February 5, 2013
Neil Gaiman collaborating with readers for a Calendar of Tales
by Nick Davies
Neil Gaiman has announced that he’s starting a collaborative writing project, sponsored by Blackberry, in which he’ll get inspiration from his readers to craft a story for every month in the year. The end result will be a calendar, specifically A Calendar of Tales, with each month featuring an illustrated version of a story inspired by fan feedback.
Reader suggestions for stories are being accepted until 5 PM GMT (that’s 12 PM eastern for those of us in the US) on February 6th, via Twitter. Each month has a prompt for a different kind of story; for instance, “Why is January so dangerous,” “What is the strangest gift you’ve ever been given in May,” and “What mythical creature would you like to meet in October?” Blackberry has the questions for each month, as well as a selection of people’s responses, on their website. While some of them take a serious tone (“Because the world THINKS it’s moving out of the dark of winter”), others are a bit more irreverent (“In January, all the elves go on vacation and, well, what happens there really should stay there”).
In a video explaining the Calendar of Tales, Gaiman explains his motivation for taking it on, saying that the hardest part of being a writer is that putting pen to page is often a solitary, lonely act. “I’ve been trying to figure out for years,” he says, “a way to collaborate with readers. I love the idea of getting some kind of feedback, and I love the idea of taking what I made and giving it back to people, almost like some kind of ping pong match.” Gaiman will be writing the twelve stories himself, but the inspiration will come entirely from the responses he gets from readers. Once he’s selected the stories and started writing them, he’ll turn things over to his fans again, and all the illustrations for the calendar will come from them.
You can see the video of Gaiman describing the project here:
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.