The 52 – Help Me Make Stories (Update 1)
- Next year, I want to publish a new short story here on the site (and probably somewhere like Wattpadd as well) every Monday, for the whole year.
- Each story will be a collaboration, between me and one other person.
- I’d like that person to be you.
- Send me an image. A photo you love. Some art you made. Something you think is cool.
- Send it to storywright [at] gmail [dot] com.
- Use ‘The 52’ as the email subject, so it gets through my spam filters. In the email, introduce yourself if I don’t know you yet. By sending me an image, you’re promising me that you own it, and I have permission to use it.
- Don’t send pictures of your friends or family, as they might not like their image being used in this way.
- Don’t give me too much background about the image. Let it stand on its own feet, without explanation. It doesn’t matter what the picture’s of (though I might ask later). I just want cool images.
- I’ll use each image I get as the basis for a story. Things I never saw. Places I never went. Little moments of inspiration I would never have had on my own.
- When I post the story, I’ll post the image along with it. By sending an image, you’re asserting that you’re okay with that. Both story and image will stay online, and remain free. I won’t use the picture again without first contacting you and coming to a separate agreement. If I ever want to use it in something that might make money (ie, reprinting the image alongside the story in a book), that agreement will include financial terms.
- Because I get limited use of your image, it’s only fair that you get limited use of the story that it inspires. You can use the story for almost anything you like if you’re the collaborator. You’ll be credited when the story is published here, then can do what you want with it. Print it out, make art based on it, turn it into a screenplay and film it, write a song based on it… or just sit back and enjoy the collaboration. If you end up using the story to make a buck, then you need to drop me a line and come to an agreement, just as I do if I want to to put your photo in a book..
- Basically, I own the story. You own the image. We’re giving each other permission to have fun with them.
Since announcing this, I’ve had sixteen images sent to me. Nearly a third of the way there – and those images are fabulous. The tiniest lizards and butterflies I’ve ever seen, a watchtower at the edge of the world, iconic landmarks dressed in pink, shattered flags, abandoned childhoods, creepy drowned dolls, and so much more. I’ve even got two pieces of original art, which is thrilling. Thank you to everybody who has already sent something. I’ll try to do right by them, and will be in touch before I publish the stories here.
Last time I wrote I was going to wait to see if I received enough pieces to fill the year before I committed to doing it. Well, screw that. What I’ve already been offered is too exciting not to press on with. The 52 will definitely launch here in January.
Whether it does, in fact, run for 52 weeks depends on what else I receive. At the moment, it will dry up in April. That’s still an ambitious set of collaborations, but I’d love to be able to fill 2014, and I need more to do that. One thing I don’t want to do is use more than one image per person (though some have sent several along – in those cases, I’ll take my pick).
You can help that happen.
- Join in.
- If you haven’t sent something along yet, please do. Don’t worry about whether you’re a great artist, or world-class photographer (I’m hardly Dickens myself). Just send something you think is cool, or strange, or even (thank you Meghan) mystifying. Surprise me, and I’ll try to surprise you right back.
- Tell someone else who you think might get a kick out of this. An artist friend, a colleague at work who never puts their cameraphone down… anyone. Share this post by email, Facebook, Twitter, your own blogs… whatever. Nudge people this way. Help me find the people who want to make new stories.
it’s already going to be big, and fun, and a little bit crazy. Let’s make it bigger still.
You and me.
Let’s make us a story.
Tagged collaboration, short stories, the 52