Announcement: @365daystory up for grabs – and taken!

Read on to find out who will be writing on @365daystory next year…

An announcement. A gauntlet thrown down. A throne vacated.

This year I have been writing a short story on Twitter, one tweet a day, on the account @365daystory. It has been an experiment in using the medium to deliver fiction, in a way that I think hasn’t been done before. (See my post on #twitterfiction here.)

It was intended as a form of ‘ambient story-telling’, that would drift into followers’ timelines once a day, in a non-intrusive fashion, nudging the story onward in increments – a story that would make sense even if the reader missed a day, or two, or more. (There have been a couple of updates, telling the story so far in chronological order: you can read the most recent one here.)

For a story that would function under these conditions, I chose to follow a character’s life in its entirety, from birth to death, which means that she, J, ages a year roughly every 4 or 5 tweets, though the progression is rarely smooth. Narrative time and story time perform a complicated, arhythmic dance.

It was an experiment. Was it a success? Well, objectively you’d have to say: hardly. The account has not (yet?) reached 100 followers, though of course thousands might be checking in daily, who knows. Personally, though, I’ve found it an interesting writing experience. Beyond that basic structure, I’ve not planned anything, and have had to keep trying to surprise myself, and keep myself interested in my character, adding to the story sometimes when I really had no interest in doing so, sometimes picking events or occurences from the radio, the world outside the window, to weave into J’s life.

But, now: the announcement!

‘J’, the story, will finish on 31 December 2013. [Spoiler: she will die.]

I don’t intend to start another story on the account the following day – although I have other plans for further experiments in and on Twitter. But I would love it if someone else took over the account, and carried out their own experiment.

So, this is a call for applications for the rights to the Twitter account @365daystory. If anyone wants it, they can have it. If more than one person wants it, one of them can have it, and I’ll choose who.

This will be a full legal handing over of ownership. You get the keys to the account, you can change the password, and the picture, I will have nothing more to do with it.

You don’t have to follow my format of a tweet a day. You can do more, or less, so long as it suits the rubric of the account name: @365daystory – a story that lasts a year.

You get to hand it on to whomever you want, when the year is up.

(But if you start it, then give up, I will hunt you down, and I will kill you.)

Use the form at the bottom to contact me if you think you’d like to do it. By all means give me an idea of what you’d like to do with the account, or give some links to other online writing that might support your case. In the event that more than one person puts themselves forward, the judging process will be entirely personal, and potentially biased, and opaque, and correspondence will not be entered into.

The closing date for applications is Friday 13 December, midday, London time, which will give the lucky gauntlet-winner time to fix up their plan – though I thought mine up on New Year’s Eve. Sometimes good ideas come at the right time.

There: gauntlet thrown. Anyone want a gauntlet?


I’m very pleased to announce that I will be handing @365daystory over to not one, but two writers on 1 January 2014. They are Elizabeth McGuane and Randall Snare, who collaborate on Mapped, a blog of ‘stories about stories’. They tell me that they will write their @365daystory together, which is exciting, as it means the whole project will necessarily be taken in a new direction. More than that I do not know, but I can’t wait. Thanks to everyone who threw their hat into the ring – I told them all to get on and write their Twitter story anyway!

One comment

  1. Pingback: A year long Twitter story, a month in | Mapped.

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