Vacuum Days now on sale! Launch events in London & Sheffield

Storythings’ first publication – Vacuum Days by Tim Etchells – arrived from the printers in Croatia this week, and it looks *gorgeous*. We are huge fans of Tim Etchells’ work at Storythings, and feel very honoured to be publishing Vacuum Days as our first book. The book is based on his 2011 web project Vacuum Days, a year-long project announcing a rolling programme of absurd and unsettling imaginary events responding to, reworking and distorting those of the year. 2011 was quite a year for news – with the Arab Spring, Phone-hacking enquiry and Occupy movement – and Vacuum Days is a  remarkable artistic response to those events.

You can pre-order the book at a special launch discout price of £15 at our Big Cartel site now – we’ll be shipping the books from the end of next week. We’re also hosting two launch events in London and Sheffield. The events are free, but please register on the links below if you want to come along. The book will be on sale at the Launch Discount price at both events, so if you want to save on P&P, come along and save even more money!

The London Launch will be at Battersea Arts Centre from 6.15pm on Friday, 23rd November. This will be part of ‘Neon Friday’, a larger event including readings from Vacuum Days, a performance of Forced Entertainment’s The Coming Storm, and a reading of another of Tim Etchell’s works, Sight Is The Sense That Dying People Tend To Lose First. You can register for the book launch via our Eventbrite page and book tickets for the other Forced Entertainment performance from the BAC site.

The Sheffield Launch will be at Site Gallery from 6.00pm on Tuesday, 4th December. There will be readings from the text, and the opportunity to buy signed copies at the Discount Launch price. You can register for the Sheffield book launch via our Eventbrite page.

We look forward to seeing you there! In the meantime, here’s a shot of the inside of the book to whet your appetite:

Worknote #4: Working with good people, The Story and publishing a book

We’re growing rapidly at Storythings right now, and will soon be announcing some exciting news about a new partnership, and what this will mean for the work we do. At the moment we’re working on two production projects – one for a major global charity, and one for an equally famous fashion brand – and also doing some really interesting development work for two UK broadcasters.

We’ll publish some more info on these projects as they emerge, but we can say that we’re working with a roster of awesome talent on these projects. The Storythings core team now includes Kim Plowright and Andrew Birley, and on these projects we’re working with Dan Catt, Chris Thorpe, Hugh Garry, Layla West, Pete Fairhurst, Natalia Buckley, Adrian Bigland and Dean Vipond. It’s fantastic having so many incredible creative brains around the office.

Secondly, our annual event – The Story – will be happening next year on Friday, February 22nd 2013, at The Conway Hall, London. As usual, it will be an eclectic and inspiring collection of artists, scientists, directors, writers and others talking about their work and what inspires them. We’ll be announcing the speakers over the next few weeks – the first speakers are economist Diane Coyle, co-founder of B3ta.com Rob Manuel, and theatre director Alecky Blythe. Tickets for The Story 2013 go on sale on Monday, 1st October at noon. Be quick – the first batch went in under 5mins last year…

Finally, Storythings is very proud to announce its first publication – an art book edition of Vacuum Days, an online project by Tim Etchells, the renowned artist, writer and theatre director who spoke at the very first The Story in 2010. That year, we published a newspaper that Tim contributed to, creating imaginary posters for bizarre events/performances. He developed the format in Vacuum Days – a year-long online text-based project which ran live from 1 January till 31 December 2011.

Comprising a series of one-per-day posters reminiscent of live show lineup announcements, Vacuum Days proposed a rolling daily programme of imaginary events that responded to, reworked and distorted real-life events. Inhabiting and extending the zone of sensationalist media, news as pornography, hyped up current affairs, Internet spam, twitter-gossip and tabloid headlines, the project mixed reality, political and theatrical spectacle and in a stark combination of overzealous capitals and small-print conjured a set of unlikely, absurd and uncomfortable performances, lectures, contests, fights, film screenings and other kinds of public display.

We’re very pleased that the book version of Vacuum Days will be published by Storythings, on 5th November 2012. Buying a ticket for The Story on Eventbrite will give you the opportunity to get a copy at a special pre-launch price of £15, plus P&P (although you can choose to pick it up in person at The Story in February, and avoid paying any P&P at all!). One final note – as a comical and bitterly mischievous parody of sometimes shocking news events, Vacuum Days is only suitable for mature readers, and should not be purchased by the easily-offended. Any of you who saw Tim perform his monologue Star-Fucker at The Story in 2010 will know the power of his writing already.

The Story 2012 - view of Conway Hall

Storythings Podcast Episode 4 – Tom Watson & Emily Bell

The fourth Storythings Podcast features Tom Watson MP and Emily Bell, Professor of Journalism and Director of the Tow Center at Columbia University, New York. Tom Watson has been a key figure in the Hackgate scandal, and interviewed James and Rupert Murdoch as a member of the Commons Select Committe on Culture and Media. Before moving to Columbia University, Emily Bell was Head of Digital at The Guardian, where she covered the emerging Hackgate story as it happened. In this frank and candid discussion, Watson and Bell talk about their personal experience of the scandal and what it means for Politics and Journalism in the UK. Recorded at The Story conference on Friday, February 17th, 2012.

Tom Watson’s book about his experiences of the Hackgate scandal – Dial M for Murdoch
- is available to buy from April 19th.

If you want to hear about other Storythings Podcasts, events, or The Story conference, you can sign up to our newsletter here.

Play the Podcast (25.07)


Download the podcast here. Subscribe via itunes here.

Storythings Podcast Episode 3 – Mary Hamilton

The third Storythings Podcast is now up,  featuring Mary Hamilton at The Story conference in February 2011.

Mary’s brilliant, funny and erudite talk discussed ZOMBIE, a LARP she runs, as a ‘story machine’. Covering playful narrative design, NERG guns as protagonist devices, and the balance between backstory and action, Mary’s talk is an incredibly insightful take on how storytelling emerges out of collaborative play. Most importantly, she discusses the term ‘frothing’ – the conversation players have after play – as a crucial element of interactive storytelling.

Mary’s talk was illustrated by a brilliant slide deck, embedded below. The script of her talk is also available on her site here.

Play the Podcast (25.07)


Download the podcast here. Subscribe via itunes here.


Storythings Podcast – Graham Linehan and Cory Doctorow at The Story 2011

The Storythings Podcast is an irregular series of podcasts featuring talks, interviews and discussion with some of the best creative talent working across Film, TV, Theatre, Games, Art and beyond. This second podcast is a recording of comedian and creator of Father Ted and The IT Crowd Graham Linehan and writer and blogger Cory Doctorow in conversation at The Story conference in February 2011.

In this conversation, Graham and Cory discuss how the internet has changed their writing practises, how it helps them structure and collaborate on stories, and also how they cope with its potential for endless distraction.

During the talk, Graham showed a picture that he used as inspiration for a scene in an episode of the next series of The IT Crowd. The picture is from the site Awkward Pet Photos and can be seen here.

Play the Podcast (25.07)


Download the podcast here. Subscribe via itunes here.

Storythings Podcast – Adam Curtis at The Story 2011

The Storythings Podcast is launching an irregular series of podcasts featuring talks, interviews and discussion with some of the best creative talent working across Film, TV, Theatre, Games, Art and beyond. The first podcast is a recording of renowned documentary film-maker Adam Curtis, talking at The Story conference in February 2011.

In this talk, Curtis discusses the difficulties of storytelling on the internet, issues a challenge to avoid the whimsy of the ‘circle of friends’ that seems to dominate contemporary media culture, and urges us to look beyond the surface of online culture to see the power structures that underpin it. Its a fascinating and challenging talk, exploring many of the themes that he develops in his new BBC 2 series All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace.

Play the Podcast (24.02)



Download the podcast here. Subscribe via itunes here.

The talk included two videos – one of a reporter for the BBC working in Afghanistan (not online, but the index of Curtis’ blog posts about Afghanistan are here), and one of a trailer for his work with Punchdrunk – It Felt Like A Kiss.