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Literature in the Internet
era to groom new writers

The last letter from prison – Dear wife, I will be freed in two days. Please prepare my funeral”.

The mini fiction was posted on Twitter on May 30 by @erwan0909, a member of the @fiksimini community. Another member, @Indiejeans, posted mini fi ction on the same day: “Getting Lost in a Queue — I thought it was heaven. A few steps away from the worship house I saw an old woman, dead from hunger.”

Mini fiction such as those two entries can be found on the Twitter account, @fi ksimini, or http://wordpress.fi ksimini.com. The Fiksimini community was initiated by three Indonesian writers, Clara Ng, Agus Noor and Eka Kurniawan, to accommodate people’s creativity through mini fiction.

The account now has more than 70,000 followers who regularly post their mini fi ction on the micro-blogging site every day.

“It was initially a medium for us [Clara, Agus and Eko] to evaluate our work and critique each other, but then it developed into a community both online and offline,” Clara said after a discussion held by Wikimu.com recently.

She explained that Fiksimini was created on Facebook before it moved to Twitter, “but the response it received on Facebook was not as widespread as on Twitter”.

She said Twitter might be just the right medium, where the audience can really connect with the mini fiction. “Mini fi ction on Twitter is a phenomenon that suits the times and development of technology, and thanks to that we can easily spread a fondness for literature”.

Considering the reading habits of Indonesian people, she thought attracting people to literature through mini fiction on Twitter was a good start.

“We’ve started grooming writers from it. Regardless of the quality, at least people have taken an interest in reading or creating their own mini fi ction,” said Clara. She added that the most important thing in writing mini fiction was how the writer could deliver his or her idea in 140 characters or less, the results of which could spark the imagination of the readers.

It was quite a success, considering the number of followers and participants the movement has garnered. “Some of them have even published books already”.

Oddie, 32, joined the Fiksimini community around a year ago and said participating in Fiksimini fueled his spirit to orphan.

“Me and some friends even published a book titled Cemburu Itu Peluru (Jealousy is a Bullet) in March this year.”

He said he did not set any certain goals in joining the community, but it was their fondness for literature that united them. “We hope our activities can bring literature closer to the people.”

Another member, Diki Umbara, 35, a lecturer and a blogger, said Fiksimini encouraged people and their Twitter followers to write short fiction.

“To be able to write, we have to have many references by reading, right? So, Fiksimini indirectly contributes to growing people’s interest in reading.”

Politician-cum-literature-lover Pramono Anung agreed that it was about time Indonesia groomed new writers through whatever means possible.

“I think Fiksimini is heading toward that direction,” he said. The mini fi ction community is even moving beyond just accommodating fi ction writing, but also mini fi lm, which can be viewed at http://fi lmfi ksimini.wordpress.com.

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