Stephen Fry names 'most beautiful tweet' at Hay Festival

Stephen Fry Fry stopped tweeting while writing the second half of his autobiography

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The "most beautiful tweet ever tweeted" has been announced by broadcaster Stephen Fry.

Fry, whose musings on micro-blogging site Twitter have attracted 1.5 million followers, announced the winner at the Hay Festival.

The winning tweet read: "I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it'll take a whole lot of rock, water & dirt. Also, not sure where to put it."

Marc MacKenzie, 41, from Canada, said he was "pleasantly surprised" to win.

"The recognition and knowing Fry picked my tweet is a huge honour."

Mr MacKenzie entered 35 tweets into the competition because it "was hard to choose one as when I come up with a good one, I'm proud of them".

The father-of-two said he started tweeting because people kept telling him they enjoyed reading his Facebook updates.

"What I like about it is how my brain works. Occasionally I have these odd thoughts that come to me and they amuse me so I jot them down. I like sharing them and it's an interesting form to work with.

"A certain percentage of tweets are tired cliche phrases so when they come into my head I think 'That won't do.' I can't stand triteness so I always look for ridiculousness in trite."

Mr MacKenzie has previously been short-listed in a national competition in Canada for the best tweet.

"Despite the public nature of what I do with Twitter and Facebook, it's not for me to divulge too much information about myself - although I would like more followers. I'm a conflicted person."

Retweeter's mind

Organisers of the festival said the definition of the most beautiful tweet - a message no longer than 140 characters - fell into a number of different categories, including the most eloquent, most evocative or the best pun.

Entrants were sent to Hay Festival's Twitter account.

Tweets short-listed included SyfretJ's "The blackbird's tweet is fairer yet than all man can muster" and "Beauty is in the mind of the retweeter" by TheEponymousBob.

The literary festival's line-up included former Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf, playwright Tom Stoppard and novelists Martin Amis, Zadie Smith and Hilary Mantel.

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