Neil Gaiman’s Calendar of Tales
By: Stefani Wright
Today, it’s so easy to become connected with hundreds and thousands of people via Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of media, but what about connecting to your favorite authors, actors, or internet personalities? A couple of decades ago that probably would’ve seemed impossible, but now it’s as easy as clicking the ‘follow’ button on Twitter. So now authors are now more closely connected to their audiences and vice versa. So what else to do but to take advantage of this? Neil Gaiman does.
In his latest project, Calendar of Tales he teams up with Blackberry in a give-and-take project with his fans. The project consist of three parts:
1. Gaiman asked his fan base a question via Twitter all having to do specifically with each month of the year (Tell Me something you lost in September that meant a lot to you). Followers were allowed to reply their answers (ex: “@GhostRegion replied: My mother’s lion ring lost and found three times over…some things aren’t meant to be kept”).
2. Gaiman chose his favorite answers and wrote a flash fiction for each month based on the chosen replies (none of the stories being more than three pages).
3. Now that the stories have been written, the fans are allowed to submit artwork based on the stories to the website. Chosen artwork, photographs, etc. will be included in the digital and printed version of Calendar of Tales.
Already online there are dozens of different pictures from fans and Gaiman’s stories—as imaginative as ever ranging from tales of missing jewelry that reappears obscure ways to a genie who encounters someone who doesn’t want any wishes. But the best part about this project is that anyone who wished to be a part of it could. As a reader, sometimes it may feel as if an author is untouchable—or on some higher level than you—but here it’s as if both parties are on the same playing field…the fans gave him the prompts and he wrote the stories. The fans submit the art and he chooses which to include in his project. Of course, at the end of it all, he makes the ultimate decision but he has given some his power over the project to his audience and that’s something that is rarely done.
To check out the website, stories and artwork click here:
For a direct link to the stories, click here:
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