the-clock live event taking place March 12-16th and will feature a mix of pre-invited authors/comedians/entertainers telling their stories as well as a group of 23 writers (like me) selected from a two-round submission process.
I think the field itself is outstanding in its diversity, from genre to the mixed mediums, to storytelling structure – using multiple accounts, using ‘found Tweets’ to compose a story a-la Teju Cole’s last short story, ‘Hafiz’, etc. Such inventiveness in the field of digital writing is incredibly exciting, and I say that not as someone who is (just barely) a part of it, but as a reader.
The tight formal constraints of Twitter, among other digital spaces, has already to wonderful experimentation – it pushes you to be extra creative, to be super-conscious of every word choice. One of the advantages to poetry, I’ve always found, over longer form writing, is its brevity allows you to feel the tautness in a line. You can almost pluck it in a sense, can feel and hear when it’s at maximum efficacy, which is much harder to do in stories spanning tens of thousands of words.
Twitter is, in many respects, synonymous with poetry. It’s why I find it so easy to create micro-poems on the fly; its boxed-in effect really allows you to feel every sentence, every word, and forces you to make each character count. With all that said, I make no claim to be pushing boundaries or breaking new ground, I’ll leave that for other luminaries. I will, however, have a great deal of fun telling an interesting story.
And you will, I hope, feel both entertained and provoked into thought that lingers beyond the reading, beyond Twitter’s often instant dementia. My story, if you want to follow along, will feature on the Twitter Fiction Festival website live on Friday the 14th, 10pm, Sydney time. Or around 7am in New York.