If your scrolling habits are eating into your reading time, you’re probably not scrolling in the right places. Twitter fiction has emerged into a legit lit genre, especially with the participation of heavyweight authors like David Mitchell, Margaret Atwood and Alexander McCall Smith, who created four short stories for last year’s Twitter Fiction Festival. While 140-character tales are sometimes told over a series of tweets, writers like Teju Cole are also experimenting with new narratives – last year, he released his short story ‘Hafiz’ through a series of 31 retweets (after sending pieces of the story to his friends across the world), and tweeted seven short stories about drones. Here’s a compact reading list to get you started:
Sean Hill creates compelling micro fiction that’s also been compiled in an ebook.
Saw my enemy from 9th grade, Ted Nedland, walking on the road. I lunged the car forward. “Look out!” yelled my wife. No time to explain.
— Very Short Story (@VeryShortStory) October 17, 2015
For light erotica and big laughs, head to @50NerdsofGrey.
‘Come over,’ she begged. ‘I need you right now!’ ‘Just turn it off and on again,’ he sighed. He hated these late night rebooty calls.
— 50 Nerds of Grey (@50NerdsofGrey) September 7, 2015
Author Philip Pullman told the fascinating story of a well-mannered house fly called Jeffery over three months. Read the entire story here:
Jeffrey our resident fly is the most polite insect I’ve ever met. He leaves our food alone but sits on my shoulder to read the Oxford Times.
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) November 14, 2013
David Mitchell, author of Booker-shortlisted Cloud Atlas, narrated a 280-tweet long story about a teenage boy trying his mother’s Valium pills. Read ‘The Right Sort’ here.
We get off the Number 10 bus at a pub called ‘The Fox and Hounds’. ‘If anyone asks,’ Mum tells me, ‘say we came by taxi.’
— David Mitchell (@david_mitchell) July 14, 2014
Follow author Arjun Basu for bite-sized fiction with a twist in the tale.
She walks across the room and stands in before me and I breathe her in, and she says, Hashtag Love Match, and I realize I’m too old for her.
— Arjun Basu (@arjunbasu) October 17, 2015
Terribly Tiny Tales crowd-sources short fiction from Twitter uses across the country, built around a word prompt.
— Terribly Tiny Tales (@terriblytiny) October 9, 2015
On the @miniaturestory account, you’ll find little moments from a larger story you’re free to imagine.
A ripe peach in one hand, the morning sun in the other. Wrong foot forward, I step into the breeze and see where it leads me.
— 140Story (@miniaturestory) July 24, 2015