Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About StoryCorps

What is StoryCorps?

Founded in 2003 by Dave Isay, StoryCorps has given more than 450,000 people — Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs, in towns and cities in all 50 states—the chance to record interviews about their lives. Each interview is preserved at the Library of Congress. Select stories are shared with the public through our weekly podcast, broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, wisdom and values; engender empathy and connection; and remind us how much more we have in common than divides us.

Where does StoryCorps get its funding?

StoryCorps is an independently funded, 501(c)(3) organization. We rely on government, foundation, and corporate financial support and support from individuals like you. Learn how you can support StoryCorps.

How is StoryCorps affiliated with NPR?

StoryCorps is an independently funded, 501(c)(3) organization. Since 2005, we have been proud to produce segments that are broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition and on the NPR website. Each week, these broadcasts reach 11 million listeners. StoryCorps raises funds independently in order to help the largest number of people record their stories. If you would like to see StoryCorps in more cities, please consider giving a tax-deductible donation.

If I donate to NPR or my local radio station, does my donation also go to StoryCorps?

No. Because StoryCorps is an independently funded organization, we raise our own funds from individuals, foundations and corporate supporters. Please make a tax-deductible donation today to help keep StoryCorps open and accessible to all.

Can I bring Dave Isay or another StoryCorps staff member to speak at my event?

StoryCorps Executive Team and staff are frequent speakers at community and corporate events.
StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay and CEO Robin Sparkman are represented by the Tuesday Agency.

For information please contact:
Kevin Mills
The Tuesday Agency
kevin@tuesdayagency.com

StoryCorps App

What is the StoryCorps App?

Now you can record and share the stories that are all around you using the the free StoryCorps app. The app walks users through an interview by providing all the necessary tools: help preparing questions, finding the right environment for your conversation, recording a high-quality interview on your mobile device, sharing the finished product with friends and family, and uploading your conversation to the StoryCorps.me website. Download it for your smartphone at the iTunes Store or Google Play.

Where can I get support for my use of the app?

Most app related questions are answered on the StoryCorps.me website. Once there, visit the Support and FAQs page and the Tools & Resources page for updates, troubleshooting, and tips on using the app.

Participating in StoryCorps

How can I record my story?

There are many ways for individuals and organizations to participate in StoryCorps. Here is an overview of the ways for you to record your story:

  • StoryBooth: Anyone can make an appointment to record a story or interview in one of our StoryBooths, which are soundproof recording booths. Our StoryBooths are located in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. After interviewing at a StoryBooth, your interviews will be archived and you will receive a digital copy of your recording.
  • MobileBooth: We travel to 10 cities and towns across the country each year to visit with our StoryCorps MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio. Partnering with local public radio stations, we offer an opportunity to residents of these communities to make an appointment and bring someone they love to the MobileBooth to record an interview.
  • StoryCorps app: Now you can record and share the stories that are all around you using the the free StoryCorps app. The app walks users through an interview by providing all the necessary tools: help preparing questions, finding the right environment for your conversation, recording a high-quality interview on your mobile device, sharing the finished product with friends and family, and uploading your conversation to the StoryCorps.me website.

Can I record more than one interview?

In order to accommodate as many participants as possible, we allow only one interview per household. In certain situations—especially at our permanent StoryBooth locations in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco—we may be able to make an exception. For more information please contact us at 646-723-7027.

Does it cost anything to participate?

There is no charge for participating in StoryCorps. However, we do require a credit card at the time you schedule your appointment since you may be charged a $50.00 fee if you cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours notice. This is the only time we will charge your credit card. Please keep in mind that StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit, and it is in part through generous individual donations that we are able to bring the StoryCorps experience to others across the country. Donations can be made either at the time of your interview, or online via this form.

Reservation Information

How do I make a reservation?

Make your reservation for a StoryCorps recording session by visiting our reservations page, or by calling our 24/7 reservation line at 800-850-4406.

Is there a wait list?

Yes. If you are unable to make a reservation online, we encourage you to sign up for our wait list by calling 800-850-4406.

Does StoryCorps accept walk-in appointments?

You need to make a reservation. We cannot accommodate walk-in appointments except in the rare instance of a last-minute cancellation. Please call 800-850-4406 for the most up-to-date information on appointment availability.

How do I change or cancel my reservation?

You can reschedule or cancel your reservation by calling our 24/7 reservations line at 800-850-4406. If you need to modify or change the details of your reservation, please call us directly at 646-723-7027. Please note that StoryCorps may charge a $50 cancellation fee if you cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours notice.

When I register for an appointment, why does StoryCorps ask for my credit card information?

There is no charge for participating in StoryCorps. However, we do require a credit card at the time you schedule your appointment since you may be charged a $50.00 fee if you cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours notice. This is the only time we will charge your credit card. If you plan to make a donation at the time of your recording, please bring along your preferred form of payment.

What to expect in the interviews

What should I bring? What should I do to prepare?

Learn about what to expect during your interview here. Bring a list of questions with you. You can use our Question Generator to help you create a list of questions. You may also want to bring a bottle of water. StoryCorps provides tissues at the booth.

How early should I arrive?

Please arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time.

Can I come alone?

StoryCorps interviews are designed to record conversations between people who are part of one another’s lives, so we do ask that you bring a partner. If you do not have a partner, come with an idea of what you’d like to talk about–a StoryCorps Facilitator will be on-site to help you share your story and ask questions.

How many people can I bring to my interview?

A two-person interview is ideal: you and your interview partner. The booth is small, but it can fit an additional participant; interviews between two people tend to work the best, though.

Can I read something during my recording?

StoryCorps interviews are intended to be unscripted conversations. However, you are welcome to bring something short to read to incorporate into your conversation.

Can I bring my child/grandchild?

We suggest you do not bring children younger than 10 to your interview.

Can interviews be conducted in any language?

Yes. While StoryCorps does not offer translation services, participants can record their story in any language they prefer. Many of our Facilitators are fluent in Spanish.

About StoryCorps Recordings

Where are the interviews stored?

With participant permission, all interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. For more information about the StoryCorps archive, please read the FAQs on the American Folklife Center’s website. Additionally, some interviews also become part of smaller collections, please visit our Archive Partners page for more information.

Is my interview available online?

StoryCorps interviews are not available online. A selection of StoryCorps interviews are edited and made available on our Listen page, NPR’s website, and other institutional partners’ websites.We hope one day to have all StoryCorps interviews available online, but until that time we encourage you to make copies of your recording to share with friends and loved ones.

Does StoryCorps provide a transcript of my interview?

We generally do not provide a transcript. However, we do make exceptions in certain situations. To find out more, please fill out an inquiry form, or contact us at 646-723-7027. If you want to have your interview transcribed, we recommend the Audio Transcription Center in Boston, MA. You can send them your StoryCorps recording and they will transcribe the entirety of the interview and return it to you. For pricing and additional information, visit www.audiotranscriptioncenter.com or call 617-423-2151.

Can I order extra copies of my interview?

After your recording has been processed, StoryCorps will send you a digital copy of the interview for download. We encourage you to share this with your family and friends. If your recording is lost or damaged, we can send you a replacement. You can make this request by calling 646-723-7027 or by submitting an inquiry.

What if I don’t want my interview archived?

Every StoryCorps participant decides whether or not his or her interview will be archived. If you don’t want your interview archived, do not sign the release form StoryCorps provides after your interview.

Can I submit my own recordings to StoryCorps’ archive?

StoryCorps encourages people to record one another’s stories, but we do not have the resources to accept interviews not recorded by StoryCorps as part of our signature archive. However, you can easily upload your recording to our StoryCorps app collection using the StoryCorps.me website. Click here to find out how.

StoryCorps Broadcasts, Books & Animations

Where do the stories on public radio and your website come from?

Everything you hear on the radio or on our website comes from a StoryCorps interview that has been archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps radio producers edit these stories from the original 40-minute recording. The people in these interviews come to StoryCorps in many ways — they may be public radio listeners who heard about us on the radio; they may have scheduled an interview as a result of our community outreach efforts to build an inclusive archive of American voices; or, we’ll hear about a relationship that seems like a perfect fit for a StoryCorps interview, and invite the people involved to record a conversation.

How does StoryCorps select interviews for broadcast?

Only a very small percentage of StoryCorps’ interviews are edited and produced for broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition. Interviews are chosen through an editorial process. Participants whose interviews are selected for national broadcast will be contacted by a StoryCorps producer before their interview is aired.

Does StoryCorps sell a CD version of the radio broadcasts?

All broadcasts are available online.

Does StoryCorps have a podcast?

Yes – please visit our Podcast page for information on how to subscribe.

What is the music that plays before StoryCorps broadcasts on Morning Edition?

The regular lead-in guitar music for StoryCorps broadcasts is from the album Turnstyles and Junkpiles by the group Pullman. The music is available for purchase or download at Thrill Jockey. On some occasions the music may be different.

Can I download the broadcasts?

StoryCorps broadcasts are not available for download, but you can listen to all of our broadcasts on our Listen page, or you can subscribe to our podcast.

Does StoryCorps have any books?

Yes, please visit our Book page for more information.

I recently viewed a StoryCorps animated short online. Is StoryCorps planning on releasing any more animated shorts?

StoryCorps’ animated shorts series debuted in 2010. Our animation team selects stories from our archive, and then each short is produced in partnership with an animation house. Please visit our Animation page for the newest videos and the latest information about StoryCorps animated shorts.

Does StoryCorps accept submissions for its animated shorts series?

StoryCorps will not accept previously made films or animate non-StoryCorps interviews. For information about StoryCorps’ animated shorts, please visit our Animation page.

StoryCorps and Your Community

How can I bring StoryCorps to my community?

Bring StoryCorps to your community through our Custom Services program.

How can I bring StoryCorps into the classroom?

StoryCorps’ year-long youth development program, StoryCorpsU, brings StoryCorps concepts into the classroom. The program uses StoryCorps radio broadcasts and animated shorts to support the development of identity and social intelligence in students. If you are interested in bringing StoryCorpsU to your school, please send an email to education@storycorps.org.

Each week, the StoryCorps podcast shares these unscripted conversations, revealing the wisdom, courage, and poetry in the words of people you might not notice walking down the street.