Neil Gaiman wants you to help him write a story on Twitter

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Neil Gaiman is writing a new short story—well, the beginning of one, anyway—and needs 1,000 collaborators to help him finish it via Twitter. Starting tomorrow at noon ET, the well-known Twitterer (@neilhimself) will tweet the first line of a new story, and the rest of us will be able to continue it with our own 140-character contributions, Publishers Weekly reported today.

The expected 1,000 contributions will be compiled by BBC Audiobooks America into a short story that will be recorded by a professional narrator (though judging by the overflow crowds which turn up for Gaiman readings and signings, we think that estimate is woefully low.) The audiobook will be available for free download at and at iTunes and other audiobook retailers before the end of the year.

Michele Lee Cobb, marketing director for BBC Audiobooks America, was inspired to initiate the project following the successful creation of a fan-twittered opera last month by Britain's Royal Opera House. "There's a misconception still that audiobooks are only for a small, elite niche of book lovers, and we want to explode that myth and tap into the possibilities of digital storytelling in a whole new way," Cobb said.

To contribute, follow @BBCAA and Tweet with the hashtag #bbcawdio. Official participation rules and a legal waiver are posted on the BBCAA blog.