Author Crowdsources Short-Story Plot to Twitter

British science fiction novelist Neil Gaiman won’t have to brainstorm much for his upcoming short story — he’s outsourcing that job to his more than 1 million Twitter followers.

Paste Magazine’s Gage Henry reports that the Coraline author is “encouraging people to tweet in their 140-character contributions for his next short story, which BBC Audiobooks America will later garner into an audio book.”

He’s mobilizing a large army of potential co-authors. Gaiman’s Twitter account (@neilhimself) has more than 1.2 million followers.

The project began Tuesday, Henry reports, with Gaiman tweeting the opening line and fans then encouraged to run with the plot. The BBC will select about 1,000 submissions, which will be fashioned into an audio short story to be read by a narrator. (I’ve already sent in “It was a dark and stormy night,” so don’t bother.) According to Henry, the finished product will be available for free download before year’s end.

To participate, you must follow the BBC Audiobooks America Twitter account (@BBCAA) and tweet with the hashtag #bbcawdio. The BBCAA blog explains the rules and regulations, including how BBCAA will own all rights to your (unpaid) work, “throughout the universe, in perpetuity.”

Welcome to the glamorous world of publishing. Now get to work on Neil’s short story.

Publish date: October 15, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT