Vermont Press Releases

StoryhackVT builds a new way to tell stories

September 17, 2013

Nate Herzog
[email protected]

24 Hour Storytelling Contest Comes to Burlington October 19th & 20th

BURLINGTON – On October 19th and 20th, in Burlington, VT, twenty teams will get to design new ways to tell stories. The inaugural StoryhackVT is a contest to create an original story, across at least three different media, in 24 hours. The winning team will need to bring together people interested in art, design, and technology to compete for public votes and a cash prize, all while showing off their best storytelling skills.

StoryhackVT takes its premise from computer hackathons, where the tech-inclined come together for an intense period of collaboration on projects, usually in response to a specific challenge. The annual Vermont Hackathon, for example, gives teams a list of open data sets and they need to use at least one to invent a useful app with a Vermont theme. The popularity, and the limits, of these traditional hackathons helped inspire the new Storyhack storytelling event, according to founder Nate Herzog.

“I knew a bunch of designers and communications folks who were participating in the [Vermont] Hackathon,” Herzog said, “And I said to them ‘but you don’t know how to code’ – and they said that they still wanted to be part of the creativity and just the culture of the hackathon, coming up with something totally new in a short time. So I thought, why don’t we make an event that includes creative types? Something that combines the idea of a hackathon with a challenge that works for non-programmers, too.”

Herzog is impressed by how creativity in both technology and arts flourishes in Vermont, and he wants StoryhackVT to showcase how the two can come together.

The supporters lined up behind the first StoryhackVT show a partnership of arts and technology. The Flynn Center for Performing Arts and Burlington City Arts, along with the co-working space Office Squared, have donated workspaces for the teams. Goddard College is a sponsor, along with Loughran & Wahlig Attorneys and Northshire Bookstore – the first independent bookstore to use the Espresso Book Machine’s on demand printing technology to become both book seller and mini-publishing house. Vermont’s Tech Jam, the popular job fair and tech expo, is providing the space for the contest kick off and a Storyhack booth.

Herzog notes that participants aren’t expected to lock themselves in their assigned work spaces for the entire 24 hours. They’re encouraged to participate in Tech Jam, go out into Burlington, collect ideas and material from anywhere they like. Hannaford’s Supermarkets and Boloco have both donated food for the participants during the event. .

The event kicks off at 10:00 am on October 19th at Memorial Auditorium in Burlington. 24 hours later, each team presents their stories in the same location beginning at 10:00 am, October 20th. After presentations, the polls open at where the general public can vote for their favorite story. The event ends at a reception and awards ceremony at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center starting at 5:00 pm. Anyone interested in details on registering a team can go to

People following the contest during the 24 hours and casting their votes will be able to find updates at and on Twitter using #StoryhackVT. Channel 17 / CCTV will also be live streaming story presentations at 10:00 am on Sunday, October 20th.

Any questions can be sent to [email protected]

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