PLAGIARIST asks participants to re-tell a fable as a string of twitter tweets.

select a fable (any translation). this is your source fable. read it. focus on mood, moral, characters, tone and setting. these elements are the spirit of a fable.

the first sentence of your source fable is its source sentence. distill the spirit of the source sentence into as few words as possible. these words are your first search string. the essence of "a hungry fox was in a vineyard" might be the search string, "fox vineyard".

query twitter for your search string. examine the search results for a tweet reminiscent of your source sentence. if no appropriate results are returned, revise your search string. increase specificity for fewer, more focused results. reduce specificity for additional results.

when a tweet reflecting your source sentence's spirit is found, archive it with a screen capture. maintain the tweet in context with both neighboring tweets and the search string that produced it. plagiarize the tweet, copying and pasting it from twitter into a blank word processor document. this is the first line of a cleptostruction.

continue plagiarizing, stringing tweets together, one by one, until something recognizable in spirit to your entire source fable is cleptostructed.

present this cleptostruction alongside both an ordered list of the search terms used to build it, and, either a directly plagiarized copy, or a subtly modified re-telling of the source fable. any jargon, abbreviations or symbolic text appearing in plagiarized tweets should be defined in a glossary. maintain an archive of your screen captures.

with a few caveats, all plagiarized tweets are to remain complete, contiguous and unedited. @mentions appearing at the start or end of a tweet may be deleted. URLs included anywhere within a tweet may be discarded. spaces and line breaks may be added to plagiarized tweets. capitalization may be manipulated for emphasis. no additional edits are to be made. no corrections are to be made to tweets. no abbreviations, punctuation or symbols are to be removed from tweets.

in the event of dead-end searches, re-imagine your source fable—maintaining only the moral and tone of its spirit. "a hungry fox was in a vineyard" might become "a hungry dog was on a farm" in a fable about a hungry dog fruitlessly hunting a lazy rabbit who sleeps atop a rickety chicken coop just beyond reach.

cleptostructions may be revisited and revised as often as necessary, but be certain to maintain the integrity of all plagiarized tweets. remember, you cannot fragment tweets. if your cleptostruction demands fragments, search twitter for fragments. plagiarize them in their entirety.

twitter's content is always changing. the results of any twitter search are limited by both chronology and quantity. these are hard limits set by twitter. while it may seem obvious that someone should already have tweeted something, gleaning that text from twitter's databases may demand creative search techniques.

thirty sample cleptostructions follow these rules. visit for an archive of screen captures.

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