Matthew Miller
Nov 4, 2021

Read a book written by 70 Indonesian authors, over Twitter

INSPIRATION STATION: M&C Saatchi Indonesia and Twitter orchestrated the writing of a crowdsourced book to spark more interest in reading and writing among young Indonesians.

Read a book written by 70 Indonesian authors, over Twitter

In partnership with Twitter, M&C Saatchi Indonesia drove 'The Thread Story', a crowdsourced book-writing project that resulted in a story written by 70 authors in more than 270 tweets—all for the cause of promoting reading and writing to young people in Indonesia.

The effort started in October with a call for people to contribute to a single Twitter thread, and the book was unveiled Friday (October 19) at a launch event in Ubud on the island of Bali, during the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

M&C Saatchi handpicked 70 authors from among those who contributed to the Twitter thread, which asked people to share stories related to the festival's theme, 'Mulat Sarira' (self-reflection). The agency then compiled more than 270 contributions into a book, which is available now in Bahasa Indonesia (you can view and download it below). An English version is slated to appear in a couple of weeks.

"Many of us discovered the joy of reading early in our lives," said Anish Daryani, founder and president director of M&C Saatchi Indonesia. "But sadly, today's youth has been deprived of the pleasure of reading life-changing stories due to the emergence of streaming content, social media, clickbait, and microblogging. The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival has been trying to encourage writing and reading for 18 years, but their voice wasn't being heard. So, at M&C Saatchi Indonesia, we decided to change that by getting under the skin of today's youth."    

Notables including author Desi Anwar and Ridwan Kamil, governor of West Java Province, helped spread the word about the initiative.

Daryani pointed to statistics showing that Indonesian young people rank quite low in terms of scholastic performance and literacy.

"The Thread Story is a simple adventure, taking place mostly inside the narrators’ heads as they walk through different scenarios and sights of Ubud," Daryani told Campaign Asia-Pacific. As the story progresses, it becomes a rollercoaster narrative of feelings, varying from love to anger and ignorance to acceptance, by the narrators."

The book reflects hope above all despair that life will bounce back, and goodness will prevail, he added. "The book has a realist tone, capturing experiences of contributors and their love for stories, with slices of life that tend to express a satire on society. Contextual illustrations through the book paint a vivid picture of emotions expressed across the chapters."

Illustrations from the book

Janet De Neefe, founder of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, expanded on how the book reflects the festival theme. "Drawn from a local philosophy, it is the spiritual principle of examining our actions, thoughts, and values to ultimately build the deepest sense of self-understanding, wisdom, and interconnectedness in pursuit of Dharma, the truth," she said. "The Thread Story delved into the heart and soul of this theme from thoughts and relationships to Ubud and the impact of Covid that resulted in a moving collective memoir for this year."

De Neefe added that she hopes the book might help the country "discover many new voices that need to be heard, fulfilling our dream to provide opportunities for the future writers and readers of this extraordinary archipelago".

Dwi Adriansah, Indonesia country head at Twitter, said the company hopes the initiative will help people rediscover a love of reading. "Our collaboration with M&C Saatchi Indonesia and UWRF aims to help reignite people’s passion towards literature, especially story writing. Through The Thread Story, we encourage people to share their creativity in creating a book using a new way, which is through Threads."


Creative Direction: Adri Zainuddin
Art Direction: Wira Manggala, Bimo Christantyo, Dhiemas Afif Febriyan
Copywriting: Sholihin Iwan Setiawan
Digital Marketing: Rachmat Kartaatmadja, Preena Lalwani, Aini Hanifaah, Dhea Ishar
Project Management: Dyah Ariani, Siti Maryam, Adira Arsyani
Production Coordination: Idham Bhakti Utama, Rina Fatmawati, Adrita Prasetiwaty

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