Call for Stories

Call for Stories

The Bushfire Stories project aims to provide a platform for people to tell their stories and to be heard. At this project’s heart is the development of an online archive for community stories about Australian bushfires that can be accessed by anyone. This archive is a multimedia space to express, engage with, and understand diverse perceptions, experiences, impacts, and responses of bushfire-affected communities – including those not well captured in the narratives and testimonies circulated through traditional media or as part of temporary museum exhibits.

We are seeking stories from anyone who is willing to share them. A ‘story’ can be anything from a written or spoken account of firsthand experiences to more artistic and creative storytelling. These stories can be tied to any bushfire season, event, or related issue in Australia.

Submitted stories will be reviewed by our team. Where necessary, feedback and suggested revisions will be offered to help improve submissions. Some curation of content will be undertaken, and we cannot guarantee that all submitted stories will be published.

Story Prompts

The following ‘prompts’ indicate the broad range of stories we are collecting:

– Stories of close encounters with bushfires.
– Stories of the impacts and/or loss experienced through bushfires.
– Stories of hope and/or heroism.
– Stories of rebuilding and recovery.
– Stories of living with bushfire risk and preparing for fire seasons.
– Stories of the indirect impacts of bushfires.
– Other bushfire stories not covered above.

If you feel you have a relevant story to tell, based on your own understanding of these prompts, consider submitting it or getting in touch with us to discuss it further.

Media Forms

This project is also open for stories to be told through different media forms:

– Text stories that are between 500 and 3,000 words.
– Audio stories no longer than 15 minutes.
– Video stories no longer than 15 minutes.
– Creative/Artistic submissions (i.e. poetry; artworks; music; photographic essays etc.).

Feel free to submit a story within the medium you are most comfortable with. How you tell your story is entirely your choice!

This publicly accessible archive of stories will also inform our research on how communities understand, experience, and narrate bushfires. Further information on this research is available in the Participant Information Sheet on the submissions page.

To submit a story, go to the submissions page. Please ensure that you read the Participant Information Sheet as well as upload a signed Consent Form with your story.

Bushfire Stories is a collaborative project being run by researchers based in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and the Sydney Environment Institute at The University of Sydney. We encourage you to spread the word about this call for stories. However, bushfires can be distressing topics especially for those directly impacted by them. We ask you to be mindful of this in discussing this topic and this project with others.