“Twitter, the most brilliant tough love editor you’ll ever have.” Reading and writing socially during the Twitter Fiction Festival

Joachim Vlieghe, Kelly L. Page, Kris Rutten


The communication practice of tweeting has fostered numerous literary experiments, like Teju Cole’s series “Small fates” and Jennifer Egan’s novel “Black box”. In late 2012, these experiments culminated in an event that focused on such literary experiments: the first Twitter Fiction Festival. In this paper, we explore how people who participated in the festival use tweeting to embrace and enact writing and reading literature as a social experience. The study includes a participant-centered inquiry based on two one-hour Twitter discussions with 14 participants from the Twitter Fiction Festival as well as analyses of their online literary works and secondary sources related to the festival. We show that festival participants self-identify based on their creative and social practices as artists rather than with traditional labels such as writer or author and are therefore drawn to social media environments.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v21i4.6334

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