The Story Art & Science

Creative and cerebral theories on storytelling, from neuroscience to Nabokov.

Latest post
9 May 2024
Article Count
7 min read

Want to save the world? The ‘Robin Hood of public relations’ has some ideas.

Conservatives have long dominated the political battlefield with simple slogans (and simpler thinking). PR legend David Fenton, whose campaigns helped reverse the nuclear arms race and end apartheid in South Africa, says it's time the left did the same.

Luke Ryan


8 min read

The best music to write to (according to writers who listen to music while they write)

Classical. Motown. Mambo No. 5? Six authors on the music that keeps their words flowing.

10 min read

Getting sh*t done with Benjamin Law and Leigh Sales

The two journos talk about getting paid in CDs, encouraging public figures to talk about sex and death, phone taps and writing to make sense of the mess.

4 min read

What readers hate about books, according to 'The Washington Post'

Dreams, italics, the word “lugubrious”—here’s everything America’s newspaper of record wants writers to stop writing.

10 min read

Why doctors are turning to fiction to heal their patients—and themselves

In hospitals across the world, doctors are putting down their scalpels and picking up novels to better understand the sick.

Luke Ryan


8 min read

Did A.I. just become a better storyteller than you?

ChatGPT can write you a poem, an essay, or a Cormac McCarthy novel about a frog on a bicycle. Is this the end of human storytelling as we know it?

9 min read

How to bring down a government using numbers

Reporters tend to prefer words. But as award-winning data journalist Jack Kerr explains, sometimes a simple spreadsheet and a graph are all you need to make headlines.

Jack Kerr


3 min read

Would your dream like fries with that? How marketers are coming for your dreams

Advertisers want to insert commercials into your dreams. And according to this group of scientists, they're pretty close to having the tech to do it.

14 min read

Kurt Vonnegut graphed the world’s most popular stories. Do his diagrams tell us something important about humanity?

The Slaughterhouse-Five author believed there were just eight different story 'shapes'—and that they might be of interest to anthropologists. The anthropologists thought otherwise. But why?

3 min read

How Andrew Mueller pulled off one of the most interesting careers in journalism

The rock critic-turned-foreign correspondent reflects on a wild career—and shares his tips for those just starting out.

The Story


5 read

Writing behind bars: browse 220 years' worth of prison newspapers

It may not be your standard summer reading. But this collection of prison newspapers from 1800-2020 offers a compelling insight into human creativity.

The Story


3 min read

Margaret Atwood on storytelling as a tool of tyrants

Long before Putin convinced Russians he needed to liberate Ukraine of Nazis, author Margaret Atwood was observing how the powerful used stories as a tool to oppress.

The Story


5 min read

12 steps for making “iconic” TV shows, according to noted storytelling genius Jeff Bezos

The bazillionaire once listed a dozen storytelling elements every Amazon TV show had to include. They say more about our obsession with rules than they do about making good TV.

7 read

Why country songs are the tabloid journalism of music (and tabloid journalism is the country music of news)

They're often derided for their ‘so bad they’re good’ wordplay. But there’s a skill to crafting the perfect country song title—and journalists would do well to take note.

4 min read

The 6 best podcasts that know how to tell a story

Proof there’s more to podcasting than Joe Rogan.

The Story


8 min read

Battle of the brands: how today’s politicians are sold as products on a shelf

If Labor versus Liberal sometimes feels like Campbell’s Soup verus Heinz, that’s no accident.

4 read

The three secret language rules you obey without realising

Ever wondered why politicians flip-flop but never flop-flip? It’s just one of the obscure language rules you didn’t know you knew.

The Story


10 min read

How to vaccinate an island, according to science

To build trust in COVID vaccines, the island of Jersey turned to behavioural scientist Steve J. Martin. His advice? Use language, not logic.

4 read

Four TED Talks that will make you a better storyteller

Got an internet connection? You got yourself a crash course in storytelling, care of these wisdom-imparting videos.

The Story


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