I've collected over 6000 handwritten stories from strangers. Now I'm inviting the world to do the same.
UPDATE: WE DID IT! INTERNATIONAL STORY DAY IS HAPPENING!
Last night we hit our goal—but let's not end there! There are just hours left to go and every bit we can raise will go towards bringing you more stories, creating a better experience, and reaching more people.
Remember, by pledging today you can get the new upcoming book, a story kit, t-shirts, and more. Thank you all for your outpouring of support throughout the campaign. I can't wait to make International Story Day HUGE. Please share this project with your friends and family to show them that we care about stories and that we're going to be a part of this global community.
My name is Brandon and I collect stories from strangers. Thousands of them, in fact.
I've been running a project that I am passionate about for the past four years and I am ready to take it to the next level with your help.
About the Strangers Project
The Strangers Project is a collection of anonymous stories written as “journal entries” on the spot by passing strangers. I ask people to write about anything they want—as long as it’s true. The result is a mosaic of stories from the lives happening around us at every moment. These are our friends, our families, and people we’ve never spoken to. Every moment billions of stories are unfolding—this is a glimpse into some of those things we may normally not notice. These are our lives.
You can read new stories every day and learn more about the project through several channels:
The Main Site: http://strangersproject.com
What Kind of Stories do people share?
Absolutely everything. Some of the stories are funny, some of them are tragic. Some of them are deep reflections on identity. Some of them are adventures. Everyone has a story. Here's a few of them:
What's Next? Stories from around the world.
Last summer I tried an experiment and invited others to participate in the project by collecting stories themselves. On July 28th, 2012, I sent 25 volunteer collectors in pairs around the city with packets of the things that I normally use to collect: A sign, stories (for people to read), pens, clipboards, and a LOT of paper. Throughout the day the volunteer collectors shared pictures and live updates of their experience for the rest of the world.
The day was a huge success. Now I want to take Story Day to the next level. We are going to invite people to be a part of the project again, but this time on a much larger scale. This summer we're going global with...
Over the past year I’ve received interest from 100s of volunteers in over 20 countries who want to share the Strangers Project where they live.
The project is all about creating public spaces for shared narratives. International Story Day will allow anyone to participate in the project—not only by sharing their story, but by collecting stories in their own communities as well.
International Story Day will take place later this Summer. We don't want to set an exact date until we can start to gauge just how many participants we will have, but we are going to shoot for a day in either August or September, 2013.
This event is going to take a lot of coordination. We are going to make the process as simple as possible to allow anyone that is interested in collecting stories to do so. Over the next couple of months we will be creating training materials and story kits (both official kits and do-it-yourself versions). We'll also set up everything you need to participate in the live stream of the day where participants will be sharing pictures, stories, and experiences in real time with the rest of the world.
At the end of it all, the collectors will send in their stories, and we'll compile a special book full of handwritten stories (both from strangers and from collectors about their experience of International Story Day) collected during the same 24 period.
We're ready for Story Day, we just need your support!
The Strangers Project (myself and my wonderful team of helpers) devotes hundreds of hours to collect, curate, and share these stories. I've dedicated my time and funds to developing the project and purchasing collecting supplies for the past four years. Since I moved to New York the project has grown exponentially. I've been lucky to have volunteers offer to help expand the project, and the Strangers Project could not have reached this level of success without their support. Now I'm turning to you to help make International Story Day a success. We've figured out the logistics and have volunteers ready to participate- the only thing keeping us from making International Story Day a reality is the funds, and here's why:
- We want anyone to be able to participate: This means we'll be creating lots of training materials, working out logistics, creating story-collecting kits, and putting together do-it-yourself guides for anyone that is unable to get the official kit.
- International Story Day book: Publishing the book will be a lengthy (but fun!) process. We'll need to go through all of the entries and organize them into a volume, design the layout and incorporate volunteer collectors’ responses to the event.
- Time is money: We've already spent a lot of time planning the logistics of the event to figure out what we need to succeed. Once we've successfully completed this campaign, coordinating the volunteers and making sure that International Story Day runs smoothly will be a full time job! Your support will allow our fantastic team to get through all the nuts and bolts of event-planning (and fuel the project meetings with coffee so we can make this all happen)!
Thank you for your support!
If you're interested in collecting stories on International Story Day you can fill out our brief interest form right here.
Update - T-SHIRTS!
The t-shirts we are making are screen printed by hand! We want to make sure you're getting a quality shirt, and the best way to do that is to make sure we're giving every shirt the attention it deserves.
Whether you're collecting on International Story Day or you just want to show how much you love stories, we've got a shirt for you!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
As for the physical materials, we've created them before and we're ready to make more for you. We hand screenprint our tshirts right here at home in Brooklyn. Brandon has created several books all the way from the design phase to being printed, shipped, and in the hands of the fans. We love making stuff, and we know you'll love what we make for you.
Organizing a global event is a BIG endeavor. We're going to have to pay a lot of attention to logistics, timelines, and even some stuff out of our control like weather. However, We've learned a lot about this project over the past four years and have had experience running events with similar goals.
Most importantly, we have an AMAZING team helping to make this a reality. We've got planners, organizers, thinkers and do-ers. We're confident that we can tackle whatever comes up and make this experience as smooth as possible for anyone that wants to participate.
We haven't set a final date because we want to see what kind of numbers we are working with first. The event will definitely be during the second half of summer. We are shooting for sometime in August or September, and the backers will be able to help vote on the final date.
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Receive special behind-the-scenes updates about our progress as we plan for the event, and our thanks for your support of the project!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Pack of 5 Strangers Project stickers! This will include both versions — "The Strangers Project" Logo and a "What's Your Story?" version.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
The International Story Day E-Book. Once participants send in their stories from all over the world, we'll compile as many as we can into a special book. The digital version will be available as soon as it's completed!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
5 backers Limited (10 left of 15)
One on One 30 minute skype Q&A — ask me anything about the project! This would be great for questions you have about collecting on the day of the event, or just curiosity about the project!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
Pack of 3 "What's Your Story" postcards. We love exploring handwritten story sharing—use these handmade postcards to surprise a friend or family member with some awesome mail!Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (30 left of 30)
Q&A Google Hangout! Join in on a google hangout and ask me anything for up to an hour (or more if the conversation keeps going!)—questions about collecting (great for those participating in the event!), experiences, or anything you want.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $24 or moreYou selected
34 backers Limited (216 left of 250)
Strangers Project T-Shirt! Perfect for wearing while collecting stories or just about anywhere. Free shipping in the US.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Print Version of the International Story Day book. This book will include original stories (handwritten and transcribed) from around the world collected over the same 24 hour period. The book will also include anecdotes from the participants about the event. Free shipping in the US. Also, since we like you, we'll include 5 Strangers Project stickers!Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
NYC ONLY - Come collect stories with me for a day! This includes receiving your own Strangers Project t-shirt to keep at the start of the day. A time will be set up that fits both of our schedules for sometime between June and September.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $55 or moreYou selected
Get ready to collect stories on International Story Day with an official Strangers Project story kit. Your kit will be equipped with everything Brandon uses to collect - clipboards, pens, paper, a collection of stories for people to browse, a sign, and handouts with information about the project.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Story Kit + Strangers Project T-shirt! Everything from the story kit (listed above) + your very own Strangers Project t-shirt. It's the complete story-collecting experience.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
We'll make you a 100% unique Strangers Project zine containing 10 hand-picked stories. Each of these publications will be a one of a kind collection. You'll also have an option to have a short inscription handwritten on the inside cover.Estimated delivery:Add $8 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)
You'll get a custom, hard-cover, limited edition print book of 150 hand-picked stories that I've received over the past 4 years. There will only be 20 copies of this edition created. Ever. The only way to obtain this edition will be through this campaign.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
Personalized Strangers Project print book. You will gain access to approximately 3000-5000 scanned stories and be able to select up to 150 to have printed in your own custom 8.5x11'' book. A special inscription may be added in the beginning of the book. Some additional copies may be purchased (send me a message for details).Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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