Round-up on stories and social change
WHAT MAKES A STORY GREAT: Above, a group of writers, journalists and producers tell The Atlantic magazine what makes a story great. The video was shot at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Among their answers: honesty, and the openness that honesty requires.
“RUTHLESS” WRITING: Zadie Smith says that writing is a “magical, ruthless discipline.” Here’s the transcript and the video from the writer’s acceptance speech upon winning the Moth Award for storytelling.
FICTION AND SOCIAL CHANGE: The Working Narratives guide on Storytelling and Social Change covers principally true, first-person stories. But can fiction or feature films change things, too? Last week, the New York Times hosted an online “Room for Debate” forum on so-called “cli-fi” — climate fiction, a subset of science fiction having to do with climate change. The six respondents said, variously, that cli-fi helps us imagine possible futures or mistakes the real science. Speaking of which, the Times also ran this 2012 opinion piece what your brain looks like when you are reading fiction. Says the article: “The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated.”
STORYTELLING STRATEGY: Please follow “Storytelling Summer,” our blog series in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Every Wednesday through Labor Day, Working Narratives’ managing director Paul VanDeCarr answers nonprofits biggest questions about storytelling for social change. In today’s piece over at the Chronicle, the topic is how to craft a “storytelling strategy.”