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Hey Harry, Hey Matilda - The Novel Being Published on Instagram

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Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is a story about Harry and Matilda Goodman, a pair of fraternal twins from New England both separately trying to get their lives together in Brooklyn. The story follows the ongoing correspondence between them as they struggle to cope with adult life, and the romantic feelings pulling them together. Pretty standard stuff, right? Apart from the whole incest thing, and the fact that the 200-page novel is being released part by part on Instagram.
The format of the book was already unconventional, as it is largely told through the ongoing email chatter between Harry, Matilda and a few other characters (hence the title), but author Rachel Hulin has decided that publishing it in a series of Instagram posts, just to add to the effect. Each one contains a set of a few of the messages, the picture having been sent as an attachment to one of them, within the context of the story.
A photo posted by Matilda and Harry Goodman (@heyharryheymatilda) on
There's more to it than that, Hulin has also created a website for Matilda's wedding photography and an interactive dedicated site including all the images, music and more detailed background information on the characters. I wouldn't go quite so far as saying that it's a revolutionary form of storytelling, but it definitely signifies the direction in which things are moving. Without any publisher being involved, Hulin has a direct line to her readers, and the episodic format allows her to easily gauge what's working and what isn't.
She's far from the first person to use social media to tell a story, numerous TV shows and films have created profiles and even full alternative reality games to promote themselves, but it's never been done in quite this way before. This is yet another example of Instagram's improvisational appeal. It's very limited in terms of the kinds of image you can upload and how you can edit them, but brands and users have found many ways to use things like the hashtags, profile pages and tagging to do some pretty fascinating things with it that you just don't see on other platforms.


Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Hey Harry, Hey Matilda - The Novel Being Published on Instagram Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, October 12, 2015 Rating: 5

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