What is DigiWriMo?

Digital Writing Month started in November 2012. While the event was not hosted officially during 2013, you can go to www.makertext.com to see the results of our shorter experiment from November 2013. Digital Writing Month will return with a gusto in November 2014, hosted again by Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel with the support of the Division of Continuing Studies at UW-Madison. Keep your eyes peeled for details and check out the materials from our original course archived here.

Digital Writing Month is a (somewhat) insane month-long writing challenge, a wild ride through the world of digital writing, wherein those daring enough to participate wield keyboard and cursor to create 50,000 words of digital writing in the thirty short days of November. Modeled after the inspirational National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), DigiWriMo asks writers to be creative not just with their words, but with what their words can do. Where those words reside, what they look like, how they interact with other words and authors, is entirely up to the wild imaginings of each DigiWriMo writer.

Writers may choose to collaborate with one another on a long piece, like a novel or collection. They may conspire, co-author, cooperate, collude, or even compete… Whatever makes the journey to 50,000 words productive and fun! Blog posts, Twitter essays, wiki novels, a tv pilot co-authored in a Google Doc, academic articles, massively co-authored poems and novels are all potential ways to cross the finish line. Heck, if you want to write 50,000 words of code that make a lovely picture, animation, or website, that’s good too!

“Essays quake and tremble at the digital.” Digital writing forces us to rethink our writing and writing practices. Take the Twitter Essay, for example. “One of the primary goals of abbreviations in Twitter-speak is to condense an utterance to fit the 140 character limit of a Tweet. However, there is also a certain charm, a playfulness, involved. There is pleasure in the act of composing with these constraints, an intentional and curious engagement with how sentences, words, and letters make meaning. Composing a tweet is most certainly a literate (and sometimes even literary) act.”

The point is to experiment, to push your boundaries and create, and to locate your creation on the web, in relationship with other creations, other words and other authors. You do it your way, whatever way that is, and we’ll provide the applause.

[For some behind-the-scenes details, see this interview with Sean and Jesse, the creators of Digital Writing Month.]