If you are ready to participate, fill out the form below and let’s get started. We’re collecting stories from Dayton, Ohio, and beyond, so welcome volunteers from across the globe.
Storyteller + Writers
All stories are told using The Facing Project model. This means you aren’t alone. Each story is a collaboration between a storyteller (person sharing their lived experience) and a writer (collaborator who listens to storyteller and helps create and organize a 1,000 word story based on their conversation). You can review the guidelines beneath the sign up form below.
You’ll collaborate on a story that will be included in our archives, featured online and in a book available on Amazon and in bookstores, and possibly air on our NPR show.
We welcome any volunteer artist interested in being matched with a story or storyteller to inspire their work. In past projects photographers have contributed photos to our books, actors have created performances based on stories, and other artists have contributed works that have been featured in public displays and at related events.
March 15th: All volunteers recruited. You may still volunteer after this time, but there’s not guarantee that your story will be included in the book to be published for the Dayton community.
Last week of March: 60 – 90 minutes story training for all volunteers. Attendance is suggested, but we’ll share videos to catch you up if you are unable to make it.
April 22: First draft of stories due to editors.
August: Book launch and community event
Guidelines / Tips
Meet face-to-face (if possible or on Skype) with your partner. Allow ample time for a chat. Try to find a key moment or a few key moments of the storyteller’s life to dive into. Focus on details that take us into these moments.
All stories are written in the first person (I knew everything was going to change the day…) from the storyteller’s perspective. Think of this as a monologue. Stories are typically between 800 to 1,200 words in length.
Voice! Voice! Voice! Record the conversation. Writers take good notes. We recommend transcribing the audio from the parts of the conversation you want to focus on. There are transcription services that do this automatically when you upload audio. We recommend Temi.com, which does this in under 5 minutes. The first upload is free at Temi, and 10-cents/minute after that.
Tell true stories. Don’t make anything up. Don’t embellish.
Be careful naming 3rd parties. We prefer not to get sued, so if a story mentions a third party (person, institution, or business) in an unflattering manner, please use discretion whether to name them directly. Our editors will be watching out for this as well. We’re all for raging against the machine, but at times we have to tread carefully so the machine doesn’t chew us up and spit us out.
Stories should focus on lived experiences and what was learned and felt. Stories shouldn’t be rants or manifestos or analysis of current events or a time to grind an axe.
You don’t have to give every single detail – the best stories just drop the listeners right into the story without having to give the listeners every single detail.
Great questions lead to great stories, but the most important thing is to be genuinely interested in the person you are talking with. An ideal scenario is that you ask: “What made you want to share your story with this project?” and then the conversation flows from there. That said, it’s not a bad idea to have a few questions prepared. Story Corps has a great list of questions.
You are collaborators, but the storyteller has ultimate control over the story. It’s common that the writer takes a shot at the first draft, but after that the storyteller says what stays, goes, or is added. It’s their story!
Once you’ve both reviewed the story submit your story.
We’re here to help. Our team of editors at The Facing Project have polished thousands of stories. We can help get your story to the place where it makes the most impact, spreads understanding and inspires action.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org