Portable Story Series

Portable Story Series A writing contest with an audio twist.

Welcome to Portable Story Series. Every four months, we host a short story contest. We announce a theme, and writers submit stories. The winning author receives 75% of the submissions proceeds or $250 – whichever is greater – and we profile the author on our site. We also work with a narrator at CDM Sound Studios to record the winning story, and we post a completed story production to our site, along with a behind-the-scenes video about the process. With each contest, we feature three organizations that are doing great work in the world. When downloading the winning story, we ask that listeners contribute to a featured organization. Portable Story Series is administered by CDM Sound Studios, located in Manhattan. Now in its 17th year, CDM has rapidly distinguished itself as a premier recording and editing facility, specializing in voiceover, ADR, and audio-post services. Working with the most famous and talented names in the industry, CDM's owner and lead engineer, Charles de Montebello, has won 2 Grammy awards and has been nominated for and won several Audie awards. With Portable Story Series, we're creating an online storytelling platform that merges our love for audio with support for positive social causes that deserve greater visibility. With access to some of the best voice talent out there, it seemed a small leap for our studios to bring your stories to life.

Mission: We're using our 25 years of experience in the audio industry to do something creative and give back. We believe that the best way for us to contribute to something larger is to collaborate with the talented actors and narrators we see every day and offer our resources to writers, readers, and the social sector. That's why we developed Portable Story Series. By celebrating storytelling and highlighting social issues that deserve greater visibility, we hope to make the world just a little bit better.

03/28/2018

Hi everyone, We hope you're all having a wonderful week! We've been a bit quiet lately and feel badly about this, so we wanted to share an update with you all. One of our team members recently experienced a personal loss, and so we've needed to take a little break for the time being.

We'll be back in action with our newest Grand Prize audio production very soon. Thank you, as always, for being part of our community of writers and listeners. We appreciate you!

—The Portable Story Series Team

Hello, Portable Story Series friends! After a brief pause, we're BACK. And we'd like to announce our newest Grand Prize-...
02/20/2018

Hello, Portable Story Series friends! After a brief pause, we're BACK. And we'd like to announce our newest Grand Prize-winning story and runners-up stories!

Congratulations to Enyeribe Ibegwam, author of 'Chinaware,' for winning our latest contest! The theme was 'Fear.'

Enyeribe Ibegwam, pictured below, was brought up in Lagos, Nigeria. His work has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story prize 2016, and he is a recipient of the 2017 Kimbilio Fiction Fellowship. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Congratulations also to the runners-up stories. They are:

'South of Ponce,' by Herve Comeau
'A Girl's Guide to the End of the World,' by Elle Wild
'Fishing with my Cousin,' by Camilla Macpherson
'Dragon Love,' by Leah Lamb
'What Kind are You,' by Melanie Lamaga

Over the next month, we'll work with a narrator to perform and record the Grand Prize audio production of 'Chinaware' at our home in New York, CDM Sound Studios, Inc. Stay tuned! 🎙️

——
In the meantime, you can listen to 'Daddy's Record,' written by Matthew B. Kelley and performed by Dion Graham. It won our 'Moment of Truth' contest: portablestoryseries.com/#listen 🎧

When you listen, in lieu of download fees, please consider giving to InsideOUT Writers, a non-profit organization that has two innovative programs for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and young adults. The Writing Program is offered to youths detained at four Los Angeles County juvenile detention facilities and consists of 40 weekly and bi-weekly creative writing classes led by volunteer teachers, as well as annual Writers’ Retreats at each of the facilities. The Alumni Program provides a continuum of care to Writing Program students who have been released from detention, offering an array of re-entry programming and services to support their transition back into their communities.

Thank you for being part of our community!
—The Portable Story Series Team

Did you know Portable Story Series is a 501(c)3 organization? We're funded by donations made through our fiscal sponsor,...
11/28/2017

Did you know Portable Story Series is a 501(c)3 organization?

We're funded by donations made through our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, as well as by $10 story submission fees. 75% of the proceeds generated from submission fees are given as a cash prize to the Grand Prize-winning author for each contest, and the remaining 25% are used to sustain our series.

Our Grand Prize Audio Productions are produced for free.

If you'd like to support our work this #GivingTuesday, you can donate to Portable Story Series via Fractured Atlas here: fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=15841

Donations sustain our series administration, outreach, and communications, and they enable us to provide small honorariums to contest judges and narrators.

Thank you so much for your support!
—The Portable Story Series Team

"Usually, my irrational bargaining goes something like this: I start working at around 10 if I’m feeling motivated, 11 i...
11/06/2017
Yaa Gyasi: ‘I write a sentence. I delete it. I wonder if it’s too early for lunch’

"Usually, my irrational bargaining goes something like this: I start working at around 10 if I’m feeling motivated, 11 if I’m not. I reread the work from the day before and/or passages that I think I got right in order to try to set the tone. I write a sentence. I read it aloud. I delete the sentence. I look at the clock and wonder if it’s too early to think about lunch. I tell myself that, if I can make it to 300 words, I can break for lunch. I write another sentence. This one I might like. If I’m lucky, it leads to a second sentence. I think: 'What is the point of all of this? Is anyone truly happy?' I delete the second sentence. I check my email. I have 15 new ones. I respond to them in my head, but don’t actually respond. I write a few more sentences. I get seven new emails. These ones following up on the emails that I didn’t respond to a few days ago. I think: 'What exactly does it mean for something to be ‘urgent’?' I plead with myself to write at least another 200 words. On the best days, I stop pleading, stop bargaining and watch-checking and fall into a rhythm so satisfying that I simply forget I’m working. So much of my writing day feels like well-digging. Sometimes I dig 200ft down before coming back up, dry. Every day I search for water."

-Yaa Gyasi in The Guardian #writers #amwriting #writerslife

The Ghanaian-American novelist tries to recreate the feeling of working on her award-winning debut in ‘the dungeon’, a dank nook in her first apartment

In the studio with Becky Ann Baker (and a young Pippin), recording our winning story for the “Love Story” contest. Mary ...
10/20/2017

In the studio with Becky Ann Baker (and a young Pippin), recording our winning story for the “Love Story” contest. Mary Liza Hartong wrote, “Falling in Love at the Lipstick Lagoon”. #shortystory #contest #nyc #writing #recordingstudio #recording #voiceover #girlshbo #

Just a few more hours! ⏰Short story submissions are due 11:59 pm ET www.portablestoryseries.com ✍️🎙️🎛️🎧Photo: Cliff John...
10/13/2017

Just a few more hours! ⏰
Short story submissions are due 11:59 pm ET www.portablestoryseries.com ✍️🎙️🎛️🎧

Photo: Cliff Johnson, Unsplash

Calling all writers— Stories are due TONIGHT! The winning author receives a cash prize, and the winning story is narrate...
10/13/2017

Calling all writers— Stories are due TONIGHT! The winning author receives a cash prize, and the winning story is narrated & recorded at our home, CDM Sound Studios, Inc.

Word count: 2,500-4,500. Genre: Fiction. Theme: Fear. 👀

Details & submissions: www.portablestoryseries.com

#PortableStory #Writing #Writers #ShortStory #Storytelling #AmWriting #Fiction | Photo: Quino Al, Unsplash

From Thomas Morris, author of "We Don't Know What We're Doing" — 30 Thoughts That Might Be Useful If You're Writing Shor...
10/12/2017
Thomas Morris on Twitter

From Thomas Morris, author of "We Don't Know What We're Doing" — 30 Thoughts That Might Be Useful If You're Writing Short Stories: twitter.com/tolmorris/status/918124310451097601 ✍️💻📚👍

#shortstory #writing #writers #amwriting #writerslife

“30 Thoughts That Might Be Useful If You're Writing Short Stories”

Stories are due TOMORROW (Friday the 13th)! ⏰ Word count: 2,500-4,500. Theme: FEAR. 😱 Fiction stories only, please.THE G...
10/12/2017

Stories are due TOMORROW (Friday the 13th)! ⏰ Word count: 2,500-4,500. Theme: FEAR. 😱 Fiction stories only, please.

THE GRAND PRIZE: The winning author receives $250, or 75% of the proceeds generated from story submissions (whichever is greater), and the winning story is narrated and recorded at our home, CDM Sound Studios, Inc. 🎙️

International entries welcome! www.portablestoryseries.com

——
Also! We recently released the Grand Prize audio production from our Moment of Truth contest, Matthew B. Kelley's short story "Daddy's Record," which was read by Dion Graham and judged by Rion Amilcar Scott (rionamilcarscott.com).

Synopsis: A boy finds himself in a dance with his father.

When you download "Daddy's Record" (17 mins, 48 secs), please support InsideOUT Writers, which runs two innovative programs for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and young adults, by donating to their important work.

LISTEN and GIVE: portablestoryseries.com 🎧💲

Thank you so much! —The Portable Story Series Team

——
(Image: Patrick Tomasso, Unsplash)

#PortableStory #ShortStory #Writers #InsideOutWriters #MatthewBKelley #RionAmilcarScott #DionGraham

Short story submissions for our current contest are due this Friday the 13th! The genre is fiction, and the theme is FEA...
10/12/2017

Short story submissions for our current contest are due this Friday the 13th! The genre is fiction, and the theme is FEAR. 👀
.
The winning author receives a cash prize, and the winning story is narrated and transformed into an audio production at our home in Manhattan, CDM Sound Studios, Inc. ✍️🎙️
.
Portable Story Series details & submissions (international entries are welcome!): portablestoryseries.com
.
Also! Be sure to listen to "Daddy's Record," our recently-released Grand Prize audio production of Matthew B. Kelley's winning short story from our Moment of Truth contest, narrated by Dion Graham and judged by Rion Amilcar Scott.
.
When you download "Daddy's Record," please consider supporting InsideOUT Writers with a donation. IOW runs two innovative programs for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and young adults.

Listen and give here: portablestoryseries.com 🎧💲

10/10/2017
Short stories due Friday the 13th!

Extended deadline! Submissions for our current short story contest are due this Friday the 13th! The genre is fiction, and the theme is FEAR. 👀
.
The winning author receives a cash prize, and the winning story is narrated and transformed into an audio production at our home in Manhattan, CDM Sound Studios, Inc.
.
Portable Story Series details & submissions: www.portablestoryseries.com
.
Also! Be sure to listen to "Daddy's Record," our recently-released audio production of Matthew B. Kelley's winning story from our Moment of Truth contest, narrated by Dion Graham and judged by Rion Amilcar Scott. Listen here: www.portablestoryseries.com
.
When you download "Daddy's Record," please consider supporting InsideOUT Writers with a donation. They run two innovative programs for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and young adults. Thanks, all!

10/05/2017
DADDY'S RECORD by Matthew B. Kelley; Narrated by Dion Graham

We're excited to release the newest Grand Prize-winning story for Portable Story Series, Matthew B. Kelley's “Daddy’s Record,” read by actor and narrator Dion Graham.

About the AUTHOR: Matthew B. Kelley is a writer and teacher raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He received a BS in Chemistry from Morehouse College. He has received writing fellowships from Kimbilio Fiction and Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop (Callaloo Journal). He currently teaches Chemistry at Langston Hughes High School in Atlanta, Georgia.

DOWNLOAD “Daddy’s Record” (17 mins 48 secs) here: portablestoryseries.com When you download, please consider supporting the great work of InsideOUT Writers, a nonprofit organization that has two innovative programs for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and young adults.

— —
About the NARRATOR: Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates 'The First 48' on A&E. An award-winning and critically acclaimed actor and narrator, he has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. Working with publishers large and small he’s been honored with numerous Audie Awards, the Odyssey Award and Odyssey Honors, many AudioFile Earphone awards, and multiple PW Listen Up Awards. He’s been named an AudioFile Golden Voice, Booklist’s Voice Of Choice, Publishers Weekly’s Narrator Of The Year, and to various other ‘Best Of’ lists. Known for excellence across genres his performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.

— —
About the JUDGE “Daddy’s Record” won our “Moment of Truth” contest, judged by Rion Amilcar Scott. Rion’s short story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016) was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize (PEN America) for Debut Fiction. Presently, he teaches English at Bowie State University. Read more: rionamilcarscott.com

— —
WRITERS— Submissions for our next contest close soon! The theme is “Fear,“ the genre is fiction, and the due date is Friday, October 13th. Submissions & details: www.portablestoryseries.com

#PortableyStory #InsideOutWriters #MatthewBKelley #RionAmilcarScott #DionGraham #Fiction #ShortStory #Storytelling

Dion Graham recently joined us to record Matthew B. Kelley's short story, DADDY'S RECORD, at CDM Sound Studios, Inc. Mat...
10/05/2017

Dion Graham recently joined us to record Matthew B. Kelley's short story, DADDY'S RECORD, at CDM Sound Studios, Inc.

Matthew's story won our Portable Story Series MOMENT OF TRUTH contest, judged by Rion Amilcar Scott (rionamilcarscott.com).

We'll be releasing the Grand Prize audio production of DADDY'S RECORD this week! When you download, in lieu of fees, you'll have the chance to give to InsideOUT Writers.

About the narrator: Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates 'The First 48' on A&E. An award-winning and critically acclaimed actor and narrator, he has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. Working with publishers large and small he’s been honored with numerous Audie Awards, the Odyssey Award and Odyssey Honors, many AudioFile Earphone awards, and multiple PW Listen Up Awards. He’s been named an AudioFile Golden Voice, Booklist’s Voice Of Choice, Publishers Weekly’s Narrator Of The Year, and to various other ‘Best Of’ lists. Known for excellence across genres his performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.

#PortableStory #ShortStory #Narration #Storytelling #Fiction

WRITERS— Submit a short story to our latest contest for a chance to have it narrated and recorded at our home, CDM Sound...
09/27/2017

WRITERS— Submit a short story to our latest contest for a chance to have it narrated and recorded at our home, CDM Sound Studios, Inc. Stories are due October 8! ✍️🎙️🎧

Our current theme: FEAR. Genre: FICTION. Word count: 2500-4500. Details & submissions: portablestoryseries.com

#PortableStory #Writers #Writing #ShortStory #Storytelling

Congratulations again to our latest Grand Prize winner, Matthew B. Kelley! His short story, DADDY'S RECORD, won our MOME...
09/26/2017

Congratulations again to our latest Grand Prize winner, Matthew B. Kelley! His short story, DADDY'S RECORD, won our MOMENT OF TRUTH contest, judged by Rion Amilcar Scott (rionamilcarscott.com).

Actor and narrator Dion Graham joined us at CDM Sound Studios, Inc. this week to narrate Matthew's story. 🎙️

Read about Dion in AudioFile Magazine: audiofilemagazine.com/narrators/dion-graham

We're editing Matthew's story and will have the Grand Prize audio production ready for your ears this week! 🎧

Matthew B. Kelly is a writer and teacher raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He received a BS in Chemistry from Morehouse College . He has received writing fellowships from Kimbilio Fiction and Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop (Callaloo Journal). He currently teaches Chemistry at Langston Hughes High School in Atlanta, Georgia.

——
WRITERS— Submissions for our current contest are due October 8th! The theme is FEAR. The genre is fiction. Details and submissions: portablestoryseries.com ✍️

#PortableStory #Writers #Narrators #Storytelling #ShortStory

09/22/2017
B.J. Novak

The power of words and voice.

I am so proud to say that The Book With No Pictures, a #1 New York Times Best Seller, is celebrating its two year anniversary today, with over a million copies in print in 26 languages. If you know a kid who loves to laugh:

Happy birthday to Stephen King, who turns 70 today. Here's an interview from a few years ago between King and The Paris ...
09/21/2017
Stephen King, The Art of Fiction No. 189

Happy birthday to Stephen King, who turns 70 today. Here's an interview from a few years ago between King and The Paris Review's Christopher Lehmann-Haupt & Nathaniel Rich.

"For me, even when the writing is not going well, if I don’t do it, the fact that I’m not doing it nags at me. Writing is a wonderful thing to be able to do. When it goes well, it’s fantastic, and when it doesn’t go so well, it’s only OK, but it’s still a great way to pass the time."

#StephenKing #LongReads #Writing #Fiction

 King in Bangor, Maine, 1994. Stephen King began this interview in the summer of 2001, two years after he was struck by a minivan while walking near his home in Center Lovell, Maine. He was lucky to have survived the accident, in which he suffered scalp lacerations, a collapsed right...

"It's one of those forms that requires, really, utterly ― like, you've got to be a gem-cutter, in a way." ―Junot DíazJun...
09/18/2017
Junot Diaz and Karen Russell on the Difficulties of Writing Short Stories (video) - Aerogramme Writers' Studio

"It's one of those forms that requires, really, utterly ― like, you've got to be a gem-cutter, in a way." ―Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz and Karen Russell talk writing and short stories.

Aerogramme Writers' Studio, The New Yorker

#shortstory #writers #amwriting #storytelling

Filmed at The New Yorker Festival in October, this video features Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Junot Diaz and Karen Russell, author of the acclaimed Swamplandia, discussing the difficulties writers experience when writing short stories. Diaz and Russell are in-conversation with The New Yorker’s s...

Read about our most recent Portable Story Series judge, Rion Amilcar Scott, who selected Matthew B. Kelley's short story...
08/22/2017

Read about our most recent Portable Story Series judge, Rion Amilcar Scott, who selected Matthew B. Kelley's short story, DADDY'S RECORD, as the winner of our MOMENT OF TRUTH contest.

Rion Amilcar Scott’s work has been published in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Fiction International, The Washington City Paper, The Toast, Akashic Books, Melville House and Confrontation, among others. A story of his earned a place on the Wigleaf Top 50 (very short) Fictions of 2016 and 2013 lists, and one of his essays was listed as a notable in Best American Essays 2015.

He was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland and earned an MFA from George Mason University where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart award and a Completion Fellowship. He is a Kimbilio Fiction fellow.

His short story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky) was published in August 2016 and was chosen for The Rumpus's Book Club. Wolf Tickets is forthcoming from Tiny Hardcore Press. Presently, he teaches English at Bowie State University.

Find him on Twitter: twitter.com/ReeAmilcarScott

portablestoryseries.com/#judges

#RionAmilcarScott #PortableStory #writing #writers

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