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HomeStoryteller of the Year 2020-21

We have put together some notes to guide you through the Storyteller programme. There is something in the programme for everyone, whether you intend to submit a story, are willing to help other members prepare their submissions, or just want to learn some new skills.


For discussions and questions we’ll use a dedicated Forum. All members can read this forum, but if you want to post there you must first join the "Storytelling and Photo Essays" interest group:

Sign Up on the Interest Group

After you have done that it will take a bit of time before your forum posting rights are granted. If you still can't post 24 hours after signing up, email the webmaster for help.

Some storytelling resources are available to members in our Document Library. Search there for the "Storytelling" tag.

You can also contact Richard, Gerard or Paul with any questions.


Your final submission needs to be ready in January, made up of up to seven photos, and you can choose just to add a title, or also to caption each photo. 

Some Tuesday evening society meetings will be dedicated to storytelling, and the competition closes in January, so there’s nothing to stop you getting started now. 

We’ll update this information during the programme, and the key dates are as follows:


Programme opening: This year’s programme opened on 1st September, with Jim Grover talking about his approach to storytelling and photo-essays. You can read more in our blog

1st October: How are your ideas coming together? Think about themes and ideas for your story. Do you want to work with a buddy, to help you edit your story?

20th October: A ‘Four Corners’ evening meeting, with an opportunity to talk about your stories in the break, as they start to take shape. 

3rd November: Mimi Mollica, friend of the society, presents at our Tuesday evening meeting

17th November: PhotoEntry website opens for initial submissions, consisting of up to ten photographs. This will be a work-in-progress, and you may subsequently change or edit these pictures. Some of these submissions will be selected at random for review in December by 2018 Sony World Photography Awards winner, Alys Tomlinson who talked to us recently. See below.

1st December: Everyone who intends to enter must upload their initial shortlist to the PhotoEntry website, to enable selection for review by Alys Tomlinson. 

15th December: Alys Tomlinson attends our Tuesday evening meeting, reviewing and commenting on submissions. 


1st January: Are you prepared to submit your final photos, or do you need to re-shoot? How are you getting on with editing? 

5th January: PhotoEntry opens for final submission, allowing one panel of images from each participating photographer. Don't wait until the last minute. You can continue revising your panel in PhotoEntry up until the deadline.

19th January: Submission closes in PhotoEntry. 

2nd February: Jim Grover will return to review entries, announce his top three stories, and announce our Storyteller of the Year

Notes on submitting your photos

While there are few formal rules for our storytelling competition this year, there has been a lot of discussion.  So following questions raised on Zoom last Tuesday, this is an update on requirements.

1 The intention was that it would be good if the images were taken in lock-down this year, but that is not a requirement.  There are no date limits - only we are trying to encourage each other to take photographs, and to learn from our speakers.

2 Everything has been set up for PhotoEntry.  It is PhotoEntry that sets the limit of 50 characters both within the title, and caption for each image.  Be aware that a space or punctuation counts as one of the characters. Go to

3 Don’t feel compelled to caption everything.  Indeed, it could be seen as a strength if the pictures ‘speak for themselves’.  So, no other rules other than 2 above.  Keep the written distraction to your images to a minimum.

4 There is a restriction on image size.  You have to comply with the PhotoEntry requirement.  However there is no requirement to stick to any particular aspect ratio.  Equally, there is no reason that you have to use the same aspect ratio for all of your images.  Crop as you like.  Be aware that a very wide aspect ratio will end up looking quite pixelated due to the image submission requirements.

5 The intention is to have a final set of 5 to 7 images maximum.  In your initial upload, you could have up to ten images, but you will need to edit down for the final presentation.

6 Gerard will be in contact with Alys Tomlinson over the next week to finalise details for the Zoom review of submissions on the 15th of December.  Any updates will be via the storytelling forum.  What an opportunity!  A portfolio review by a world class photographer!

7 This is a suggestion;  talk to others in the society, or to friends, family about your story and ask them to look at your developing story.  You don’t have to accept comments, but it is really useful to have someone cast an eye over what you are doing. 

Good luck!

Read about the previous "Storyteller of the Year" competition here.

 Copyright Warning  The copyright of all images on this site is retained by the photographer, and they may not be copied or used without permission.