Story Trails

Challenge: Help to develop StoryTrails 2.0, an iteration of the 2022 immersivestorytelling project and an opportunity for communities to reimagine their local heritage for the metaverse. You will support the development and testing of new immersive formats via access to a network of public libraries.

Working pattern:
Either full-time over six months or part-time over a year. Most work can be conducted remotely, but there will be days spent at StoryFutures offices in Egham and travel for fieldwork.

Who we’re looking for:
Someone with a proven background in factual production (TV/Audio/Digital), experience in engaging underserved communities and an enthusiasm for the new and the unknown which includes undergoing training with leading edge technologies.

Start date:
Story Associates will join the scheme in early September. They will start by taking part in a Deep Story Training Camp and will then move on to their Host projects and placements.

You might approach this as an exploration of how your existing production and storytelling skills and experience could support the development of new, exciting and scalable immersive formats.

£37,099, pro rata, point 30 on National Spinal Point, or equivalent value fellowship grant (paid on supplier contract basis).

The scene is set…

When was the last time you went to your local library? Next time you visit, you might be in for a surprise! Across the UK, library doors are opening up portals to a people’s metaverse, an immersion into time, space, and a chance for everyone to explore their hometown… differently. Swipe that library card and you will be stamping history onto geography, and making the augmented and the virtual a magical reality for communities. Local communities will have their stories told and their heritage seen, touched and preserved in this metaverse that will represent the full diversity of the UK. And if that’s not exciting enough – this is your chance to be part of the team designing and storifying this metaverse.

StoryTrails is the UK’s largest immersive storytelling project to date. It began in 15 towns and cities generating hyperlocal stories of community heritage, explored in virtual and augmented reality. 15 libraries were transformed into digital portals, allowing these immersive local histories to reach over 1.5 million people. The project lead for StoryTrails was StoryFutures, a cutting edge Research and Development Catalyst run by Royal Holloway University and the National Film & Television School. StoryTrails’ other partners included the BFI, BBC, Niantic, Nexus Studios, and Iso Design. In 2023 StoryTrails was nominated for a SXSW innovation award, it was an Honoree at the 2023 Webby Awards and it won best use of digital at the 2023 Museum & Heritage Awards.

Now, StoryFutures are developing StoryTrails 2.0. This iteration will enlist more UK libraries, and engage more communities in order to understand what a national platform and a scalable people’s metaverse might look like.

A hero is summoned…

StoryFutures are calling for a hero to help them take forward the development of new immersive formats for StoryTrails 2.0 that can be used inside their network of public libraries. This hero will need existing skills in factual production, an understanding of how to research and conduct their own interviews, and how to elicit great stories from a wide group of largely under-represented communities. They will also need to be inquisitive, enthusiastic and eager to receive training in the use of new, emerging, creative technologies.

An adventure gets underway…

This adventure is an opportunity to be part of an innovative, cutting edge team of digital creatives and to develop research that supports StoryFutures’ mission to grow the UK’s creative industries. It’s also an opportunity to work with and alongside some of the most exciting companies in the creaTech space.

Our StoryFutures hero will be mentored by senior academics, executive producers and by the libraries and VR distribution team StoryFutures already have in place. The hero will also undertake development and training sessions with leading digital agencies and be expected to participate with a network of UK’s public libraries, the staff that work there and the communities that use them. They will work in an interdisciplinary environment in which creative media production, psychology, engineering, design, and ethnography intermingle on a daily basis. They will also have the freedom, within a set of defined technical and editorial guidelines, to develop and design pilots and prototypes that push the boundaries of rapidly emerging and increasingly user-friendly technologies.

This adventure will contribute to the StoryArcs mission to explore the value and uses of Story Skills in life, learning and work. The findings brought back to StoryArcs HQ will be crucial in our development and co-creation of a Story Skill Set.

This is one of eleven projects. You can find out more about the Story Associate opportunity and explore all eleven opportunities.


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Read the StoryFutures Role Description

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