Twitter's New Fiction Contest Is Pretty Morbid

Twitter's official fiction festival launched this week as an experiment in extremely brief writing, and today comes the prokject's first user-generated experiment. It involves dead people. Writer Jennifer Wilson is about to start posting pictures of graves from a cemetery by her home and asking readers to make up an epitaph in 140 characters or less. Using those epitaphs, she'll then write a short piece of fiction about the graves' inhabitants. "It's fun," Wilson wrote in an email to The Atlantic Wire. "And kind of creepy to tweet the dead." 

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Wilson's grave game can be seen on the Fiction Festival's showcase page, which highlights the projects chosen by a panel of "experts from around the publishing industry in the US." Other projects include W.W. Norton's retweeting of Shakespeare, a story told in French from @fabricecolin, the trials of @ProudZombieMom, and a YA Sasquatch romance

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Wilson told The Wire that she dreamed up her project on a book tour in the midwest. "My first book, Running Away to Home, is a travelogue that's partially set in the ancient cemetery of my ancestral mountain village," she wrote. "My current book, which is fiction, is also partially set in a cemetery. I have a grave thing." 

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The Festival comes as a benefit to "mid-level" authors who have to work to get publicity, she explained. "But when something happens like this, a social media source elevates a writer's work by turning the tables and showcasing their toils, that really helps," she wrote. "It's boosted my book sales, from what I've seen. And it's been a hell of a lot of fun." 

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Follow along here. She'll be continuing the project at noon on Sunday


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