At The Conway Hall, London - 10am - 4.00pm, Friday 19th February 2016

Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

New Speakers announced! Molly Crabapple, Ben Bocquelet and Mikey Please

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

The Ministry Of Stories in Hoxton

Tickets for The Story next February are going fast – there are currently just 43 Standard Price tickets available, so if you haven’t got a ticket – get one now! After they have gone, there will be a block of Last Chance tickets released, but judging from previous events, they’ll go as well before Xmas, so if you want to get a ticket, get one from our Eventbrite site now!

This is the time of year when all the bits of The Story start to come together – we’re booking flights for speakers, confirming the tech team, and on Wednesday we went in to visit The Ministry of Stories in their Hoxton St Monster store to discuss an exciting new project for the day. And to whet your appetite, we’re very pleased to announce three more speakers!

Molly Crabapple is a New York artist. She has created subversive, Victorian inspired art for The New York Times, Red Bull, the Royal Society of Arts, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Marvel Comics, and The Groucho Club, as well as Occupy Wall Street. Molly has been called ‘Equal parts Hieronymus Bosch, William S. Burroughs and Cirque du Soleil.’ by the Guardian, and ‘A brilliant and principled artist’ by BoingBoing. She is the co-creator, with Laurie Penny, of Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens, about life in Greece under the Eurozone crisis, and has created illustrated journalism for CNN and Vice.

Ben Boucquelet is a writer, artist and animator. He is the creator of The Amazing World of Gumball, an incredibly inventive, funny and subversive show from Cartoon Network. His career in animation includes working with the UK’s most innovative animation studio – Studio AKA – where he met Mic Graves, the co-creator of Gumball. If you haven’t seen any episodes of Gumball yet, then get to Youtube now and make your day instantly better. Gumball is one of those shows that transcends its target audience, with the kind of comic writing and lunatic visual invention that you rarely see in any adult comedy. I’m a *huge* fan (although not as much as my daughters) so I’m really pleased Ben is joining us for The Story next year.

Mikey Please is an extraordinarily talented film-maker, working with stop-motion papercraft animation. In 2010 he completed a Masters in Direction for Animation at London’s Royal College of Art, and his thesis film, The Eagleman Stag, is currently shortlisted for an Academy Award. In 2011 it premiered at Sundance Film Festival and in 2011 it won the BAFTA for best Animated Short and numerous other accolades, including awards from SXSW, Seattle, LA and Chicago International Film festivals, the AFI as well as showing at over 400 festivals and public screenings. In early 2012, he was awarded a 3-month fellowship in Tokyo by the Japanese Center for Cultural Affairs. During this time, he developed the script for a new short film, Marilyn Myller which is currently in production with Mikey’s commercial representatives Hornet Inc in New York and Blink Ink in London. His first feature film, Zero Greg, is currently in development with Film Four and Warp Films.

So – there’s only a couple more speakers to announce now, with a few lovely surprises left up our sleeves. Tickets will go very quickly between now and Xmas, so if you haven’t got yours yet – get them from Eventbrite now! And when you get your ticket, don’t forget you can get a copy of the first ever Storythings publication – Vacuum Days by Tim Etchells – at a discount launch price. We’re holding launch parties for Vacuum Days in London and Sheffield in the next few weeks, so please come along – Tim gave a reading at the first ever The Story event in 2010 and an early version of the Vacuum Days format appeared in the newspaper we published, so we’re really pleased that we’re able to publish the full book. Come along to the launches in London and Sheffield and get a copy – its funny, dark, and very, very beautiful.

Three more speakers announced for The Story 2013!

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Tickets are going like hot cakes for The Story 2013 – we’ve sold over half already, so if you want to get one there’s still Standard Price tickets on sale – get them before they all sell out!

In case you need more convincing, here’s three more of the brilliant speakers we’ll have at The Story in 2013:

Laura Dockrill is the author and illustrator of Mistakes In The Background, Ugly Shy Girl and Echoes, and has recently signed a three book deal for Darcy Burdock, a new ‘tween’ series of books with Random House Children’s division- the first of the series comes out in Jan 2013. Laura also resurrects her words on the stage performing poetry spanning festivals to bookshops; including London Literary Festival, Big Chill, E4 Udderbelly, Latitude and Domino festival in Brussels. She has performed her work on CBeebies ‘The Rhyme Rocket’, Newsnight, BBC Breakfast, Woman’s Hour, Adventures in Verse, Afternoon Reading, The Verb, and each of the BBC’s respective radio channels 1-6. She recently joined the advisory panel of our good friends at The Ministry Of Stories, and is currently creating a series of bespoke artwork pieces and writing both a piece of work for a new BBC radio show and a sitcom.

Fiona Romeo is Head of Design & Digital Media at the National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory, where she’s particularly interested in creating distributed experiences that play against the context of a museum’s historic site and unique collections. Highlights include participatory projects such as Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Solar Stormwatch and Old Weather; the Museum’s new social space, the Compass Lounge; and digital art commission, High Arctic. Previously, Fiona produced content and experiences for brands like the BBC, Disney, and the Science Museum.

Alex Balfour joined the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) as Head of New Media in 2006. At LOCOG he built a team from scratch that delivered 77 digital channels including, two mobile apps, ticketing, volunteering, education, online shop, mobile apps and social media presences to a worldwide audience of over 150m, including 15m app downloads and 112m unique website users during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
He has had a long and distinguished career in new media, including editing GE’97, the UK’s first general election website, making the first consumer Internet telephone call to a traditional telephone, and being part of the team that produced the Guardian newspaper’s first significant websites. In he was a founder of CricInfo, in its day the world’s largest single-sport website with an audience of 20m fans as early as 2000, and became Chairman before the business was sold to ESPN in 2005.

So – there’s three more amazing speakers for next February. I’m huge excited to hear them talk about their work next February – I’ve seen them all talk and they’re incredible insightful, creative and inspiring. Its shaping up to be a great event already – get your tickets now if you haven’t already!

First speakers announced, and Storythings first publication!

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Tickets for The Story 2013 go on sale on Monday, 1st October at noon, so here’s some info about the speakers we’ve got lined up, and some exciting news about Storythings’ first book publication – available at a discounted price when you buy tickets to The Story.

First of all – the speakers. We’ve got a particularly interesting and diverse line up this year, with speakers from backgrounds in sport, television, theatre, science, art, and many more. The first three speakers are:

Economist and author Diane Coyle runs the consultancy Enlightenment Economics. She is Vice Chair of the BBC Trust, a member of the Migration Advisory Committee, was a member of the Browne Review of higher education funding, and was on the Competition Commission for eight years. She has worked on competition policy, network markets, the economics of new technologies and globalisation, including extensive work on the impacts of mobile telephony in developing countries. Diane is the author of several bestselling books including The Economics of Enough, The Soulful Science  and What’s The Use of Economics?, a collection of essays about teaching economics, out in September 2012.

Rob Manuel is the co-founder of B3ta, one of the funniest and longest-running communities online. Before social media gurus invented cliches like ‘meme culture’, Rob and the community at B3ta were actually doing it, making bizarre, hilarious and crude jokes out of the flotsam and jetsam of the internet. I asked Rob to talk at The Story because I love B3ta, but since asking him he’s written about cliched attitudes to ‘the bottom half of the internet’ and what this says about attitudes to class in online culture, so I’ve asked him to talk about this as well. Its a really fascinating and important subject.

Alecky Blyth is a playwright and screenwriter who won a Time Out Award for her first play, Come Out Eli, and was selected as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2007. Alecky’s London Road won Best Musical at the Critics’ Circle Awards and was revived in 2012 at the National Theatre in the Olivier after its sellout in the Cottesloe in 2011. She was also involved in Headlong Theatre’s production of Decade, and wrote and co-directed The Riots ; In their Words, a drama documentary for BBC2. Her most recent play, Where Have I Been All My Life? was produced at the New Vic Theatre in April 2012.  In 2003, Alecky set up Recorded Delivery  (Verbatim Theatre Company). The term ‘recorded delivery’ has now become synonymous with the verbatim technique she employs.

Secondly, Storythings is very proud to announce its first publication – an art book edition of Vacuum Days, an online project by Tim Etchells, the renowned artist, writer and theatre director who spoke at the very first The Story in 2010. That year, we published a newspaper that Tim contributed to, creating imaginary posters for bizarre events/performances. He developed the format in Vacuum Days – a year-long online text-based project which ran live from 1 January till 31 December 2011.

Comprising a series of one-per-day posters reminiscent of live show lineup announcements, Vacuum Days proposed a rolling daily programme of imaginary events that responded to, reworked and distorted real-life events. Inhabiting and extending the zone of sensationalist media, news as pornography, hyped up current affairs, Internet spam, twitter-gossip and tabloid headlines, the project mixed reality, political and theatrical spectacle and in a stark combination of overzealous capitals and small-print conjured a set of unlikely, absurd and uncomfortable performances, lectures, contests, fights, film screenings and other kinds of public display.

We’re very pleased that the book version of Vacuum Days will be published by Storythings, the parent company of The Story, on 5th November 2012. Buying a ticket for The Story on Eventbrite will give you the opportunity to get a copy at a special pre-launch price of £15, plus P&P (although you can choose to pick it up in person at The Story in February, and avoid paying any P&P at all!). One final note – as a comical and bitterly mischievous parody of sometimes shocking news events, Vacuum Days is only suitable for mature readers, and should not be purchased by the easily-offended. Any of you who saw Tim perform his monologue Star-Fucker at The Story in 2010 will know the power of his writing already.

Date announced for The Story 2013 – tickets on sale Monday 1st October!

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Its that time of year again. Last Saturday was a gorgeously sunny day here in Brighton, but the night fell too quickly, and the next day it poured with rain non-stop. We switched the heating on, and thought about sweeping the chimney so we can light the fire. Its definitely autumn.

There’s lots of good reasons to love autumn – the leaves look stunning, you can cook roasts and stews again, and there’s nothing quite like coming out of the cold to a warm house – but best of all, autumn is when we crank up The Story conference again, and start to tell you about all the fun things we have planned for the event next February.

The Story 2013 will be on Friday, 22nd February 2012, from 10-4pm, at The Conway Hall, London.

We’ve spent all summer talking to speakers, booking venues, and scratching our heads about what on earth we can do to top the chocolate-bar-speakers-list we made for you last year. Over the next few weeks we’ll be revealing the speakers and giving you more details about some exciting new elements to The Story next year, but in the meantime, we need to tell you how to get tickets.

The first batch of 100 early bird tickets will be on sale Monday, 1st October, at noon BST. Tickets will be available to buy, as usual, on our Eventbrite page

We’ll be announcing the first batch of speakers later in the week, but until then – put a note in your diary to get a tickets next Monday at noon. The first batch always goes really fast…


In Uncategorized on February 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

The Story 2012

Its taken me a lot longer than normal to write a thank you blogpost after The Story 2012. Partly this is because Storythings is about to launch a new project for Faber & Faber, but also because its taken me a while to gather my thoughts. It was quite a day, so thank you to everyone who came along for the event, or who helped out on the day. In particular, thanks to:

The speakers – you were all fantastic, interesting, compelling and funny.
Meg Pickard – for being such a brilliant host
Richard Ayers, Sophie Walker, Rebecca Denton, Jo Roach and Holly Swain for their fantastic help on the  day with registration, speaker wrangling and technical issues
Live Union for providing the PA and recording the talks
Paul A Young for making the incredible edible-running-order chocolate bars
Nicole Yershon and Ogilvy Labs for sponsoring the teas and coffees
Alex Parrott for design work on The Story logo and the chocolate packaging

There really was an incredible atmosphere on the day, and this was down to everyone mentioned above, and everyone who came along. Thanks so much – its fantastically rewarding to run something that people respond to with such enthusiasm.

One of the things I love about running The Story is reading the blog posts afterwards. The event seems to create different ideas, thoughts and connections in different people. There never is a theme, really, but on the day all sorts of subtle connections emerge between the different talks, and I love reading about other people’s interpretations of the day. Below is a list of the ones I’ve noticed so far – do let me know if you’ve shared thoughts or photos, and I’ll put a link to them here.

Finally, I will be putting up recordings of some of the talks, as soon as I’ve been able to edit them down and check the content with the speakers. Unfortunately, we had a computer crash in the morning session, so I don’t have a record of all those speakers, but we have the afternoon sessions, and I’ll get them up as soon as I can. In the meantime, here’s your blog posts and photos:

Liz Henry

Rishi Dastidar’s Storify of tweets from the day

Adam Gee

Mary Hamilton’s Storify of tweets from the day

Mary Hamilton’s write up of the day

Ellen De Vries

Jane Dallaway

Saul Cozens

Kat Sommers

Dean Vipond

Matt Edgar

Matthew Sheret

Tim Wright

Russell Stearman

Drawnalism’s brilliant sketches of the speakers

Photos tagged with ‘story2012’ on Flickr

Many people have asked if there is a mailing list to hear about The Story next year, so I’ve created one. The list is for Storythings, the company I’ve created to run The Story and other projects, so you’ll get emails about our projects as well. But it will be very low traffic indeed, so don’t worry. So if you want to stay in touch, sign up here. Tinyletter emails can get caught in spam filters, so if you don’t get a response, check it isn’t in there.

Running Order for The Story 2012

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Here’s the running order for The Story on Friday, Feb 17th. We should keep pretty much to time, but as with all events, things might change on the day.

10.00 Welcome – Meg Pickard
10.05 Ministry of Stories
10.20 Matt Sheret/Simon Thornton
10.40 Jeremy Deller

11.00 Coffee

11.20 Liz Henry
11.40 Anthony Owen
12.00 Matthew Herbert

12.20 Lunch

13.20 Tom Watson & Emily Bell
13.40 Scott Burnham
14.00 Fiona Raby

14.20 Coffee

14.40 Ellie Harrison
15.00 Phil Stuart & Tom Chatfield
15.20 Karen/Jeremy Leslie
15.40 Danny O’Brien
16.00 Finish

Everything you need to know for The Story 2012

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Last year, I posted a quick FAQ for everyone coming to The Story, so here is this year’s version. This should answer most of the questions you might have, but if there’s something else you need to know, leave a comment 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.

What is the hashtag for the event?
If you’re tweeting, blogging or uploading photos of the day, please use #story2012 as a hashtag. The wifi in The Conway Hall isn’t up to much, though, so feel free to put the phones, ipads and other devices in your bag for the day, and let your mind have some fun on its own for a bit.

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 booked a ticket for a group/someone else, but the PDF only has my name on it
This is a bit of a limitation of using Eventbrite – it doesn’t seem to handle group bookings/alternate names very well. There are two ways round this – just give the person/group you bought the tickets for a copy of the PDF each, and we’ll cross them off when they turn up, making sure the right number of people come for your group (so if you print more PDFs than tickets, you won’t get extra places!). Or, if you can email me the list of people in the group, we’ll make a note of their names and tick them off as they turn up. Either way is fine by us.

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 send a tweet to @thestory2012, and I’ll retweet it around to see if anyone else wants to buy the ticket from you. If you’re not on Twitter, email me and I’ll tweet it myself.

Fancy a pint afterwards?
You betcha. I think I’ll need it. The event finishes at 4.00, and its a Friday, so I make that beer o’clock. Last year most of us retired to The Square Pig on the opposite corner of Red Lion Square. So that sounds like a plan again this year.

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. A few of the talks from 2011 are up on the Storythings website. Not all the talks really work as podcasts – particularly ones from artists that involve lots of copyrighted material – but I’ll put up the ones that I think work well.

Will there be anything to buy/read/do at The Story this year?
Yes! so bring some spare cash. As we did in 2011, the Hoxton St Monster Supply shop (aka the Ministry of Stories) will set up a temporary store in the foyer, as I want to raise as much money as possible for them. Some of the speakers will have magazines and other things for sale as well, so bring some money along if you love buying beautiful story-related things. I’ve also planned a bit of a treat for everyone attending this year, but I’m keeping that under wraps (literally!) until the day itself…

Will it be cold?
This is about the time that I start looking at the medium-range weather forecasts with a nervous look on my face. Running an event in February means there’s always the chance of a cold snap, and we’re in the middle of a particularly snowy one at the moment. Its looking like it will be a bright, sunny, but cold day, and The Conway Hall takes a while to warm up, so make sure you wrap up well.

I think that’s it. If there’s anything else you need to know, please leave a comment below. See you on Friday 17th!

Almost sold out, and final speaker info

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Happy New Year!

January is always a little scary, as the turn of the new year means that The Story goes from ‘something that’s happening next year’ to ‘OMG its in a few weeks!’ So I’ve spent the last few days booking hotels, getting details out to speakers, and generally tidying things up so we’re all ready to go on Feb 17th.

The good news is that The Story is almost sold out! There’s currently only 6 tickets left on our Eventbrite site, so if you haven’t got one yet, get one NOW! Thanks to all of you who have bought tickets – you’ve helped raise £2000 for The Ministry of Stories, which is a fantastic project. The Ministry will be at The Story this year, giving us an update on their brilliant first year, and selling their unique monster supplies in the foyer.

I’m also very pleased to announce our host this year – Meg Pickard – and the final speaker – Scott Burnham.

Meg Pickard is the Head of Digital Engagement for Guardian News & Media, responsible for developing and supporting social web strategies and participatory experiences. At the time of The Story, however, she will have just started her maternity leave, so will be focusing on delivering a different sort of experience for a while. Meg’s particular areas of interest are social engagement and the emergence of new forms of collaborative and participatory media, which are inspired by an enduring curiosity about the cultural/social/psychological aspects of digital life plus ongoing personal passion for publishing, participating and performing online. She has been blogging since it started with a W and lives in London and online.

Scott Burnham is a social entrepreneur, creative strategist, creative director and writer dedicated to reprogramming our relationships with design and the city, working with a number of cities, institutions and publications worldwide. He created and directed Urban Play for Droog Design and the city of Amsterdam to launch a new generation of objects and areas for the city. Working with Stefan Sagmeister, Marti Guixe, NL Architects and others a series of objects and areas were created as public catalysts for further design interventions. Recently he created the Bairro Criativo project for Porto, Portugal to open idea generation, grass-roots innovation and creative processes to wider audiences in the city and create direct design responses to the city’s needs. Scott spoke at the excellent Narrative In Practise event last year, which I couldn’t attend, but so many people who did attend raved about Scott’s talk, so I had to invite him to The Story!

So that’s it – all the speakers are booked, travel and accommodation sorted, and tickets nearly sold out. The only thing left is a rather exciting little present which I’m hoping to be able to give to everyone coming to the event. More details nearer the time…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,471 other followers