Collaborative writing on Twitter

Collaborative writing is an activity that can be facilitated through social media tools like Twitter.

Wikipedia defines collaborative writing as:

“projects where written works are created by multiple people together (collaboratively) rather than individually. Some projects are overseen by an editor or editorial team, but many grow without any of this top-down oversight”

There are a number of examples of how Twitter is being used for collaborative writing, which could easily be emulated with a group of students or other interested individuals.


  • Interested individuals sign up to take part in writing a collaborative story and they add their own names to the list held on a wiki
  • The first person on the list starts the story off with a tweet of 140 characters to @twittories – and also adds their contribution to the wiki to build the story in a more formal place
  • They then inform the next person on the list who has 12 hours to write their contribution to the story
  • Everybody only contributes once
  • The story ends when the last person has contributed

BBC Audiobooks –  Twitter an Audio Story with Neil Gaiman!

Here are the original instructions for the activity that took placed in October 2009

“Read the opening line of the story tweeted by Neil (or catch up with it in progress by visiting #bbcawdio and then follow us at to post the next sentence of the story (tweets must be 140 characters or less) … This special choose-your-own-adventure style story will also be chronicled here on our blog as the story unfolds with its myriad twists and turns created by YOU! When roughly 1000 Tweets are logged, we’ll edit the contributions and compile a
script, then head into the studio to record and produce the audiobook. The final audiobook will be downloadable free on our website and also available
as a digital download at iTunes and other audiobook retailers.

Twitter in Hell – Here is a posting from  The Online Gargoyle that explains this Twitter writing project

“Steve Rayburn Rayburn asked his Hero’s Journey class, composed of juniors and seniors, to use Twitter to write about
Dante’s “Inferno,” the 700-year-old epic about the poet’s journey through the nine rings of hell. .. These tweets, however, were to be
written as if Dante were posting them for his love interest, Beatrice. Rayburn assigned his students to write 10 of these tweets, one for each of
the nine rings of hell and then another from before or after Dante’s journey.”

The Twitter of Oz

The Twitter of Oz answers the question “What if the main characters in the Wizard of Oz were on Twitter?” Here, Dorothy, Scarecrow (coming online soon), Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, the Wicked Witch, the Wizard and Glinda the Good Witch tweet their experiences in real time, 140 characters at a time.

Reading List

How to start a Twitter novel, Twitip, 12 November 2008

Telling stories with Twitter, Katherine, A storied career, 3 April 2009

Collaborative writing, Wikipedia