Everything I’ve Learned in 2022 (So Far)

Hi friends, 

I haven’t sent an update in a while so I thought I’d say hello and share a few quick notes. I’ve worked remotely for eight years now, and one of the biggest lessons I learned is that it’s critical to document your work. 

So with that in mind, here’s a quick recap: 

We launched Ursa Story Company in June with our first podcast, Ursa Short Fiction, hosted by the brilliant authors Dawnie Walton and Deesha Philyaw. The show format is what you might call “anthology chat” — a mix of conversations about great writing and storytelling, combined with fully produced audio stories performed by voice actors. We hit #4 on the Apple Podcasts charts (Arts category), we reached thousands of listeners, and we had a terrific response to the first season, which wrapped at the end of October. Go listen.

If you’ve already listened, you won’t need me to tell you that we are in the middle of a renaissance for short stories—particularly from marginalized voices that have been historically excluded from the publishing industry. I believe that audio is an intimate and immersive way to highlight that work, and Dawnie and Deesha are building an amazing library of stories from the past and present, available for everyone to listen to, for free. 

The show is being funded by sponsors and members — and we’re so grateful for all the early support we’ve received. (We’ve also got some excellent bonus episodes for Members.)

I wrote this tweet, which is an encapsulation of how I’ve felt working with so many creative artists and writers along the way: 

Work with us! 

We’ve begun production on Season Two, and Ursa Story Company is now open for business if you’d like to work with us: You can join us as a sponsor, and we’re also going to be producing more podcasts, audiobooks, and social content (Instagram/TikTok/YouTube) for select clients, so drop us a line if you’d like to collaborate: mark@ursastory.com

Let’s go make a Lego movie together.


About this Newsletter

Mark Armstrong is the co-founder of Ursa Story Company and founder (emeritus) of Longreads. Based in Seattle.

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