Short short short stories

Peter Griffin
Published: 18, Oct 2012

I handle the 'Life' section of Forbes India. In previous lives, I was an advertising creative director, voice-over artist, RJ, TV host, web producer and content architect, freelance travel writer, columnist, and consultant to NGOs. I've been blogging since 2003, and co-founded the South-East Asia Tsunami & Earthquake and Mumbai Help blogs (which, with other similar initiatives later became the WorldWideHelp group), and the writers’ community, Caferati. I'm a keen student of collaboration and online culture. I also co-curated the Literature section of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival from 2006 to 2012. Aside from Twitter (link below), you could also follow me on Facebook or Google+.

Today, the Crossword Book Awards winners will be announced. We plan to bring you some coverage tonight, and, at least, I'll tweet the evening's high points. Until then, I thought we should have a little fun.

So I threw the nominees a challenge: would they write us short stories? Very short stories? Very, very short stories? The length of a Tweet, in fact? After all, who better than potentially award-winning writers to fit in all the nuance of a full-length story into 140 characters?

I'm delighted to report that several of them gamely took up the challenge. Here they are.

Arunava Sinha @arunava, who is in contention in the translation category, for his translation of 17, by Anita Agnihotri.

The atheist sped back home to his daughter. The world would end at 3. He didn't make it. An idol of the goddess Durga had stalled traffic.

Anuradha Roy whose The Folded Earth is in the short list for fiction in English. Her Twitter story is way over the character count, but we're publishing it anyway, with the extra characters struck through.

Beyond seas of poppies, through the slums of narcopolis, is the folded earth where a storyteller from Marrakesh spins tales in the sly company of people who don't care.

Ravinder Singh @_RavinderSingh_, whose Can Love Happen Twice? is a contender in the popular category. And alas, he's also over the character count.

Someone who didn’t even read books, is now writing books. That terrible accident in the year 2007 gave birth to an author in me and I accepted the destiny.

Rashmi Bansal @rashmibansal's I Have A Dream is in the popular category.

He has an Ivy League MBA, fancy car & fat paycheque. Gets 10 proposals every day, rejects 9.9. They call him a venture capitalist.

Ravi Subramanian @SubramanianRavi's The Incredible Banker is also in the popular category.

Vault was open;gold was gone. The Bankster had disappeared wth my life savings.Y did i trust d banker.God make me a Bankster in my nxt life.

Rujuta Divekar @RujutaDiwekar's Women And The Weight Loss Tamasha is also competing for the popular award.

I was carrying excess baggage in my head and all my life I focussed on losing weight on the scales - A true story

(We hope to add some more stories to this list. Watch this space!)

Update Some more

From Naresh fernandes @TajMahalFoxtrot whose Taj Mahal Foxtrot was on the non-fiction short list.

The jazzman died before his time. Too much sax and violins.

From Prakash Iyer @PrakashIyer author of The Habit of Winning, a Popular Award nominee.

Heat was on. Cup full. She dived in. Impacted every1. Changed look n feel. Sum1 pulled string. Threw her out. Gr8 leader? No just a tea bag!

End of Update

Which ones do you like? Tell us in the comments or via Twitter.

Can you do any better? Tweet at us (we're @forbes_india and then Tweet your story. If we like it, we'll retweet it.

See the entire short list at here, on Crossword's site. Follow Crossword on Twitter at @crossword_book.

  • Son of short-short-short stories | Forbes India Blog

    [...] Tweet. You can see the efforts by some of the authors short-listed for the Crossword Book Awards here, and another selection [...]

    on Dec 6, 2013

    Hello Peter, We absolutely loved this article. I think it's genius!: challenging nominees, well known writters, to do that, really proofs how good they are. The result is awesome. Not disappointed by any of them. Brilliant! Thank you! Elena

    on Feb 20, 2013
  • Ten very short novels | Forbes India Blog

    [...] TwitFic, or Twitter Fiction: complete stories in 140 characters or less. (You can read them all here.) That was so much fun, that I decided that we’d do it [...]

    on Nov 5, 2012
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