Northland author and NZSA member Michael Botur has launched a programme of publishing short stories every day for the next 100 days on social media and is encouraging other Kiwi writers to do the same.
Botur said the #100NZStories100days campaign doesn’t hinge on any significant date. Rather, it’s about keeping short fiction writing in the public consciousness every day by using social media. Botur suggests Facebook, Twitter, Medium, Tumblr and LinkedIn as the best platforms for NZ short story writers to publish their hundred stories on.
The published stories aren’t expected to be all new – writers are encouraged to post links to flash fiction and short prose already published in literary magazines and blogs. “I have a philosophy of ‘There’s no time like the present’ with a lot of my publishing,” Botur says. “Fiction writers endure many forces which delay the publication of our work when we’re keen to share it with the world. Life is short and I don’t think it’s right that publishers and competitions will keep an author waiting up to 12 months to share their work with the world.”
“If you’re a writer and you know you have some quality work to share, you need to pick up the reins yourself. Don’t expect to be plucked from obscurity. You probably have audience members out there in the world waiting to discover your wonderful words. They’re unlikely to discover you if you wait around for someone else’s approval. Just go for it.”
Botur says the hashtag #100NZStories100days encourages fiction writers to publish ‘snackable,’ shortish writing online. “It will help us find new readers and it will remind the public that short fiction needs to be valued as an art form. Also, sharing 100 stories is important in pushing back against the click-bait which pollutes the information we consume every day.”
Botur says the number of short stories published in mainstream NZ media is far too few. “Short fiction writers need to reclaim their place in daily media. Literature is an art form which generates meaningful discussion about cultural experiences, it’s deeply therapeutic for everyone whether writing or reading – plus reading a lot of this material is completely free.”
Authors are urged to publish their 100 pieces on any consecutive days across autumn to spring and use the hashtag #100NZStories100days to support one another. Botur, who lives in Whangarei, is author of five short story collections and one novel, has won numerous awards for short stories and flash fiction, delivers workshops and short courses on short story writing and performs with the Poetry Posse of Tai Tokerau Northland. #100NZStories100days