Welcome to the Words After War Weekly Round-Up: “Tweet Story Contest” Edition. In this space we share links relevant to our mission of improving the military-civilian dialogue through high-quality literary programming.
Writers secretly love limitations. Too much freedom is paralyzing. We’d rather bump against the rails and get all bothered than wander endlessly. Everyone knows the six-word story. It’s a useful exercise, especially if you find your sentences are lacking a certain sting. Here’s two off the top of my head:
We met on Tinder. So what.
For sale: gym clothes, never worn.
And now the 140-character story is having a moment. The recent Twitter Fiction Festival (to which I was a contributor) generated much debate as to the platform’s literary merits. Words After War is getting into the very short fiction game. We encourage brevity, find artificial constraints inspiring and believe that sharing work builds community. It is in that spirit that we introduce The Words After War Tweet Story Contest.
Here’s the deal: one tweet, one winner, one grand prize.
We will compile and RT deserving entries tweeted @ us all next week (3/24-3/28), but you can also email your entry (MIKE at WORDSAFTERWAR dot ORG). Anybody–veteran, civilian, fledging scribbler or world renowned wordsmith–can participate. We will not take into account how many followers you have or any other content outside of your single tweet entry.
What’s the grand prize? Excellent question. The winner will receive a care package of Words After War-curated reading material delivered directly to their doorstep. Great reads, big value.
There is no prompt, no hashtag. If tweeting your entry at Words After War (@wordsafterwar), please place it in quotations, so we know it’s fiction as opposed to just well-written spam. We look forward to reading your work!
With the fine print out of the way, here are your 7 links.
1. Teju Cole is probably the best known practitioner of literary Twitter.
2. Isaac Fitzgerald interviewed Cole and others in Buzzfeed Books.
3. The #Twitter Fiction Festival brought together writers of every stripe and provided an opportunity to explore the format with big-name institutional support.
4. And here is a shameless, Storify-powered compilation of my own #Twitter Fiction Festival contribution.
Moving away from Twitter…
5. Here’s Keith Gessen on Ukraine.
6. And here is Zack Baddorf and Mitch Swenson’s video post from Crimea.
7. John Banville (as “Benjamin Black”) has written a new Philip Marlowe novel. Confused? Read an interview with Banville/Black in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Have a great weekend.