Last night, I spent 4 minutes writing a short piece of dialogue. Seconds later, an editor halfway across the world was reading it out on YouTube. Welcome to the awesome and surreal world of the digital writers’ festival.
Being a diligent tweeter and a terrible producer of actual writing, I am a veteran of Australian writers’ festivals. Even now that I live in California, I like to watch the tweet stream from festivals back home and contribute ideas where possible (even if it is at 1am).
I am a digital native and write journalism, poetry and interactive writing; all for consumption on one screen or another. The Digital Writers’ Festival, on now, is perfect for me – I don’t even have to leave my house … which is good, because it’s being held some 10,000 miles from me.
So it really surprised me how delighted I was to see just how seamless and dynamic a festival of this kind can be. I dropped in to a video session on flash fiction run by Alice Grundy from Seizure. I wrote a short piece of dialogue about a warring couple and sent it in to the curator. Seconds later, she was reading and critiquing it on film.
It was a pretty surreal experience and one that I treasure (along with Alice’s advice – thanks). It showed me how instant and exciting a festival like this could be. I’m looking forward to more of the same.
Here’s the full piece of dialogue, for those who are interested:
“Hold up a sec.”
He obliged, easing his side of the dressing table down along with hers.
“It’s just that I’m having trouble with this corner. There’s a ridge that knocks against the siding board here,” she said.
“What? No, just push it down and to the left.”
“I tried that, it won’t go.”
“I just did it a minute ago. It worked just fine.”
“It’s not working for me.”
“The sides are exactly the same. You just need to move it right.
“Well, fuck. I don’t know. Why don’t you do it?”
With two quick movements, he swung over the table. They were on the same side for once.
“See, you just wiggle it down and – uh. That’s weird. Ugh. Geez, it just won’t go. What’s wrong with this thing?”
She said nothing.
“It’s this ridge. It’s not on the other side…” He trails off. “That’s weird.”