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Electric Literature invites fictioneers to join Aimee Bender

November 15, 2010 |  2:01 pm

Aimeebender_2010 Aimee Bender, a professor of creative writing at USC and the author, most recently, of the SCIBA-award-winning novel "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake," is kicking off a new collaborative short story for the magazine Electric Literature.

Although Electric Literature is calling this a collaboration, that's a slight exaggeration. Bender is simply getting the story off the blocks with its first sentence. After that, it's up to you.

The project uses the newish website ThumbScribes, built for collaborative storytelling. In the Electric Literature project, anyone who logs in to use the service can add a 300-character installment to move the story along.

For those who aren't sure they can build a story in 300-character segments, remember: 300 characters is more than twice as long as a Tweet!

The story will be completed once 100 pieces have been added to Bender's original sentence. Will 100 people contribute? Will a few enthusiasts leapfrog into the fray, grabbing the thread when they can?

However it plays out, Electric Literature expects it to go quickly. The project launches at ThumbScribes on Wednesday at 7 a.m. Pacific time, and the magazine promises to post the completed story on its blog The Outlet 24 hours later.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Aimee Bender. Credit: Max S. Gerber

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