20 Lines is a writing community for writing, sharing and reading very short stories.
Although called 20lines, the stories shared through the site can be up to 204 lines (approximately 3400 words) calculated to take an average of five minutes to read.
Originally launched in Italy in 2012, since developing an English version in early 2014, 20lines has been featured as an Apple pick in the apps store.
20lines webapp and site is supported by mobile apps, available free for iOS iPhone and Android. The apps allow you to download selected short fiction to read when you have a few spare minutes, and write your own. Through the webapp, authors can select from templates covers for their stories.
Readers can like the fiction, share it through typical social media, and like or comment to authors. The website offers the fiction in standard ‘trending’ or ‘recent’ listings, and catergorised into channels which include journal, romance, comedy and the popular fanfic and erotic catergorises we find recently on many book sharing sites. There is also an Editors Pick channel, and one for anonymous writers, poetry and inspirational channel and one for thrillers.
From a reading perspective you may find a mixed bag of stories shared on 20lines. I’ve just read one recommended as an editor pick which had several grammar and typos in it. But, there are also younger authors and a diverse community sharing there.
As a writer 20lines offers the opportunity to get your free work out there and commented or shared on, and the challenge of writing short to a specific wordcount. It also gives you some quick on-the-go chances of reading other stories to keep abreast of your own genre, and potential readership platforms.
Link: The free 20lines website.
Similar writing and reading community sites with reader ratings, some with apps are listed below. Also – there are many other subscription apps with similar featuresets, one of the most known may be Oyster.
- Wattpad – perhaps the originator of the idea, Wattpad welcomes all genres, particularly released in serial fashion, but is more geared towards young adult, science fiction and fantasy. Awards, trending, lists, and Book shares. Apps.
- Figment – young adult, science fiction and fantasy, for younger authors.
- Authonomy – a reader/writer community from HarperCollins. Popular authors works may receive a contract or service offer from the publisher after being selected to be reviewed by HC staff. Some authors allow the novels or short stories to be downloaded for offline reading on mobile devices.
- Book Country – Penguins site offers reader review potential on shared excerpts and a self publishing service. There are other critique or review sites available, of course, but Book Country does get well liked books into editor picks and more views. Bonus – the best interactive genre map out there.
- FictionPress and sister site FanFiction – the first offers fiction and poetry in multiple genres. FanFiction is perhaps the best known website for publishing fan fiction. Both provide beta reader profiles.