11th International Digital Storytelling Conference, June 20-23, 2023: Online the CfP

Welcome to the 11th International Digital Storytelling Conference, June 20-23, 2023. Our conference is part of a multi-institutional, multinational, three-year process organized by Loughborough University (UK), Montgomery College (US), Patient Voices (UK), Smithsonian Office of Educational Technology (US), StoryCenter (US) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (US).

After an inspiring conference in Loughborough last summer, we are excited to share with you the preliminary details of our upcoming summer conference in Baltimore/Washington (USA) co-hosted by Montgomery College (MC), the Smithsonian Institution, StoryCenter and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Proposals are currently being accepted for the conference, Radical Listening: Stories for a Just Future. As a way to foreground collaboration and partnership, the conference will include community visits in Baltimore, museum experiences in Washington, and conference presentations. To make it easy to move between conference spaces, bus transportation will be provided.

Day 1: UMBC campus; followed by optional Baltimore site visits (limited seating) and workshop sessions
Day 2: Montgomery College campus; concurrent sessions
Day 3: Smithsonian Institution; Washington, DC
Day 4: Virtual Day; led by StoryCenter

For our Virtual Day, we welcome groups to submit panels collaboratively and are open to pre-recorded panels with live discussion, particularly to enable inclusive participation. MC will host a physical space for those attending the conference in person and who wish to attend the Virtual Day alongside other conference goers.

We strongly recommend staying at the conveniently located Marriott in Silver Spring, Maryland, down the street from MC campus, on the border with Washington, DC, and on the DC metro line. There will be a conference rate for the hotel.

For further information, we invite you to visit our conference website and to view the Call for Participation for this upcoming conference here below.

If you have questions, please reach out:

We look forward to seeing you in June!

Digital Storytelling Conference 2023

Radical Listening: Story Work for a Just Future

We invite proposals for in-person and virtual participation in the 11th International Digital Storytelling conference (DST 2023), to be held in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore MD metropolitan region of the United States in June, 2023. Local hosts include the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Montgomery College; and the Smithsonian Institution.  

First held in 2003, the International Digital Storytelling Conferences are an opportunity for our global community of practice to gather, exchange ideas and share stories. This year’s conference will be the third in a series of multi-institutional, multinational collaborations organized by Loughborough University (UK), StoryCenter (US), UMBC – University of Maryland Baltimore County (US), Smithsonian Office of Educational Technology (US), Montgomery College (US), Patient Voices (UK).  The first event, a 24-hour online marathon was held in  2021 during COVID lockdown.  In June, 2022 an in-person conference took place in Loughborough (DST 2022).  DST 2023 will include a series of follow-on activities building on the themes of these previous events. The conference will host events (both in person and online) in its structure for inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices. 

Within the umbrella theme of Story Work for a Just Future explored across our three-year program of events, and in response to the current pandemic, for DST 2023:  Radical Listening: Story Work for a Just Future we are particularly interested in proposals with a focus on how our Story Work could help us and our communities… 

To frame your ideas you could also consider these and other possibilities as lenses through which look at context, content, purpose or practice:

  • Radical listening for amplifying voices
  • Cultivating hopes and healing for a just future
  • Story luminaries: Shining light on cultures, voices, and practices
  • Equity and access
  • Urgent story work in urgent times
  • Building and cultivating communities
  • Histories and cultures in storytelling 
  • Research on DS as research methodology; DS  for assessment; DS pedagogy

This conference will have three days of in-person sessions on June 20-22 and a final day on Friday, June 23rd that is fully virtual. All virtual presentations will happen on Friday, June 23rd. All conference contributors are invited to share their work in the following formats. 

Conference Formats: 

  • Academic, research-based paper. We invite you to share academic papers based on research related to the conference theme. These sessions will be 90 minutes with four 15 minute presentations plus questions. These presentations can be either in-person or virtual. Completed papers may be considered for inclusion in conference proceedings or journal publication.
  • Project reports as Pecha Kucha*. PechaKucha is a storytelling format where a presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary from the presenter on each slide.  We kindly request that all presentations designed to share case studies, works in progress, or the results of a project select this Pecha Kucha format which are tightly timed seven minute presentations. While we welcome case studies with examples of excellent or innovative practice, we are particularly looking to address questions around the role, purpose and direction of participatory storytelling. This session will be 90 minutes with each presentation being a strict seven minutes. There will be 8 presentations with Q and A and discussion after all of the presentations. There will be multiple themed pecha kucha sessions. These presentations can be either in-person or virtual.
  • Workshop with active participation of attendees. We invite you to develop a hands-on experience of story work for participants. There will be a computer lab available for hands-on skills based workshops. These sessions will be 90 minutes and in-person only.
  • Panel. We invite you to curate a panel of individuals to share their reflections on a common theme or context for story work. One person should apply as the facilitator and indicate the other panelists they hope to invite to join them. The panel will be 45 minutes. all in-person or all-virtual, no mixed groups). We are open to pre-recorded panels. 
  • Other: If you think you don’t  fit into one of these formats, please email us with your idea! 

*Pecha Kucha presenters will be asked to attend a 1hr workshop ahead of the conference to learn about the format. 

Submission guidelines & key dates:

  • 250-word abstract to describe your proposal 
  • Please specify in-person or virtual participation
  • Please specify which presentation format (see above). 
  • Include a title, your name, email address, and affiliation if applicable
  • Submit your abstract/proposal via the google form
  • Please indicate which format you wish to present in (multiple choice with the four formats listed above as options). 
  • Your preference for in person (Tues-Weds) or Virtual (Friday), or you have no preference.
  • Deadline for abstract submission: January 15, 2023
  • Notification of acceptance: February 17, 2023 
  • Final Abstract updated for publication submission: June 1, 2023

While the majority of the 2023 conference will be in-person sessions, the final day will be fully online. Please indicate if you intend to present in person or online. 

Conference registration information including fees is forthcoming. Any questions or inquiries should be directed to: dst-2023@umbc.edu