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APHL x The Story Collider: Call for Story Pitches

APHL x The Story Collider: Call for Story Pitches (with logos)

Did you hear that ID Lab Con, APHL’s newest conference, is in-person in Atlanta, GA for the first time in March 2023?? As part of the conference, on March 14, 2023, The Story Collider and APHL will host a very special edition of their live show. (More event details to come!) This is our second event with The Story Collider; our first was a virtual event in 2020.

In preparation for this exciting event, we are looking for storytellers. The Story Collider producers will choose three people to share true, personal stories related to infectious disease work in some way, showcasing the work and lives of the APHL community. The only requirements are that you must be attending ID Lab Con in person and your story must be related to infectious disease work in some way.

What is The Story Collider?

Science and public health shape everyone’s life—and that means everyone has science and public health stories to tell. The Story Collider produces dozens of shows all over the country. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they are all true and all very personal. Join us on March 14 for a very special edition of The Story Collider, featuring three true, personal stories about science from APHL members! While this will be a live event as part of ID Lab Con, the recording will be shared publically for everyone to enjoy.

What makes a good story for this event?

Stories are powerful. Whether hilarious or heartbreaking, subversive or soothing, it matters who takes the stage and what stories are told. Whatever your position in the lab, we want to hear yours! The story must have an arc. This means that you, the storyteller, change from the beginning to the end of the story. This change can be big or small—as momentous as becoming a parent or as small as learning to ask for help—but it has to be there in order for the audience to feel that the story is going somewhere.

Is this similar to a conference presentation?

The Story Collider is not the place for lectures: it is about lived experiences. And the format does not include slides or props. Though this is a science storytelling show, the goal is not to educate the audience, but to build an emotional connection between science and the public. So while each story must contain a significant science and/or public health element, please use only as much science as needed for the audience to understand and follow your story.

I have an idea, but it needs some help!

All you need at this point is the seed of an idea for your story. It can be about almost anything – being pulled away from your usual work to support mpox testing, a surprising realization while sequencing SARS-CoV-2, long days at the lab, supporting a team, misadventure, love, loss and more, but it must be about YOU. True, personal stories have the most power when they are about the person telling them. Let the audience in on your thoughts and feelings so they can go on the journey with you.

If you are selected for the show, keep in mind that there is a small time commitment involved. Every storyteller works one on one with a Story Collider producer to brainstorm and shape their story, and then they typically hold a group rehearsal one to three days before the show.

The Story Collider event will be recorded. If you would like to submit a pitch, please be sure to get any necessary permissions from your supervisor and public information officer.

Send your pitches!

Pitches are typically about one to two paragraphs long. As we said, the only requirements are that you must be attending ID Lab Con in person and your story must be related to infectious disease work in some way. Send your pitch to with “APHL Story Idea” in the subject line. The deadline for pitches is January 27, 2023.

Need some inspiration?

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