We recently told you about journalist Doug Sevirn who had taken on the daunting task of live-tweeting a novel. If you’re up to date with the ways in which literature and Twitter continue to collide, you’ll no doubt have heard of Sean Hill, or as he is better known on Twitter, VeryShortStory.
The Austin, Texas based writer has gained over 90,000 followers on Twitter sharing nothing but “Twitter sized fiction.” His 140-character stories embrace a concept that is said to have been made popular by Hemingway and his famous 6 word story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Hill’s tweets are beautifully crafted little moments of life, and the way they are written will make you pause, and make you want to read them again.
I wrote words on scraps of paper to remove them from my head. The scraps became a book others read. Soon men in white coats were at my door.
— Very Short Story (@VeryShortStory) December 13, 2011
Renowned author Margaret Atwood has spoken of the need for literature to embrace and celebrate mediums like Twitter, and what better what to do that than to have a book of literary tweets published?
Ulysses Press has taken the plunge, publishing a collection of 300 of Hill’s tweets, entitled, Very Short Stories: 300 Bite-Size Works of Fiction. The synopsis of the book reads:
A child who sets fires in hopes of meeting his firefighter father. A lonely woman, heading home from another bad blind date, who asks her cabbie out for a drink. The compelling stories in this one-of-a-kind collection are never longer than 140 characters but pack the emotional punch and storytelling genius of lengthy works of fiction.
Celebrating brevity, precision, and the art of subtle communication, author Sean Hill has crafted hundreds of engaging, evocative stories that conjure an entire novel in a sentence or two. Starting as an experiment on the author’s Twitter feed, Hill’s inspired storytelling quickly attracted tens of thousands of followers. Now he has compiled the best of the best of these sometimes sad, often humorous, and always clever tales in this stunning collection.
This is not the first book of tweets to be published. We recently saw the non-fiction collection Tweets from Tahrir published by OR Books, chronicling the 18 day uprising in Egypt, through the tweets of protesters and activists on the ground in Cairo.
Hill’s collection is currently available in Kindle format, for $9.99, and a paperback edition can be pre-ordered from Amazon.