LIFE101...

Share your story

We want to hear your stories!

There are 4 ways to share, depending on how much you want to be involved in the full process.

  1. (super-easy) Just call our “StoryMachine” at 785-370-4329 and tell your story.  It will be recorded and ready to be edited for future episodes.  We may contact you for additional information as needed.
  2. (easy) Send us a note (mike.wesch at gmail.com) to tell us about a story, topic, or event you think we should cover.
  3. (still easy) Come into our studio (Waters 201 – Kansas State University) or borrow one of our mics to share your story.  We will do the editing and production.
  4. (hard but worth it) Produce your own story.  We will help you with equipment and training as needed.

Tips for telling your story

  1. A story is usually a series of events with interesting characters who go through some profound changes through the course of those events.  Soren Wheeler of Radiolab once suggested to Jessica Abel that a great story is basically structured as follows:

    This happened _________, then this __________, then this __________ and then you wouldn’t #$%&*! believe it but __________.  And the reason that is interesting to every single person walking on the face of the earth is ___________.

  2. Mind the gap.  Create a gap between what is and what could be. Watch this clip from Nancy Duarte, which picks up from point 1 above.
  3. Embrace your real voice.  Nobody likes their own voice.  But everybody will love your real voice.  Be okay with who you are and how you sound.  The best stories are told by people we can relate to, not studio-genic or over-produced radio-voices.
  4. Bring us into the moment with details of what you see and how you are feeling.  If it’s too much, we can edit it out, but we need the audience to really feel what you are feeling.
  5. Reflect on what key turning points of the story meant to you then and mean to you now. Again, we can edit out anything that is too much later.
  6.  Try telling your story to a friend without reading it.  Record this if possible.  This may be the most authentic and real version of your story and may be the one most worth publishing.
  7. Also consider coming into the studio and telling one of us your story.  We’ll try to draw out the best pieces of the story that you might otherwise forget to tell.


For Producers

We recommend that you go through a 20 hour “training” to prepare yourself to produce for life101.audio.

Step One: Listen to great podcasts like this one, paying close attention to every technical event (every edit, cut, layer, fade, etc.) and try to identify how the story is told in terms of plot, characters, context, and how key points are made within the context of the story.

“Break Up” – Listen to the first 30 minute segment with Starlee Kine

Step Two: Take Jessica Abel’s 13 hour course on narrative storytelling.

Step Three: Teach yourself how to capture good sound by watching some YouTube tutorials, or come into our studio (Waters 201) and we will set you up in our sound room.  If you are not at Kansas State, get in touch with us and we can see what we can do to get you a mic or recording device if you don’t already have one.

Step Four: Watch tutorials on audio production like this series from Mike Russell on how to massage great sound out of your raw audio and then edit your audio into a great story using Adobe Audition.

5. Send us your final production, as the entire folder in which it was created so we can integrate it into the appropriate episode and make changes as needed.  We will be sure to send you an advanced draft to listen to and approve before publishing.

We are open to stories on any and all topics, but we are currently producing episodes on the following topics and are seeking stories now:

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