Lit POP was founded in 2007 when employees from POP Montreal and Matrix Magazine got together to discuss what kind of literary component could be added to the POP Montreal music festival. It has become one of North America’s most popular and innovative literary contests, awarding two prizes each year (Poetry and Fiction) to emerging writers from across North America and bringing these writers to Montreal for a ceremony in their honour.
As we have grown, we have tried many things to get the word out about the Lit POP contest: we’ve had judges such as Eileen Myles, George Saunders, Heather O’Neill, and John K. Samson, we’ve placed fake missed connections on Craigslist, produced our own versions of classic album covers, but none of our guerilla marketing strategies prepared us for the glorious hashtag that was #litpopbands.
On June 26th of 2013, the Matrix editorial team was out for afternoon beers and discussing new ways to reach out to writers on Twitter. It was suggested that perhaps it would be fun to play a game with our twitter followers. It all started with a simple tweet.
We all had a good laugh about it, and came up with a few others to tweet later. By the time we checked in again, the CBC had gotten into the action and the hashtag began to take off:
Since then, the hashtag has produced thousands and thousands of tweets, including one very special celebrity participant:
In the spring of 2014, #litpopbands trended around the world:
As we get ready to fire up the hashtag for another year of hilarious results, there is one pressing concern that continues to worry Matrix staffers: Will anyone ever be able to top “Jane Eyre Supply”?