Crowdsourcing for writers

Posted by abingham on Dec 11, 2009 9:28:54 AM

Gaiman-TwitterHere’s a crowdsourcing project to interest the burgeoning writer in you – in October 2009 BBC America Audiobooks gave people the chance to write a story with famed urban fantasy writer Neil Gaiman via the most contemporary of social media art forms, Twitter.  Gaiman provided the first line of the story ("Sam was brushing her hair when the girl in the mirror put down the hairbrush, smiled & said, 'We don't love you anymore.'") and has invited dozens of twitterphiles to continue the story in 140 character increments. The story-thon went on for 8 days and is now complete and published on BBCAA’s blog ( The audiobook, to be read by Gaiman, will be titled and published shortly.

The process was as follows: anyone could Tweet the next sentence, but a BBCAA editor was charged with sifting and selecting sentences to make a cohesive storyline, and came up with the finished product. Surprisingly, even though Neil Gaiman had very little to do with the actual arc of the storyline, the character development or the ending, the final selection is very Gaimanesque in tone. Must be due to the number of Gaiman fans that contributed!

What do you think? Collaboration is not a new concept in the writing world – the shared universe of Dragonlance is one such example. However, with collaboration being the highway of the internet, there are a bunch of pretty cool online creative collaborations taking place such as such as Altered Books ( and ArsPoetics (

Read the story here ( & let us know your thoughts on crowdsourcing the creative arts.

Topics: Innovation Insights

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