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Award Winning Fiction in 140 Characters

“Constraints drive innovation and force focus,” according to 37Signals in their popular “Getting Real” book. If that’s true, then Copyblogger’s Twitter Writing Contest, announced a couple of weeks ago, should have had writers brimming with creativity. The task? Write a short story in 140 characters. Not less than 140 characters, exactly 140 characters. That’s no easy task, but the contest still fielded over 300 entries. Today, Copyblogger revealed the winners.

“Being constrained to exactly 140 characters will spark your creative juices and force you to focus stringently on word choice, sentence structure, and even punctuation,” said Copyblogger’s Brian Clark in introducing the contest last week, echoing 37Signals as he did. Luckily, it seems to have worked — the winning entries are tightly wound, beautifully constructed masterpieces that challenge readers to fill in the blanks.

The winning entry entry comes from Ron Gould:

“Time travel works!” the note read. “However you can only travel to the past and one-way.” I recognized my own handwriting and felt a chill.

The spirit of the Twitter Writing Contest is reminiscent of Hemingway’s famous six-word story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” It’s said that Hemingway called those six words his greatest story ever, and two year’s ago WIRED magazine brought together a group of best-selling authors to compose their own 6 word masterpieces.

Remember to check out Copyblogger for the other winning stories, and see Daniel Smith’s blog for a slideshow of all 331 entries.

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