Short story by Jennifer Egan serialized on Twitter

Jennifer Egan, a Pulitzer prize winning author had written her latest short story with a catch. She wrote the entire story in bits of 140 characters or less, so the story could be serialized on Twitter. She had submitted her story to the New Yorker and hinted to the fiction editor, Deborah Treisman that there was a catch in the writing. The New York Times says that Egan told Treisman that she had a sense it could work for a spy story. The story's name is Black Box and has already started being tweeted in the installments that it was written in on the @NYerFiction twitter account. The story is comprised of 8500 words and the New Yorker Fiction account will tweet lines from the story between 8 and 9 pm every night for 10 straight nights (between 5:30 am and 6:30 am India time). A summary of the tweeted text will also be availale on the magazine's website after the Twitter account has stopped tweeting each night.

Pulitzer prize winner, Jennifer Egan gets published on Twitter

Pulitzer prize winner, Jennifer Egan gets published on Twitter



The New Yorker magazine is also launching a science fiction edition on May 29 and her full story will feature in the issue. Egan said that she wanted to explore Twitter as a means of telling a spy story as well as explore the option of serializing a story on Twitter in the same way that people watch serialized stories on television. The story is a running log of a spy noting down her observations. Egan says that she struggled to not make the language sound 'gimmicky'. The New Yorker also felt that the text of the story did not feel right in the regular New Yorker font, so they changed the font to one called Allegra Face, which has never been used in the body of the magazine before.


Twitter is a grooming ground for literature and many writers, well-known and not so well-known have taken to the microblog to create themes for writing their stories out on Twitter. For instance, there is a hashtag on the social network, #sixwordstories that as the name suggests, has you write entire narratives in six words. There is also a Twitter account called @VeryShortStory where Twitter sized stories are written by Sean Hill. The stories involve a little bit of improvisation where you can tweet a noun as Hill and he will write a story around what the noun inspires him with. Comedian @NormMacdonald sheds his comedic skin every now and then and will write a dramatic story in Tweets. Clearly Twitter is a good space for users to express their creativity.

Published Date: May 28, 2012 11:17 am | Updated Date: May 28, 2012 11:17 am