Story Newsapalooza

A roundup of happenings in the story world:

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Cowbird, the “tool for telling stories” and “public library of human experience,” is today (May 1) chronicling “the act of working, and how it affects who we are.” As described on the blog Telling the Bees, the project celebrates …

… the life of oral historian Studs Terkel, who died in 2008 [this year is the centenary year of Terkel’s birth]. According to Cowbird’s founder, Jonathan Harris, “with his seminal 1974 book, Working, Studs gathered stories from over 130 Americans in different professions, exploring new and old ways of working. Studs is widely considered to be the father of oral history, having inspired many of today’s best radio producers and journalists.”

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Guideposts is running a tell-us-your-story contest. From the site: “Win a week with us at the Guideposts Writers Workshop, all expenses paid! We’ll teach you everything we know about inspirational storytelling. Your story could end up in our magazine and on our websites. We’re looking for true, first-person stories, not sermons or essays. It can be your own story or something you’ve written for someone else. Study the magazine. Get a feel for our style. We’ll pick 12 of you for the Workshop in Port Orchard, Washington, October 15-19, 2012.” Entries need to be postmarked June 20.

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One of several annual days dedicated to storytelling, International Day for Sharing Life Stories 2012, occurs May 16. Day organizers say they are announcing today (May 1) “two wonderful projects.” This is the fifth year for the event, and I’ve consistently complained that the day doesn’t have a reliable Web site to go with it. Best hub seems to be its Facebook page.

The National Wildlife Federation has launched a Storytelling Video Diary Series. For the next six months, the organization is publishing weekly video blogs.

From March 24-30, 2012 a team of journalists collaborated with MediaStorm at its workshop to create, Remember These Days and A Hundred Different Ways. During the MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop participants work directly with MediaStorm staff to create an intimate, character-driven documentary in just one week.

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Descriptions of the projects:

For Walter Backerman, seltzer is more than a drink. It’s the embodiment of his family. As a third generation seltzer man, he follows the same route as his grandfather. But after 90 years of business, Walter may be the last seltzer man.
Watch it now.

In 1987, Catherine Russell first stepped on stage in the play, Perfect Crime. Twenty-five years and only four missed performances later, she’s in The Guinness Book of World Records for the most performances by an actor in a single part.
Watch it now.

I’ve written before about PostSecret, the community art project in which people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. Now in a TEDTalk (embedded below), Post Secret founder Frank Warren shares some of the half-million secrets that strangers have mailed him on postcards.