Twitter gives rise to local flash fiction

Mytweet5 gives students a chance to be published

If you think your tweets are worthy of literary acclaim, a group of local students are running a contest for you.

Started by a class of first-year Creative Communication students from Red River College (RRC), Mytweet5.com is a social media short story contest that uses Twitter to promote creative writing for young people.

According to Michelle Choy, one of the students involved in the project, the class decided to create a concept that would utilize social networking and new communication devices such as the iPhone.

“It is a good opportunity for students to get their work published,” Choy said. “It’s a way for students to creatively express themselves in a non-formal atmosphere.”

Using the character limit set up by Twitter, wordsmiths have a chance to construct their own narrative in five tweets of 140 characters each. Those with a creative flare can develop five short paragraphs and have their entries reviewed by the students.

As to why they chose only five tweets, Choy said they wanted to mimic the Shakespearean concept of splitting up a drama into five acts.

Karen Press, the Creative Communications creative writing instructor, believes that it is important for writers to have a community of like-minded people to be a part of.

“My theory (is) that writers, especially young writers, really do this all the time,” stated Press. “Where they have very little money, very little experience in publishing, but they want to participate in a writing community.”

It’s a way for students to creatively express themselves in a non-formal atmosphere.

Michelle Choy, co-founder, MyTweet5.com

Jen McDonald, another student involved in the course, recognizes that the Creative Communications program attracts people who like to interact with the public and desire that community.

As a part of the marketing team on the project she is realizing how much work is involved in putting a plan like this together.

“I think we are learning a lot about just what is involved even putting together a small project” she said. “Just all of the different facets, like the marketing, the content, the planning of the project, just realizing what goes into putting something like this together.”

Press has two other creative writing classes, each with their own publishing project.

Postfiction is one of the other projects and asks participants to mail in postcards with a short story on the back.

The third class is seeking contributors to write 500 words on what they would do if they had superpowers.

Submission deadline for the contest is Monday, Nov. 8 with the students hosting an event on Nov. 15 to announce the winners inside the atrium at the RRC’s Princess Street campus.

Vist www.mytweet5.com.

Published in Volume 65, Number 8 of The Uniter (October 21, 2010)

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