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Tweet Your Own Horn Challenge: Meet the winner

We talk to the winner of the Tweet Your Own Horn challenge, Stephen Barredo, about his winning tweet.

Tell us about yourself. 
Born and raised in the Philippines, I took a big leap and came to Canada in 2001 and found myself working in insurance, as foretold in prophesy by my dad.  I’ve always enjoyed drawing, photography, and writing, so in the last few years I’ve started to improve these crafts and continued to do so while still making my way in the corporate world.

Because I have such a short attention span, my writing has been focused on the short forms, aside from the first chapters of several attempts to write a book.
I currently live in the town of Milton with my brother and our two dogs.  I’m not bragging when I say life is good. 

How did you hear about the “Tweet Your Own Horn” challenge?
I came across Canada Writes in early 2012 and enjoyed reading entries from the CBC Short Story Prize.  Since then I’ve been hooked to the site.  I really enjoy the challenges and make it a point to enter since it’s easy and it gives me a chance to stretch some creative muscle (whether it’s 140 characters or 2,000 words). 

Your winning tweet has a nice surprise factor when you reach the word “campers.” How did you come up with it? 
There’s been news lately about people camping out for Gaga concert and Toronto Blue Jays tickets, so I figured that if people really want something they will sacrifice life and limb to get it.  I’ve even lined up at 4:30 am in the freezing cold for a pair of limited edition basketball shoes!  I suppose craziness breeds crazy tweet ideas.

You tweeted quite a bit during the challenge. Your first Tweet came in around 10:29 and your final one clocked in at 5:43. How glued were you to your computer?
My boss is probably reading this so I’m going to say that I was not, I repeat, was not glued to my computer, my iPad, or my iPhone during the challenge.  That’s the great thing about Twitter though, it’s such a convenient short form that you don’t need to spend a lot of time on it.  

You’re final tweet was pretty prophetic (What?! I won?! No way! #CanadaWrites #Humblebrag). Did you think you had a shot at winning? 
There were a lot of really good entries for this challenge.  Just seeing mine on the All-Stars list felt good since it’s nice to know that other people think that your writing is funny. I had a bunch of friends even ask me what I won and had to backtrack, saying that it was merely a humblebrag. After explaining what that word meant several times though, I thought that maybe I did have a chance of winning after all.

Did you have any favourite humblebrag tweets from the day?
I wish I ‘favorited’ (spell check tells me that’s not a word but I’ll use it anyway) all the tweets that made me laugh.  I liked @TweetTinaW’s: Sure, I could shovel. Or I could just shine my brilliance at the snow until it melts and @DaleEstey’s: I have accepted to be Mr. December in the Canada Nude Author Calendar, but that ribbon they want me to tie is way too small.

Is Twitter a good medium to express your sense of humour?
It’s one of the best ways to express it. If you follow the right people, your twitter feed reads like a book of jokes. Nowadays, it’s “have you read that tweet?” rather than “have you heard that joke?”.

How do you use Twitter in general? Are you normally a “humblebragger?” 
I was reading through my Twitter feed to answer this question and realized that I use Twitter when I’m venting, entering a Twitter challenge, or drunk. Sometimes it’s a combination of the three. I may need to start reviewing my Twitter priorities. As to humblebragging? I didn’t even know it existed. I just thought people were really humble about how fantastic their lives were.  I’m just a “braggerbragger”. 

Your story was also on the shortlist for “The Song That Changed Your Life”. How was that experience for you?
Amazing. I love to write, but sometimes it’s tough finding the time and inspiration to sit down and do it. Seeing my name on the shortlist made it all worth it, not just because I made it, but more importantly because I got to share my story with others.  

I look forward to future challenges and want to thank CBC for giving aspiring writers like me a chance to fill notebooks with ideas and jumpstart our creativity. 

Follow Stephen Barredo on Twitter: @TebanB.

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set count down final date: 11/01/2014
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