Creative Writing Class Circa Social Media: Twitter


Teens_computer Twittory stories. 140 middle school students from around the world are writing a story on Twitter. Each student writes a line.  Innovative use of micro blogging that teaches creative writing, about different cultures and perhaps a few students will make a new friend or two. I remember doing something similar at camp and as a theatre exercise. It was great fun to see how the story would unfold. Girlfriend I think this is ultra cool .. I wonder what writers like Nettie Hartstock and Peggy Payne and Beth Kepart have to say.

The many voice story thus far -

In the depths of New York City, on top of the Empire State Building, a creature rested. That creature was me.

As I feel my life slipping away from me, I can barely remember a time when I was happy. I remember my friends and family. Like a dream.

I feel like I'm totaly lost. It's like I'm in a scary movie. I can't even see because it's so foggy. What am I going to do? Where can I go?

Maybe I'll slowly creep away tonight, while the city sleeps, and make my way back to the depths of the ocean. A place I call home. 

As I start down, I can still see movement in the city. So I creep lightly through dark alleys so nobody can see me. Suddenly,

I see a light turn on in a window. My eyes lock with a young woman holding a baby. She screams and I start to run.

Heard it on Twitter (of course!)from Cameron Reilly, GDay World and The Podcast Network. Seems Cameron came up with the original idea. Pink_boaToss of a pink boa to the guy down under and to George Mayo the teacher who is coordinating the project. Alison Stewart, NPR picked up the story.

Perhaps the next Age of Conversation book .. the book that was written by 103 bloggers from all over the world .. will be created via micro blogging (winks to Drew and Gavin and the mahvolus authors!)

This seems to be micro blogging week at Diva Marketing: The Party Line Circa Social Media: Twitter


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You know, it was hard enough keeping everyone down to 400 words, I don't know if they could handle 140 characters ;)

I saw this flittering across my TwitterViewer yesterday. There seems to be quite a level of impatience to be involved. In the Twitterverse we learn many things ... but patience is not one of them!

Posted by: Gavin Heaton on Dec 18, 2007 1:39:41 AM

I'm sure you are right we couldn't write a book but how about 140 characters of advice from the Twits about social media? Could be fun ;-)

Good point about the lessons learned or - not learned - from micro blogging .. never thought of it that way but yes, patience is def is not one of them.

Posted by: Toby on Dec 18, 2007 9:54:14 AM

The Twittory story (inspired name for it) hangs together remarkably well. And my compliments to the writer who made the light turn on. I look forward to more.

Posted by: Peggy Payne on Dec 18, 2007 11:12:50 AM


As yes...a party line. That is exactly what Twitter is like. You never know who is going to be live. You never know the topics you will jump into or just eavesdrop on...and it is a lightening fast way to spread the word about anything.

I think Gavin is right...ask Armano and Ann Handley how tough 400 words were!


Posted by: Drew McLellan on Dec 18, 2007 1:35:29 PM

thanks for letting me know about this! how exciting!

Posted by: isabella mori on Dec 18, 2007 5:48:56 PM

Man years ago I was corresponding with a friend in Germany and we started a story by snail mail with each of us writing one page at a time. It was very cool.

I read somewhere that in Japan they write entire books on mobile phone -- mobile is much bigger in Asia than it is in any other part of the world.

As for writing in short paragraphs, I am getting used to it ;-)

Posted by: Valeria Maltoni on Dec 20, 2007 9:31:02 AM

@Gavin and @Drew - you both did an amazing job at 'herding bloggers' and AoC is proof of that!

@Peggy - thanks for adding your view from that of a creative novelist.

@Isabella - pleasure and happy to pass along a different way to use micro blogging.

@Valeria - your round the world story sounds like a great fun! As for you getting use to "140" character" writing .. long or short I love your writing .. it's always spot on and so smart.

Posted by: Toby on Dec 20, 2007 10:37:13 AM

Another very touching Twitter story belongs to @susanreynolds. She recently learned she has later stage breast cancer. Hundreds of "followers" (sounds like a cult and it is sort of - a very wonderful one!) have adopted "peavatars" (pea avatars) after she twittered about wearing frozen peas in her bra after the biopsy. Her surgery is tomorrow and she has tapped into the boundless love of the universe that we so easily forget exists and is at our service.

Posted by: Rox on Dec 20, 2007 2:32:35 PM

I love this! I love that the young people are doing this and I think it's just wonderful that it's happening.

And God Bless Susan Reynolds, I have to go get my pea avatar. Also, I encourage folks to hit the site because they do an awful lot in terms of supporting women through funding in late stage breast cancer. The DesignherGal Foundation is their foundation. It's an amazing company and no, I'm not their publicist! But I love what they do and how they support women.

Posted by: Nettie Hartsock on Dec 30, 2007 4:46:47 PM

I love this story, this possibility, and indeed it is much like an exercise I sometimes conducted with my middle-grade writers, only I was interested in seeing what might happen if they all worked from the same pool of metaphors and similes (a pool they themselves developed earlier that day in a variety of shared exercises). In the end, writing that requires one to lean toward another is writing that bolsters character.

Posted by: beth Kephart on Dec 30, 2007 8:06:51 PM

What can .. and does .. happen in the digital social media world continues to amaze me. From children learning about each other in a creative writing project to "strangers" supporting each other in time of need .. who woulda thought?

Posted by: Toby on Jan 1, 2008 1:16:54 PM

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