The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project experiments with microfiction, or flash fiction, a genre of literature that generally entails narratives of only 300-1000 words.  Inspired by Richard Brautigan’s pithy “The Scarlatti Tilt”, a story of only 34 words published in 1971, my work centers around  a collection of 24 stories about life in an American city in the 21st C.  Each story involves 140 characters or less delivered––that is, “tweeted”––on Twitter over a 24 hr. period. 

The launch date of the project was Friday, August 21, beginning 12 a.m. PST.  Each hour until 11 p.m., one story was posted.  Participants were encouraged to do more than simply read and respond to my work; they were actually invited to tweet their own stories.  During the 24 hours of the project, I stayed online and monitored tweets to the project.  After a story was tweeted, I would cut and paste them, with permission, to the Project Blog. An archive of all of the works posted to the project can be found there.

As a participatory work, the project was a success:  Over 85 stories were submitted by 25+ participants from five countries.  As a social experiment, it showed that Twitter, and perhaps other social media, can facilitate the making of art––and in a collaborative way:  For a whole day we turned Twitter into a Literary Salon that brought together strangers and friends from far-flung places to share their work and love of literature, thus extending the normally perceived use of Twitter (  I will leave it to critics to decide if any of the stories find success as art or if we have initiated a renewed interest in microfiction or an awareness of electronic literature (elit). 

I thank everyone for their submissions and for their support. 

by Dene Grigar