At The Conway Hall, London - 10am - 4.00pm, Friday 21st February 2014

Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

The End of The Story 2010

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm

The End

Well, that was a lot of fun.

The Story happened at Conway Hall last Friday, and 400 or so people turned up on a clear, bright (and fortunately not rainy) day to hear an eclectic range of speakers tell stories, or talk about storytelling.

Russell Davies was a most genial host, getting the audience warmed up and even supplying them with chocolate after the lunch break. The speakers were magnificent, provoking emotions from laughter to apprehension, shock and awe. The Newspaper Club and Alex Parrott helped create a fantastic Newspaper for the day, and Live Union made sure the whole thing ran without a hitch (and recorded audio of all the speakers that I will put up here as soon as I can track down a minidisc player). And last but not least, I had a small but perfect bunch of helpers on the day – Rebecca Denton, Sarah Pridham, Holly Locke, Gemma Brady and Richard Ayers – who made sure everyone and thing was where they should be.

As I said at the very end of the day, The Story was a very selfish event, organised because I wanted to go to an event like this, and there didn’t seem to be anything like it already. In reading some of the responses from attendees, its been really enlightening, and useful, to find out what people thought of the day.

It seems the format was a surprise for some who expected a more traditional conference, and didn’t expect to get a mixture of people talking about their practise and others just telling stories. I’m pleased it was a surprise – I wanted a day that would inspire you and remind you of the visceral emotions that good storytelling can create in you. Hopefully, through reflecting on these emotions and thinking about how the speakers create them in their stories, it would inform our own practises, whatever platform, format or context we tell stories in. I believe passionately that its how we make people feel that defines our success, and yet we don’t seem to talk about this as much as we do about the technicalities,  business models and rote descriptions of the way we do things.

There have been some great blog posts by some of the attendees – Charles from Mudlark, James Bridle, Susi O’Neill, Adam Gee, Jane Young, Rebecca Denton, Vicky Matthews, Jez Paxman, Meg Pickard and Suw Charman. Suw also filmed Sydney Padua’s talk and put it up on her site, as well as a video of Neil Gaiman reading the story that Cory Doctorow told on the day.

Thanks to everyone who has written up their thoughts – they’re all really insightful and useful, and they’ll make The Story 2011 an even better event (yes, I am going to do it again, but I won’t start thinking about it until autumn). If you’ve written up your day, or posted photographs, please do let me know by leaving a note in the comments here. I’ve recorded the talks, so will put them up here as soon as I can, and will also put up the medium format pictures when they’re back from the lab.

Finally – thank you to everyone who turned up. Its a pretty nerve-wracking thing to decide to organise an event like this, especially if you’ve got a day job and a (very understanding) family as well. It was all worth it to hear the response from everyone there, whether it was laughter and applause at the event, tweets through the day, or cogitative reflections in the days afterwards. You’ve made it all worthwhile, and a heck of a lot of fun. Thanks!

[UPDATE: more blog reports from DigitLondon; James Hogwood; Matt Jukes; Mun Keat Looi; Gill Wildman. Thanks everyone!]

The Story Newspaper

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm

It’s only a few days now till The Story, and its all getting very exciting. I’ve spent most of the last few days working with the Newspaper Club team and the brilliant designer Alex Parrott on The Story newspaper. It’s looking absolutely gorgeous – Alex is a genius designer, and I highly recommend him. He’s taken the idea of ‘embellishments’ in the definition of the word ‘storytelling’ as an inspiration, and has come up with a design that is clean, yet illustrative. Here’s the logotype he’s created to give you an idea:

And here’s Alex’s notes on his design:

‘Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images, and sounds often by improvisation or embellishment.’
The word embellishment is also used in typography, and both meanings are very similar:
A decorative detail or feature added to something to make it more attractive
Typographical embellishments are often found in traditional books used as ornaments, swashes or illuminated letters. I thought I would borrow from this idea but give it a contemporary twist.
The Front cover uses 2 fonts, one very traditional and the other very modern. The combing of the modern sans serif face with the embellished swashes behind it hark to the past of storytelling whilst looking current and relevant to today. The traditional font is counter-balanced by the colours, word allignment and hyphenated word, all of which are more common in design today.

The whole newspaper is just gorgeous – I can’t wait to see the printed newspapers tomorrow!

Coming to The Story? Here’s everything you need to know

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Right then – a few people have asked about missing tickets, lunch plans, etc, so here’s a quick FAQ if you’re coming to The Story next week. Please add any other questions in the comments and I’ll get back to you asap

How do I get to Conway Hall?
The Conway Hall is at 25, Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL. The nearest tube is Holborn, and there is information about bus routes on the Conway Hall’s website.

Is the venue accessible?
There is a street level entrance to Conway Hall on Red Lion Square. The main hall is at the same level, and there is a disabled toilet available. The balcony seating area is not accessible, but we’ll make sure there’s room for everyone with access needs in the main hall. There is also an induction loop in the hall for those with hearing impairments.

What are the best places for tea/coffee/lunch?
We’ll be providing tea and coffee at the breaks in the lobby of the Conway Hall. We won’t be providing lunch, but there are loads of lovely sandwich shops and cafes on Theobalds Rd and Lambs Conduit Way, which are a few steps from The Conway Hall. There’s also a lovely cafe in Red Lion Square itself, and plenty of room to sit and eat in the Square gardens.

I booked a ticket but haven’t got my ticket yet!
Eventbrite should have emailed you a PDF of the ticket as soon as your payment went through. If Paypal still has an old email address for you then it could have been sent there instead. If you still can’t find it, email me with the booking name or email address used and I’ll resend the ticket. We’ll have printed lists of all the bookings on the day, so if you can’t find it at all, just turn up with proof of your identity (this will need to be the name you’ve booked the ticket under) and that’ll be fine.

I bought a ticket but something has come up and I can’t now come
Ach – that’s a pity. The best thing to do would be to leave a comment on this post offering your ticket to someone else – I know a few people have transferred tickets already, and that’s fine – just let me know you won’t be there, and the name of the person who will be coming in your place

Someone booked my ticket for me, and their name is on the ticket
Don’t worry – either email with the name of the person who booked the ticket and the name you want to change, or just turn up on the day with their ticket and explain it to us on the door. We’ll cross people off by the name we have, so as long as only one person claims each ticket, its fine with us.

Fancy a pint afterwards?
You betcha. I think I’ll need it. The event finishes at 4.30, and its a Friday, so I make that beer o’clock. I haven’t booked anywhere to drink afterwards, but The Square Pig on the opposite corner of Red Lion Square looks big enough to hold a fair few people, so I’d recommend we try and convene there. If I get time, I might try to reserve their basement, but if not, we’ll all spill out onto the street.

I can’t make it – are you recording the talks?
Yes – I’m taking an audio feed out from the sound desk, so will try and release the talks as podcasts as soon as I can after the event. It might take me a while, though, so don’t hold your breath…

Right – I think that’s most of the things people have asked me. I’m getting unbelievably excited, mainly because I went to the venue with the tech team on Tuesday, and there’s something magical about standing in an empty hall, imagining how its going to be when its full of people. And then there’s the Newspaper, which is looking fantastic….

See you next Friday!

Running order for The Story

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Hi all,

The Story will kick off next Friday at 10am, with a packed house – there’s only 3 tickets left, and I expect them to go by next Friday. Here’s the running order for the day. Russell Davies will be hosting, so I expect him to keep everyone to time so we can all go for a cheeky friday night pint at the end.

09.30 Doors Open
10.00 Cory Doctorow
10.20 Aleks Krotoski
10.40 Jon Spooner
11.00 Tim Etchells
11.20 Coffee
11.40 Sydney Padua
12.00 Tony White
12.10 Annette Mees & Tassos Stevens
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Kevin Slavin
13.50 Alexis Kennedy & Paul Arendt
14.10 Tim Wright
14.30 Kat Akingbade
14.50 Coffee
15.10 Livity
15.30 Stuart Nolan
15.50 David Hepworth
16.20 Thanks and goodbye

Final speakers announced, plus special guest host!

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Its only a few weeks till The Story on Feb 19th, so its time to give you more details and the final speaker list. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, get one now, as there’s only a few left!

First of all, a note about timings. The full speaker running order will be announced on the day, but the event itself will run from 10am till 4.30pm. So you get to have a lie-in (if you live in London) and can get away for an cheeky drink in the evening. Somehow, in between those time, we’ll fit in all our brilliant speakers, with time for coffee and lunch. I’ll make sure the speakers are running to time, so don’t be late! And here’s the last two to add to the list:

Stuart Nolan has been a professional performer, on and off, since the age of 18, and after 15 years being distracted by proper work, first as a cell biologist and then by digital media, he took the opportunity afforded by a NESTA Fellowship to focus on the design and performance of mystery. Since 2002 he has been running Designing Mystery workshops with performers, technologists, writers, media producers, and artists. He has also researched how teenagers respond to the mysterious and the magical in new technologies. He’s promising to going to talk about choice, risk, and reward by performing an effect that uses those themes. (possibly followed by a second effect if there is time). Believe me, you do *not* want to miss this…

Tony White is the author of many novels, including Foxy-T described by Toby Litt as ‘one of the best London novels you’ll ever get to read’. I agree, go read it – its fantastic. Tony was writer in residence at the Science Museum, London, and published a special free edition of his short fiction Albertopolis Disparu. He has published numerous works of fiction in collaboration with visual artists, edited and co-edited short story collections including Croatian Nights (Serpent’s Tail, 2005), and founded the samizdat imprint Piece of Paper Press in 1994. In 2009 Tony was Leverhulme Trust writer in residence at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Three new short stories from Tony White are available in EPUB format supported by the Leverhulme Trust for free download here.

Finally, I’m very pleased to announce that Russell Davies – the post-digital guru behind the Interesting event that inspired The Story, and co-founder of  Really Interesting Group – has agreed to host the event. I needed someone to be a genial host to glue the event together, and Russell was the first person that came to mind. It also means I can forget about that bit and focus on making sure that people, technology, newspapers and tea-urns are all in the right place at the right time.

So – just over two weeks to go then. Hotels are booked. Newspaper content is coming in think and fast. Tickets are nearly sold out. I’ve spoken to nearly all the speakers and been blown away by what they’re planning to do. This looks like it might just work after all…


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