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Storyteller | The Public Square Academy


***  April 7, 2019. this position has been filled ***

The Public Square Academy (PSA) is an adult and young adult continuing education platform offering civic and consumer education programs that emphasize interactivity (discussions and group work). The program offers fee-based classes and a membership/subscription. Since our programs do not offer credits or degrees, the values gained, and the quality of the experience must be compelling enough to attract customers. We are looking for a writer to develop the ‘Storification’ parts of our program, and to author short stories to be used in, and to promote the programs.

We will use fictionalization as a learning strategy to illustrate the lessons being taught, to pull participants into the program, and to set up interactions between program participants.

We will do this in two phases: In Phase 1: April (into May?) we will construct a series “Bible,” with guidance for educational program developers for fictionalizing their programs, and preparation for phase 2, which will be series plan for a ten-episode series of short stories designed for interactivity, and a complete “pilot” episode which will be used for program marketing/participant recruitment.

Phase 2 (May forward) is a second contract where the episodes – each focusing on a program topic area – are created over the course of a year.

You should be familiar with series bible construction, serialization, interactive educational strategies, have broad knowledge of societal subjects and issues, and be comfortable collaborating with others.

Send a letter of interest with your preliminary approach to meeting these requirements, your qualifications, and availability to michael@thepublicsquare.academy

Compensation to be negotiated base on an agreed scope of work. Phase two is a separate contract. PSA is based in Grass Valley, CA

Phase 1: April/May: Story “Bible” and guide

Working with the PSA director, develop 1) a story bible which describes a fictionalized universe (context, setting, locations, characters, etc.), and 2) guidelines which:

·         Program designers will use to bring story into their programs (classes, workshops, and forums),

·         PSA will use for marketing the brand and programs, and

·         The Storyteller will use to craft stories based in the universe for subscription promotion and programs.

The program stories and guide will include opportunities for students to role-play behaviors and scenarios and play out hypothetical situations.   By using fictional characters to represent challenging positions and views, this creates a safe space for program participants to evaluate positions and behaviors within the context of individual and group projects (case studies, role plays, etc.).

This phase of the project includes the creation of a Series One plot arc covering ten-twelve episodes for “season 1.” This phase includes the creation of a ‘pilot’ story and program to introduce the second phase of the project. The pilot will introduce backstories and establish the context and settings for the serialization project and will be used to market the program in May-June).

To develop a “series bible” and a series of ten-twelve short stories, or episodes for “season 1” of the program.

Phase 2 May/June + Serialization

We will offer an Interactive subscription with monthly themes in the civic/consumer education arena.  The subscription will also include games, book, clubs, capacity-building exercises, and topical forums. The storyteller will create an episode based in the story bible universe, in accordance with the season one plan. The story will tie in – to varying degrees – with these contributions and content streams in the months subscription. The story will be used in marketing the Academy subscription.

Initial ideas

~ 10  Short episodes which:

– Exist within the story universe

– Are short (15-25 minutes) and easily delivered over a variety of media (text, podcast, etc.)

– Focus on a thematic topic, including specific value propositions and perspectives relevant to the theme

– The story should have the character(s) “turn on key value(s)” to enable the reader to progress on the value as well.

– Be politically / socially balanced.

– Are designed to help participants reflect on and discuss their relationship to these values, beliefs, perspectives (some topics will be more personal, some will be societal).

– Include a cliff-hanger or break where participants can discuss, act out, formulate story endings. The choice of the ending might be tied to their choices around the values.

– Includes a ‘mentor’s guide’ for conducting an up to 90-minute workshop to work with the story and activities. The guide will include case studies/hypothetical, scripted role plays, etc. designed for group interactivity, discussion, and problem solving.

– Story conclusions TBD.  Pre-written? alternate endings?  Endings written to incorporate the subscriber’s up-voted endings?) for follow-up publication.

– Include a short video script for short teaser video:

– Incorporate graphics

The focus is on shifting values around thematic topics. Each of these programs has key values we address in the programs, the story should move to shift the reader along a continuum of these value(s).

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