Reading and Annotating Andrew Fitzgerald’s TED Talk “Adventures in Twitter Fiction”

Here are the expanded assignment details for our next class. You can use this link to download them: WRT105_TwitterFiction_Exercise.

I mentioned using the “copy url at present time” to help annotate the TED talk. As you’ll see below, that is no longer necessary. Instead, use the time-indexes provided with the transcript for the video.



WRT 105 | Reading and Annotating Andrew Fitzgerald’s TED Talk “Adventures in Twitter Fiction”

Our next assignment asks that you consider the idea of twitter fiction within the framework of our big six (6): Persona, Purpose, Audience, Context, Genre, and Medium.

As you watch the talk annotate/read the presentation – make notes about the ideas and concepts that Fitzgerald presents. For instance, Fitzgerald opens his talk by discussing how the radio of while the 1930s united millions of people with its broadcasts, the medium also began to evolve and shape the stories it told.

  • You might make note of this fact, or perhaps question it, or perhaps make note of a radio-story experience you had while driving with older relatives in the car ( NPR? older folks do love to listen to talk radio).
  • You might think of other mediums and how they have affected the way they broadcast stories and narratives—Fitzgerald mentions the idea of episodes (serialized narratives), and we now have things like webisodes, vlogs, and cell-phone fiction (narratives composed on cellphones using SMS).
  • Also – don’t be afraid to play the skeptic: read against the grain of Fitzgerald’s claims and try to problematize them. Are his claims about radio always true? Do Fitzgerald’s claims also apply to screen narratives? Would we consider twitter fiction to be a screen narrative?

The point is to engage actively with Fitzgerald’s talk and note down those engagements: use the notes you make as a tool to process his claims and arguments.

Luckily, the TED folks in all of their 21st century medium wisdom have thought to provide a dynamic transcript of Fitzgerald’s talk.

Go to

Along the bottom of the video, towards the right side, look for the transcript icon. Clicking it will launch a new page with the video playing in the top left portion of the page with the transcript in the main body of the page. The transcript has time-indexes for Fitzgerald’s talk, and highlights / underlines the text as Fitzgerald speaks it.

All of which will help you make your annotations for the TED talk.

Also spend time reading /annotating Claire Armistead’s blog post and the twitter-fiction site. For these two sources, make brief notes about sections, a particular story’s twitter stream, or a blog-worthy tidbit. Again, try to engage and be critical / questioning of what you read. So, here are the specifics for the assignment:

Read and annotate Andrew Fitzgerald’s TED Talk “Adventures in Twitter Fiction”

and Claire Armistead’s blog post

and explore the website:

Write a blog post discussing how twitter fiction is different from more traditional forms of fiction (following the guidelines in chapter 2 of EaT). How does fiction delivered via twitter complicate our understanding of purpose, audience, persona and genre? You might like to compose your own twitter fiction as part of this exercise, which will help you to consider the purpose, audience, persona and genre of your own writing.

Please post to your expressions page and bring a hard copy to class.

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