Stephen Fry names 'most beautiful tweet' at Hay Festival

Image caption,
Fry stopped tweeting while writing the second half of his autobiography

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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