Collaborative novel writing at Penguin

David Kaplan at writes about a new site by Penguin publishing house: A Million Penguins. The site is a wiki where users can contribute to a novel that is to be written in only six weeks time.
Creative writing students set up the framework for the story, and editors will report on the progress. According to Reuters, Penguin are not planning to publish the finished work in the form of a book.

“This is an experiment. It may end up like reading a bowl of alphabet spaghetti,” Jeremy Ettinghausen, head of digital publishing at Penguin UK said

Ettinghausen also writes about the project in his blog:

Over the next six weeks we want to see whether a community can really get together, put creative differences aside (or sort them out through discussion) and produce a novel. We honestly don’t know how this is going to turn out – it’s an experiment. Some disciplines rely completely on collaboration, while others – the writing of a novel, for example – have traditionally been the work of an individual working in isolation. But with collaboration, crowdsourcing and the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ being buzz words du jour, we thought we might as well see if these new trends can be applied to a less obvious sphere than, say, software development.

A couple of commentors on Kaplan’s post point to similar projects that might be worth checking out – Glypho and Poups (the latter in German).


Web veteran, journalist, blogger since 1998, loves creativity and originality, photography and her family. [More]

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