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.

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.

Short Stories You Must Read: 5. ‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafta (1915)

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What to expect: A comic and harrowing tale of a young, travelling salesman who wakes up one morning to find himself turned into a beetle-like insect.

Best known for: Transmogrifying the main character, Gregor Samsa, into a bug as a metaphor for human troubles such as alienation, sympathy (and its limits), and the absurdity of life.

Interesting Fact: Aside from countless media adaptations, The Metamorphosis is perhaps one of the most famous examples of humans turning into animals in short stories. Modern examples being Sarah Hall’s Mrs Fox, which won the BBC short story award, and Nina Killham’s My Wife the Hyena.

Best Quote: “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

Final Words: The Metamorphosis is a seminal 20th century short story written by one of the masters of the form. It’s longer than most short stories (hovering at novella length), but well worth the investment.

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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STORY OF THE WEEK – ‘Each Little Bird’ by Robert Rigby

STORY OF THE WEEK: ‘Each Little Bird’ by Robert Rigby

A classic case of haunting and ghosts in the night, in this short story from the Cracked Eye collection:
An English country town in the 1970s: a young reporter desperate to make his mark on the local newspaper and impress his acerbic editor, a mysterious woman with psychic gifts and a forgotten tragedy from the past…

These classic elements make for a rich and seductive tale in the tradition of the timeless English ghost story. Robert Rigby’s ‘Each Little Bird’ will entice and enchant you, but you may well feel a slight chill in the air on an English summer evening… a chill that runs down your spine.

99p UK: http://bit.ly/EachLittleBirdUK

99c US: http://bit.ly/EachLittleBirdUS

Short Stories You Must Read: 4. ‘A Good Man Is Hard To Find’ by Flannery O’Connor (1953)

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What to expect: A dark and unsettling story about a family’s confrontation with death and violence in the South while travelling from Georgia to Florida. Themes of redemption, grace, comedy and tragedy culminate in a story that is once read and never forgotten.

Best known for: Its unnerving and controversial ending, which throws the morals of the main character into dispute (but we wont spoil it).

Interesting Fact: The story was adapted into a folk song by Sujfan Stevens telling the story from the antagonist’s perspective.

Best Quote: “She would have been a good woman,” said The Misfit, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”

Final Words: This is a classic, and Flannery O’Connor’s best known – read it if you want to see how a short story can really pack a punch in so few words.