L,B's Blackfriars to publish crowd-sourced digital novel

L,B's Blackfriars to publish crowd-sourced digital novel

Little, Brown's Blackfriars digital-only imprint will publish a novel created by authors including Joe Dunthorne and Lisa Jewell as part of the Southbank Centre's Festival of Neighbourhood.

On 1st June, novelist Stella Duffy will kick-start the Southbank Centre's game of Exquisite Corpse: Or, How Not to Kill Your Neighbours, a crowd-sourced murder mystery novel set in Lambeth, and written on Twitter.

Each of the participating novelists will take the lead on a chapter, briefing the chapter and providing a starting point and a finishing line. Members of the public will then be invited to add lines to the story using the hashtag #exquisitecopy until the end of the week, at which point each author will transform the tweets into a chapter on storify.com.

Following Duffy, Simon Kernick will helm chapter two, followed by Kamila Shamsie, Stuart Evers, Naomi Alderman, Lisa Jewell, Marcel Theroux, Willow Wilson, Matt Haig and with Joe Dunthorne tying things up with a tenth chapter.

Blackfriars will publish the title as a free e-book in September.

Head of digital engagement at the Southbank Centre James Cowdery said: "Exquisite Corpse is part of a new programme of artistic commissions from Southbank Centre. We want to use digital technology to explore new ways of telling stories and to celebrate the contribution of our audiences."

Erica Jarnes, literature programmer at Southbank Centre, said: "This is the first time Southbank Centre has ever created a novel, let alone one involving hopefully thousands of authors. We have a knock-out line-up of novelists to guide us, and we are very excited to involve our online community in this playful celebration of the idea of 'neighbourhood' and what it means to live side by side."

The Southbank Centre's Festival of Neighbourhood runs until 8th September and is sponsored by Mastercard. The Exquisite Corpse initiative will end with a free celebratory event at the Royal Festival Hall in September, with details to be confirmed.