World’s First Crowdsourced Twitter Story

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#SHORTSTORYHOUR: WE’RE LAUNCHING A CROWDSOURCED TWITTER STORY EXPERIMENT

At 19:00 GMT today, we’ll undertake a live cultural experiment using submitted tweets to construct an original short story. 

Launching The Short Story Hour,  we’re encouraging Twitter users to participate in the experiment using the hashtag #ShortStoryHour. Between 7pm and 8pm Thursday 25th September, we’ll be curating the tweets and building a coherent story in real time. Followers will be able to read the story as it unfolds on our Twitter page @theCrackedEye and via a live Storify feed.

We will launch #ShortStoryHour with the opening line: “Sandra could hear people behind the door, but no one answered #ShortStoryHour”. You’ll then be given free reign to drive the direction by submitting the next line of the story. We will construct the story by curating the chosen entries live in Storify. The final story will then be published in full after the hour.

Twitter has given us the power to be instant broadcasters. With the simple push of a button our words can be read by thousands of people around the world at once. We want to harness that collective creativity and produce a fun and exciting short story.

Many of us have fancied ourselves as authors at some point in our lives. We’re helping realise that dream, without the pressure of having to write an entire novel yourself.

We’re extremely excited about this project and have no idea what type of story we will end up with, but that’s part of the thrill.

To take part – simply follow @theCrackedEye and look out for the opening tweet using #ShortStoryHour at 7pm on Thursday 25th September.

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A new type of magazine for a new type of reader

A new type of digital magazine for a new type of reader. The story is back.

Curious? Find out more at www.crackedeye.com

#whatiscrackedeye

Hannah Spencer Guest Post

Today’s guest post is from Hannah Spencer, whose Cracked Eye Double Feature, ‘Voices of the past/ Who is She?’, is out today.

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In Voltaire’s Candide, it was the humble farmer who was able to share with Candide and his companions the philosophy and interpretation of life which finally brought their long journey to an end, succeeding where the various philosophers, sages and scholars had all failed.

Working on a farm by day, and evening, and night, and writing the rest of the time, I think I can see why. The farming life is deeply entwined with both the miracle of life and the harsh blow of death, the two fundamental factors which forge the reality of our world. To be wholly reconciled with these would be to understand everything about existence.

It is probably no accident that when my career path switched from a microbiology laboratory to a dairy sheep farm, I also started writing stories, because writing is also about reality.  Not just understanding it, but using that understanding to form and shape it. An existing reality or a new reality. Controversial or mundane. The only limit is the power of the creator’s mind. A writer creates people and places and makes them real for the duration of the story. In some cases they survive long after the last page is turned.

Spending long hours in the milking parlour with my woolly companions is perfect for contemplation and creation. People, places and conversations are constantly streaming though my mind. I compose stories to the accompaniment of the chortled greetings of friendly sheep, the swish of milk through the milking clusters, a dozen sets of teeth on the cud,  soft noses and inquisitive teeth on my ears, and many deliberate hooves on my toes.

Unusual? Yes. Unique? Quite possibly. Influential? Most definitely.

 

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Voices Of The Past and Who Is She? A spine-chilling double bill from Hannah Spencer :

Voices Of The Past

“Osteo-archaeology could discover so much… She always found it poignant to hear the voices of the past begin to speak. What would this lost soul have to tell her? “

When osteo-archeologist Lorna is asked by a museum to examine the 250 year old skeleton of a woman who was once called a witch, she feels a compelling call from the past. Could there be a connection between the long dead woman and the young scientist?  Is the woman’s ghost speaking to her? Can Lorna bring her peace at last?

Who Is She?

“If I replay in my mind the last time… then maybe I’ll understand what’s going on here.”  Can our past life reach out to us?  Drawn to a place she has never been before a young woman encounters a terrible and chilling sequence of events – but are the horrors she sees a vision, a dream or her own past life?

Get the stories for 99p in the UK, or 99c in the US.

Party of Nine

‘Party of Nine’ by Joel Blumenau is out today!

Ming, a tormented teenager does battle with his own demons while shouldering the heavy burdens of taking care of his mother and their failing restaurant. It has been a struggle to survive ever since Ming’s father deserted the family. Despite a ray of hope that materializes in the form of a big reservation one night, their lives climax in an unforeseen torrent of pain, violence and tragic consequences.

A gripping story from the pen of one of Cracked Eye’s favorite authors.

99c (US): http://bit.ly/PartyofNineUS

99p (UK): http://bit.ly/PartyofNineUK

 

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Storms, Lies & Wildcards

The compendium of winning short stories from our writing competition, The Cracked Eye Weekend Challenge, is out on the 5th of June!

Storms, Lies & Wildcards…

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10,000 Likes and counting (It’s Nice to be Liked)!

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Click on the image to visit our Facebook page

 

Laid Off by Seth Augenstein

Today’s post is from Seth Augenstein whose short story, Laid Off, is published today on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

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In 2008 – as the chickens came home to roost, the seeds once sown were reaped, and just desserts were being served – I wrote the story “Laid Off,” now published by Cracked Eye.

The Great Recession continues to drag on, and friends continue to lose jobs, houses, savings accounts – and their natural hair color.

But as one character in the story says, it’s all part of a natural process of selection. Or is it?

The story’s genesis was interesting, at least to its author. It was written after a tumultuous trip back to Boston, where I’d gone to college. The excursion was distinctly different than the one portrayed in the story. In reality, the city was encased in ice – there was no snow, just a frozen slippery sheet over houses, sidewalks and streets. Walking up and down the slopes in Beacon Hill made for some Olympic-style slaloming, and some psychedelic contusions on every limb. My friend Mark – not Fred – and I lay prostrate in the back of a fishtailing pickup truck drinking beer and singing about Plastic Jesuses because, at the time, it seemed to make sense.

I forget the name of the driver of that truck. He was a bald person, and solemn – but kind, and he had good reflexes.

In the Real Trip, two vagabonds did indeed crash a party in a secret wing of a blue-blood old hotel through a decoy exit door, but there was no Aaron Burr. There was an aspiring novelist, sure – but he was a bigger jerk than was portrayed herein.

Back to history… At that point in 2008, America had made its bed and was just about to lay in it, as we’ve said. After a decade of paying for all sorts of nifty exploding gadgets abroad, and thousands of McMansions springing up across the land, all paid for on the credit card, the tab had come due. Suddenly big entities with anthropomorphic names like Freddie and Fannie were cashing in all our collective chips, and panic hummed in the air. And then there were talks – even in the mass media – about Historical Patterns and Cycles of Civilization and all sorts of other high-minded Pop concepts.

I believed them, and I still believe it now. But I’m also a student of History, and because of that, I’ve read Ecclesiastes:

“Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”

In trying to make sense of our lean times by boiling it down into abstraction through a fictive medium, I drew inspiration from the greats, too. For one, I was a tour guide at the James Joyce Centre in Dublin one rainy autumn about a decade ago. And this story certainly owes a debt to the author of “Two Gallants.” So if you remember a mumbling American walking you through the steps of scheming Corley and lascivious Lenehan in the fall of 2003, it might have been me. Or it might have been some hopeful Yank, spry of foot and mind, who actually thought poor suckers had a shot in this world.

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Buy now on Amazon UK or Amazon US.