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Fast Fiction: creative writing and changing technology

LSE Literary Festival workshop

Date: Saturday 2 March 2013 
Time: 10-11am
Venue: Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Jonathan Gibbs

It’s a truism that technology is changing the way we live our lives – but should this fact change just what we write about, or should it change the way we write too? In this workshop we will look at – and try out – various ways that writers have tried to keep pace with the new dynamics of the digital age, including flash fiction and Twitter fiction, as well as seeing what happens when we try to incorporate these new ways of understanding the world, and dealing with the information overload, into more tradition prose styles and forms. Bring a pad and paper, and a Twitter-enabled communication device (phone or laptop) ready to tweet – set up an account if you don’t have one.

Jonathan Gibbs is currently finishing a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he was awarded a Malcolm Bradbury memorial bursary, and graduate teacher of the Year. His story, Tiny Camels is published by www.shortfirepress.com and his novel Randall, or The Painted Grape is currently on submission.

This is the first of three workshops, followed by Trying New Positions: how to spice up your text life at 11am, and Based on a True Story at 12noon.

This event forms part of LSE's 5th Space for Thought Literary Festival, taking place from Tuesday 26 February - Saturday 2 March 2013, with the theme 'Branching Out'.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest


A podcast of this event is available to download from Literary Festival 2013: Fast Fiction: creative writing and changing technology.

Podcasts and Videos of many Literary Festival events are now online: LSE Literary Festival 2013- Podcasts and Videos. Podcasts and videos of many other LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.


As part of the Creative Writing workshop Jonathan Gibbs used Twitter and Storify to create short collaborative pieces of writing, with the participants tweeting contributions and me editing these together using the online Storify application, where they can still be read.

The first of these were ‘iterative’ series Tweets based around a common starting point. These were ‘I remember...’ and ‘Last night...’

Then the workshop tried, as a longer piece of writing, a character study, of someone called Carly. Jonathan Gibbs then took ‘Carly’ and edited it into a ‘normal-looking’ piece of writing, stripping out identifying marks and paragraphing it, to make an entirely collaborative work. This can be read, together with his general thoughts on the workshop, and collaborative #twitterfiction on the Tiny Camels blog, Carly: A collaborative Twitter story.


This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).

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