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

Archive for 2013|Yearly archive page

Final Speakers for The Story 2014 – Lisa Salem, Bill Wasik, Tony Ageh & Alan Rusbridger

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Tickets for The Story 2014 are selling fast, and we’re now very happy to announce the final four speakers who will be joining us at The Conway Hall on Friday February 21st next year. Its an awesome lineup, and we’re unbelievably excited about the event next year. If you haven’t got a ticket yet, get one from our Eventbrite page now!

Lisa Salem  is an interviewer and a film/audio/digital storyteller. She is currently directing Walk LA With Me – a feature documentary about the people she met whilst walking across Los Angeles, filming the walk with a camera in a baby-stroller. Lisa also works as a Content and Social Media Producer, creating content for and across The Beatles social platforms. She also co-runs and moderates 10×10 – a documentary-in-progress workshop and forum that celebrated its 6th year at Sheffield Doc/Fest last June.

Bill Wasik is an editor at WIRED and the author of And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture and Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus. And Then There’s This is, in our opinion, by far the best, most vivid, and most insightful account of how culture actually works in an age of digital attention. The book is a fantastic account of spending the early part of this millenium playing with how ideas spread, accidentally inventing flash-mobbing, and working with colleagues like Jonah Peretti to understand why some things go viral and others fall flat. I don’t think there’s a writer who better understands digital culture now, so we’re really pleased Bill can come over and join us at The Story in Feb.

Tony Ageh is BBC’s Controller of Archive Development, where he is working on a wide range of projects exploring how to create a new kind of Digital Public Space and ensure that past, present and future public archives are available to all. Tony has been a hugely influential figure in the history of the UK internet, helping to establish the Guardian’s New Media Lab, the first iteration of Wired UK, and the hugely influential dot-com era company UpMyStreet, before joining the BBC and leading the development of the BBC iPlayer. At The Story, he’ll be talking about a ‘life spent making lists’, and his vision for the future of archives and public media.

Alan Rusbridger has been the Editor of The Guardian since 1995, after working as a report and columnist for many years. In the last few years, Rusbridger has led The Guardian through an era of groundbreaking digital innovation and extraordinary journalism scoops, including the publishing of the Wikileaks documents, and more recently the publication of the Edward Snowden leaks. There is probably no other newspaper editor who has more first-hand experience about how journalism is changing in the 21st century, and we’re very excited that he is joining us at The Story to give his personal account of an incredible era for newspapers, journalism, and the relationship between the media and the state.

So – that’s the full line up for The Story on February 21st, 2014. It’s going to be an incredible day, so if you haven’t got a ticket yet, get yours now, as I’m sure the last tickets will be snapped up very quickly. See you in February, and in the meantime, have a great xmas and new year!

More Speakers for The Story 2014: Meg Rosoff, Bryony Kimmings and Gruff Rhys

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

Tickets for The Story 2014 are selling fast – about half of them have gone now, so buy yours if you haven’t already!

Here’s three more speakers who will be joining us at Conway Hall in Feb. It’s looking like a cracking line-up already, and there’s still more to be announced.

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, educated at Harvard and St Martin’s College of Art in London, and worked in New York City for ten years before moving to England in 1989.  She worked in publishing, journalism, politics and advertising before writing How I Live Now (released October 2013 as a feature film directed by Kevin MacDonald and starring Saoirse Ronan). Her books have won or been shortlisted for 19 international book prizes, including the Carnegie medal, the National Book Award in America and the Orange first novel prize.  Meg’s most recent book is Picture Me Gone.  She lives in London with her husband and daughter.

Bryony Kimmings is a Performance Artist. She creates full-length theatre shows, cabaret works, homemade music, sound installations and documentary films. Her work is larger than life, outrageous, visually loud, often dangerous, somewhat unpredictable but above all fun. She is inspired by the taboos and anomalies of British culture and her autobiographical themes promote the airing of her own dirty laundry to oil conversations on seemingly difficult subjects. Her work follows real life social experiments that she embarks upon with genuine genius intrigue and wholehearted, fearless gusto. She is currently touring Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model, an ongoing project with her nine-year old niece to design a new kind of teen pop star.

Gruff Rhys is a singer, writer and film-maker, who has had global success with Super Furry Animals, Neon Neon, and as a solo artist. Gruff will be talking about his new book, film and album project American Interior, an epic quest to discover for the legend of John Evans, a Welsh pioneer and entrepreneur who travelled through the newly independent USA in the late eighteenth century.

So – that’s nine speakers announced so far, and we’ll be announcing the rest of the line up before Xmas. So if you haven’t already – get your tickets now!

New Speakers announced for The Story 2014 – Stella Duffy, Philip Larkin & Kenyatta Cheese

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm


Tickets for The Story 2014 are selling very well, so get yours from our Eventbrite page if you haven’t got them already. All the Early Bird discounted tickets have gone, but the Standard Tickets are still on sale, so buy them now before its only the Last Chance tickets left…

To whet your appetite, here’s three more speakers who will be joining us next February at the lovely Conway Hall:

Stella Duffy is a renowned author and director. Her novels include The Room of Lost Things and State of Happiness, both long-listed for the Orange Prize, and her most recent novel The Purple Shroud. She has written ten plays – most recently The Book of Ruth (and Naomi) for Sixty-Six Books at the Bush; and over fifty short stories, including several for BBC Radio 4. Her work as Theatre Director includes  Ordinary Darkness (Hen and Chickens), TaniwhaThames (Oval House), My Inner Orc (Pleasance), Skin Tight (Pleasance & Riverside), and Cell Sell at the Soho Theatre for the NYT. She is an Associate Artist with Improbable, Artistic Director of Shaky Isles, and a member of impro comedy company Spontaneous Combustion since 1988. She is the founder and convenor of The Chaosbaby Project a large-scale multi-disciplinary Open Space theatre work, performing in Deptford in August 2013. At The Story 2014, Stella will be talking about Fun Palaces 2014, a series of Fun Palaces across the UK and beyond, celebrating public engagement in the arts and sciences, and commemorating Joan Littlewood’s centenary on 4/5 October 2014

Philip Larkin is a television writer based in Glasgow. Philip has created stories for Hollyoaks, had his work performed in Glasgow’s famous Oran Mor theatre and has worked in comedy development as a script consultant for a handful of British sitcoms. He is presently working on two of his own creations, a comedy-drama entitled Dead Ben with longtime collaborator Michael Richardson, as well as his sitcom, Boys and Girls. In addition to this, Philip is currently developing two radio dramas for BBC Radio 4. He’s also *incredibly* good at making very creative and funny Vines, and he’ll be talking about what he’s learnt from making  Vines and other online work at The Story.

Kenyatta Cheese is from the internet. He has been making and talking about digital culture since before he can remember, including working at Rocketboom from 2007-2010, and co-founding the incredible KnowYourMeme. He blogs at Final Boss Form, which is so good I just lost 20 minutes to it just by going there to get the link for this post, and is one part of the excellent Everyone At Once, who do excellent audience development work, including running the Doctor Who Tumblr for BBC America, which is the second biggest Tumblr in the world…

So – that’s another three great speakers for next year’s event. What are you waiting for? Go get your tickets now!

Tickets on sale for The Story 2014, and first speakers announced!

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

Its our 5th Birthday! Blimey, that went quickly.

The Story is returning to The Conway Hall, London, on Friday, February 21st, 2014 for its fifth year of inspiring talks and interesting stuff. Last year we had Molly Crabapple talking about illustration as journalism, Alex Balfour on running the online Olympics, Ben Bocquelet on the Amazing World of Gumball and Edwin Collins on how he recovered his ability to play music after his stroke, among many other amazing talks.

This year we’re lining up an equally inspiring set of speakers, and we’ll be announcing them over the next few months as they are confirmed. But first, here’s how you can get tickets:

Tickets are now on general sale via our Eventbrite site, so go get yours quick before they all go! We tried something different with ticket sales this year – as a thank you to everyone who subscribes to our weekly newsletter, we put early bird ticket sales up two days ago just for newsletter readers. This meant there wasn’t such a crazy panic in the first few minutes of ticket sales, which we know has been frustrating in the past. We’re also putting the Standard and Last Minute tickets on sale as soon as the preceding ticket types sell out. Hopefully this will make it easier for you all to get tickets.

So – now for the first three speakers:

Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard met at Goldsmtihs and have worked collaboratively as visual artists since the mid-nineties. They initially became known for their recreations of highly-charged cultural moments which pioneered the use of re-enactment within contemporary art. Their work is collected by museums and institutions worldwide, including the Tate Gallery and the Government Art Collection. Their ongoing collaboration with the musician and author Nick Cave has led to their first feature film, 20,000 Days on Earth, due for cinema release with Film4 and the BFI in 2014.

Kyle Bean is an artist, designer and illustrator with a passion for craft and conceptual thinking. His work is usually characterised by a whimsical and meticulous reappropriation of everyday materials and handcrafted techniques. Since graduating from the university of Brighton in 2009, Kyle has created imagery for a range of international editorial clients such as Wired, Wallpaper* and The New York Times and has designed installations for fashion brands including Selfridges, Liberty and Hermes. With his personal work, Kyle regularly enjoys straddling the boundaries between illustration, sculpture and more traditional model making and has gone on to exhibit at The ADC gallery in New York and Colette in Paris.

Barnaby Smyth is a foley artist and editor who has worked on many leading TV and film productions, including We Need To Talk About Kevin, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Downton Abbey and Attack The Block. He recently performed live foley sound effects for Matthew Herbert’s play The Hush at The National Theatre’s pop-up venue The Shed. It was an incredible performance, and we’re really looking forward to hearing Barnaby talk about the art of foley effects, show some examples from the films and TV projects he’s worked on, and perform some live foley effects on stage.

We’re hugely excited and pleased to have such great speakers on board for The Story 2014, and we’ve got more incredible speakers to announce over the next few months. In the meantime – buy your ticket now!


The Story 2013 – Thank you to everyone!

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm
Conway Hall before The Story 2013

Conway Hall before The Story 2013

Last Friday was the fourth The Story conference at The Conway Hall, and it was another incredible day. As we do more of these events (this is our fourth) I’m more and more convinced that this is down to the strange alchemy between the speakers and the audience – everyone comes along with such enthusiasm, such curiosity and such passion, and it makes the day an incredibly inspiring event.

So – first of all, a huge thank you to everyone who came along. We’re constantly amazed at how much people love the event, and it inspires us to come up with even more interesting and diverse speakers every year, so thanks so much to everyone who bought a ticket and turned up on a very chilly London day.

Next – a gigantic thanks to all the brilliant speakers. We give our speakers a really hard brief – to be honest and true to themselves, and talk in depth about their work and why they do it. There are no corporate pitches, nobody talking from a company deck – just people who know what it feels like to tell a story, and can be open and honest enough to communicate their passion to the audience. It’s a lot harder to do this than it looks, and I know the people who talk at The Story put a huge amount of work into their talks. So huge thanks to you all.

We couldn’t do The Story without the help of a lot of brilliant people, so huge thanks to Carina and the team at The Conway Hall; to Jez, Paul, Rachel, Iain and the team at Live Union for help with the sound; to Mary Hamilton for being a brilliant host, and showing epic restraint with the Nerf Guns; to our helpers on the day – Holly Swain, Kim Plowright, Sophie Walker, Andrew Birley and Jo Roach; and to the Ministry of Stories for making such a brilliant gift for every attendee.

There are already some great blogs and other records of the day – if you’ve written up any notes, we’d love to see them, so do let us know. We’ll list the ones we see below, and will get the audio records of some of the talks up online over the next few weeks.

Thanks again to everyone – it was a fantastic day, and we’re already looking forward to The Story 2014 – sign up to our newsletter if you want to be the first to know when tickets go on sale in the autumn.

Blogs and other records of The Story 2013:

Our Storify of The Story 2013

Stray Bullets – Anthology

A La Data – Thoughts on The Story 2013

Rishi Dastidar’s Storify

Sarah Salway’s Five Things I Learnt At The Story 2013

Fiona Thompson’s ‘Kaleidoscope Manifesto’

Mun Keat Looi (who always does a great write up) on The Story 2013

David Cornish from Wired wrote up the talks from Edwyn Collins, Alex Balfour and Fiona Romeo

James Caig – The Bottom Half of Culture

Miriam from The Lighthouse, Brighton on The Story 2013

Notes from The Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol

Emilia from Kanoti on The Story 2013

383 Project’s list of links from The Story 2013

A fantastically comprehensive write up the talks from Blonde Digital

Everything You Need To Know for The Story 2013

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2013 at 9:30 am

Its a week until The Story 2013, so here’s the usual FAQ for everyone coming to The Story. 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. Please let me know if you have particular needs, and I’ll make sure we sort them out for you. 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 #story2013 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 @thestory2013, 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 previous years 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. There will also be copies of the first Storythings Publication – Vacuum Days by Tim Etchells – on sale at a special discount price of £15, so bring some money and get a copy of this gorgeous, limited edition book!

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. 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 22nd!

Running Order for The Story 2013

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

Its less than two weeks to go till The Story 2013 (and there’s currently only 2 tickets left…) so its time to share the running order for the day. As usual, registration will be open from 9am, and we’ll finish at 4pm and all decamp to The Square Pig for a beer.

10.00 Welcome – Mary Hamilton
10.05 Ministry of Stories
10.20 Edwyn Collins & Edward Lovelace
10.40 Rebecca O’Brien

11.00 Coffee

11.20 Laura Dockrill
11.40 Alex Balfour
12.00 Molly Crabapple

12.20 Lunch

13.20 Alecky Blythe
13.40 Ben Bocquelet
14.00 Diane Coyle

14.20 Coffee

14.40 Mikey Please
15.00 Fiona Romeo
15.20 Alice Bell
15.40 Rob Manuel
16.00 Finish

Only 50 tickets left! And final speakers announced – Edwyn Collins, Rebecca O’Brien & Alice Bell

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm


Its less than a month till The Story 2013 on Feb 22nd, so its time to announce the final few speakers for this year’s event. Its quite a line-up, and there’s only 50 tickets left, so get yours now if you haven’t already!

Rebecca O’Brien began her film life working at the Edinburgh Film Festival, before starting her film production career on early Channel Four films and dramas, including “My Beautiful Laundrette” (as Location Manager) and the Michael Rosen inspired multi-cultural kids’ series “Everybody Here”. Her producing debut was “Friendship’s Death” written and directed by Peter Wollen and starring Tilda Swinton and Bill Paterson. Her first film with Ken Loach was “Hidden Agenda” and since then they have made twelve feature films together and many other documentary and short projects. In 2002 they formed Sixteen Films. Apart from the Loach/Laverty films, Rebecca also produced the “Bean” movie for Working Title, “Princesa” for Parallax Pictures and has executive produced for Camilla Bray, Ian Knox and Henrique Goldman. Rebecca has been working with Ken Loach on The Spirit of 45, a documentary project about the spirit of unity in Britain in the post-war era, and how this led to the creation of institutions like the NHS. Its a remarkable project, and I’m really looking forward to Rebecca talking about working with Ken on the interviews and research, and how this differed from their more narrative film-making projects.

In 2005 musician Edwyn Collins collapsed unexpectedly suffering a devastating stroke. Left unable to walk or speak, any hope of recovery seemed distant. Last year and against all odds he released the album ‘Losing Sleep’ to huge critical acclaim. In Your Voice, In Your Heart is the story of Edwyn’s journey back. Blurring the line between fiction and documentary we explore the world of Edwyn’s subconscious – a place inhabited by fragmented ideas and forgotten memories. Each story Edwyn tells is another piece of a shattered identity we gradually see re-emerging in front of us. I’m really, really pleased that Edwyn will be at The Story with Ed Lovelace, one half of director duo D.A.R.Y.L who are the creative geniuses behind the film. They’ll be showing clips from the film, and talking about the process of making a film about memory, identity and love.

Alice Bell is an academic and writer interested in the social side of science. She is currently a research fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex and before that, was a lecturer in the Science Communication Group at Imperial. She has a column in the UK edition of Popular Science magazine and have written for a range of websites and print-publications including the Guardian, Times Higher Education Magazine and Research Fortnight. She is climate change editor at the New Left Project and co-run the Brain Train podcast. I’m fascinated by the role narrative plays in how we understand science, both as individuals and as a society, so I’m really looking forward to hearing Alice talk at The Story. I’m hoping she’ll talk about her research on how science is represented in childrens’ literature, but frankly, everything she does is fascinating.

And finally, this year’s host will be Mary Hamilton. Those of you who are The Story regulars will know Mary from her brilliant talk at The Story 2011, where she talked about Zombie LARPS, nerf guns, and Story Machines. She has recently been working at The Guardian, and is incredibly smart about everything from gaming and journalism to culture and society. I hope she brings bigger nerf guns this time.

So that’s it! That’s the full line up for The Story this year. I’ll be posting the running order in a week or so, along with all the other info you’ll need on the day. Get your ticket now and I look forward to seeing you there!



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