Happy New Year! More speakers announced!

Happy New Year to you all!

Its less than six weeks till The Story, so I’m cracking on with the real world organisation of people, hotels, newspapers and tea urns that I’ll need to do before the day itself. The speakers list is almost complete now, so here’s a few more to tantalise you into buying a ticket (if you haven’t already):

Tim Wright is one of the true pioneers of online storytelling. Working as part of the shadowy XPT corporation, he created Online Caroline, an early precursor of web dramas like LonelyGirl15, way back in 2001. He’s continued to experiment with storytelling, interactivity and the web, working on things like Telectrascope and the brilliant Kidmapper – a quixotic attempt to retrace the journey in Robert Louis Stephenson’s classic novel Kidnapped. Tim will talk about SWYWTH, a new project for Radio 4 about sectrets, relationships and whether writers ever really know what they’re doing.

Alexis Kennedy and Paul Arendt are the co-founders of FailBetter Games, and are currently occupying most of the people I know with their brilliant Twitter game Echo Bazaar. Unlike the simplistic storyworld of many social media games, Echo Bazaar is set in Fallen London, a brilliantly evocative and detailed alter-ego for the real city. I’m really pleased to have Alexis and Paul along for The Story, as they’ve created something of real substance and depth, and are getting a brilliant response from their players. I’m really keen to find out more about how they made it, how they run it, and what they’re doing next…

Livity are behind a number of really innovative projects, working with young people to produce magazines, blogs and interactive projects like Dubplate Drama. More recently, they established and run the Spinebreakers community for Penguin, engaging teenagers in reading, writing and talking about storytelling. I love the way that Livity sees their role as creating spaces and platforms for other’s stories, so I’ve asked them to think about how they can do that at The Story itself. I’m hoping they’ll bring along some of the readers and writers from their projects and will create something as inspiring and illuminating as their online and printed projects.

Right – that’s nearly everyone. There are a few more I’ll reveal later, but the speakers’ list is about 90% there now. So if you haven’t got a ticket yet – get them here whilst you still can!