Friday, July 01, 2011

Introducing: The Real Story

Hooray! I'm delighted to be able to share the details about Openstories' new project, The Real Story. So here's the deal:

The Real Story is a celebration of creative nonfiction. Not that there’s anything wrong with fiction. Look, we like making stuff up as much as anyone else does, but we’re more excited about the creative possibilities of telling the truth. We love true stories (even mostly true stories), personal essays, memoirs, diaries, sketches and literary journalism. After all, life is much stranger than fiction.

We’re kicking things off this summer with a writing competition. We are inviting people to submit unpublished personal essays or brief memoirs of 2,000 words or less. The topic can be anything – your childhood, travels, reflections on life, a person you have loved – as long as it tells us a compelling story from your point of view.

The best submissions will be published alongside specially commissioned photographic portraits of the writers on a new website to be launched in October at the Manchester Literature Festival 2011, and some of the winning writers will be asked to read their pieces live during the festival.

To enter, email your submission as a double-spaced Word document to with “Real Story submission” in the subject line. Please include your full name and contact details and a 50-word biography. All submissions must be received no later than August 27 2011. We regret that we cannot consider entries from outside the UK.

If you’d like to learn more about using your own experiences as the basis for nonfiction writing, we’re holding a primer workshop, Life Writing Bootcamp, at Manchester City Library on Saturday July 30 from 11am to 4pm, with writer and Rainy City Stories editor Kate Feld. The workshop will cover developing and writing personal essays, memoirs, and first-person blogs. The cost is £25 (£20 concessions). Places are limited. To book call 01706 823264 (this is now the correct number, there was a typo before) or email See you there.


Cava Charlotte said...


How exciting, I'm definitely going to enter the competition. I wish I could come to the training day but it is my boyfriend's parent's wedding anniversary party in London that Saturday.

Is there any way it could by made into a webcast? Or filmed?



Kate Feld said...

Hey Charlotte, glad you like the sound of the project. The workshop is an all-dayer, so it wouldn't really work to film it or create a webcast. But you don't need to come to the workshop to enter the competition, it's open to anyone.

Chrissy Brand said...

Sounds a great idea- good luck to all entrants.