Andrew Fitzgerald on Adventures in Twitter Fiction: TED Talks for Writers

Andrew Fitzgerald on Adventures in Twitter Fiction: TED Talks for Writers

Looking for some writing inspiration? One fantastic source is, home of “Ideas Worth Spreading.” This series of posts features notable TED talks related to writing, storytelling and creativity. Enjoy!

Ready to change the way you look at Twitter?

In this TED talk, Andrew Fitzgerald, a writer and editor who works for Twitter, explores new ways to use the platform for storytelling. Rather than thinking of the social network simply as a means of connecting with others and promoting your work, what if you were to use the medium for inspiration or even distribution?

Fitzgerald draws parallels to the advent of serial radio shows in the 1930s, saying that “radio is a great example of how a new medium defines new formats which then define new stories.” He explains how this real-time storytelling blurs the lines between fact and fiction and provides opportunities for writers to play with different identities and anonymity while building new and creative stories.

He references several well-known examples, including Hugh Howey’s self-published short story “Wool” that spawned a succession of sequels; Jennifer Egan’s “Black Box,” a short story tweeted line by line by The New Yorker’s fiction account; and parody stories that build on real-life events, such as the @MayorEmanuel account that documented the events of the Chicago mayoral election with a science fiction twist.

Find the transcript and audio download on

What do you think of Fitzgerald’s ideas about Twitter storytelling?

Filed Under: Craft


  • Amandah says:

    Thanks for sharing the TED talk on the adventure of Twitter fiction! I immediately thought of the radio show, “War of the Worlds.”

    I think it’s great that you can tell stories on Twitter. Most importantly, you’ll hone your writing skills because you have to write the stories in 140 characters or less.

    I may outline my own short story and give it a try on my author and children’s picture book series Twitter pages. I’ve been wondering how to build my social networks and blogs. Posting a short story could work.

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