Long form stories – ideas please

Felicity Wild
Tuesday 22 March 2016

The digital communications team is in search of research projects or stories from the University of St Andrews to showcase through long form storytelling. This offers an excellent opportunity to boost the profile of your research, expand your audience and get creative.

What is long form?

Long form storytelling is a multimedia and interactive style of narrative digital journalism.

With international news outlets ever expanding their digital presence, this method of journalism has enjoyed a surge of popularity in recent years, and with good reason. According to Forbes, long form content can improve your website’s SEO and lead to higher conversion rates. Not to mention it’s a really great way to engage readers with an in-depth exploration of a topic or story.

The digital communications team was inspired to experiment with long form storytelling by The New York Times’ iconic Snow Fall piece. This article uses text, photography, videos, 3D maps and animation to tell the story of a fatal avalanche at Tunnel Creek, part of the Cascades mountain range in North America.

The team worked on creating a template through which to tell long form stories, and this was piloted with the summer 2015 launch of Light Box, a piece featuring poet Robert Crawford and photographer Norman McBeath’s collaborative exploration of the relationship between photography and poetry.


This was followed later in the year by The Quad, which tells the story of Sallies Quad, one of the oldest and best known parts of the University.


Our most recent long form piece, Chinese Makars, was launched to coincide with Chinese New Year. It focuses on a project recently undertaken in the School of English which saw creative writing students translating traditional Chinese poetry into the Scots language.


What makes a good long form story?

The digital communications team would like to hear from you if you think your research project could be explained in plain English in approximately 2000 to 3000 words, would be of interest to a general (non-technical) audience and has the potential to be accompanied by multimedia elements.

If in doubt, contact us anyway on [email protected], we’d be delighted to hear your thoughts!

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