Toronto Public Library is writing a book on Twitter — and residents can contribute

Using the hashtag #TorontoWritesABook, people can collaborate on a story, tweet-by-tweet.
In the month of August, the Toronto Public Library invites the city to write a book over social media. (Toronto Public Library)

"I sat on a bench reading my book in the waterfront's early morning sunshine when a jogger suddenly stopped in his tracks and approached me with a knowing smile."

With this opening line posted on Twitter — tweeted by city librarian Vickery Bowles — the Toronto Public Library is inviting local residents to write a book, one line at a time.

"Toronto is home to so many diverse voices and experiences, and this story will celebrate that diversity by telling a story through a collaboration of thoughts, ideas and creativity," Bowles said in a statement.

Using #TorontoWritesABook hashtag, people can tweet the next line. Every day, two lines will be selected by the library to go head-to-head in a open poll vote on Twitter, with the winning line used to tell a "compelling and functional" story.

According to the library's communications manager, "special guests" such as local city organizations, personalities and authors — including Catherine Hernandez, David Bezmozgis and Teresa Toten —  plan to participate as well.

The social media initiative started on Aug. 7, 2018 and the feedback has been encouraging, with "lots of engagement so far," Ana-Maria Critchley told CBC Books. "Every day, line by line people can submit their ideas online. We just see it as an opportunity for the city to come together, to work collaboratively and to create our own story."

People can follow the story daily on Twitter. According to Critchley, this initiative is scheduled to run until the end of the month, but the library may extend it based on online response.

The completed story will be shared on the library's website — and the library is mulling over the possibility of publishing a print version as well, she added. 


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