Story Gathering Sandbox

After the success of our DIGITIZE Story Gathering Workshop for high school students, EchoX is hosting a paid writing opportunity for young adults. Like the workshop for high schoolers, the “Story Gathering Sandbox” will center around “own voices” and a central theme of unity and understanding across cultures (and community).

Participants in the program will receive $500 compensation upon:

      • Submission of their final piece, either a minimum 1000-word article or a roughly three-minute audio piece;
      • Completion of an exit survey; and
      • Presentation of their final piece at a public showcase.

The sandbox:

The program kicks off with an in-person meeting in Bellevue, WA, where participants will be able to meet and learn from each other, as well as go over some of the basic expectations of the program. The following Saturdays, participants will join virtual meetings to brainstorm outlines for their project, give each other critical feedback, and finalize project concepts.

Participants then have two months to schedule and complete three one-on-one with virtual sessions to workshop their pieces with our Communications Director. The program will conclude with an in-person public showcase in Bellevue, WA, where participants will present their pieces to their interview subjects, friends, family, and the general public. At the closing showcase, participants who have submitted a completed piece and completed an exit survey will be presented with a certificate of completion and a $500 stipend for their work.

Once the showcase has concluded, we will publish all pieces on Voices, EchoX’s virtual collection of thoughtful news, art, and literary pieces. Each piece will be featured on the EchoX homepage and on our social media pages on a rotating schedule.

Eligibility requirements

A successful applicant must show a connection to their ethnic/cultural heritage and demonstrate a passion to tell their story. They must also:

      • Be 18-29 and out of high school.
      • Reside in our service area (WA, OR, ID, or AK).
      • Be able to attend all in-person meetings located in Seattle, WA, and Bellevue, WA. EchoX cannot provide transportation or transportation funds.

The pieces and expectations:

The theme of the workshop is “own voices,” culture, and community. Fellows must choose a topic that relates to their ethnic or cultural community. This might look like a piece about an aspect of a person’s ethnic or cultural community that they are particularly interested in or proud of and want to share (e.g., the history—and rise—of boba in the U.S., the cultural importance of bush burning to prevent uncontrolled wildfires) or something that they feel is misrepresented in mass media (e.g., the sacredness of regalia, the misunderstanding/‘othering’ of Asian foods, the underrepresentation of BIPOC communities in tech, etc.).⁠

Expectations for piece completion during the Sandbox:

      • Well-outlined plan for project
      • At least 30–45 minutes of interview with subjects as pertain to chosen topic, transcribed
      • Minimum of one planning meeting to:
          • Talk about strategy
          • Give clear examples of what we expect
          • Discuss what the developmental and final edit processes will look like
          • Storyboarding if time permits
      • Minimum of two developmental meetings to:
          • Review content and discuss edits covering flow, structure, how the ideas are coming through, etc.
          • Go over photos if applicable

The timeline:

Applications due — Saturday, October 7, 2023

Acceptance emails go out — Monday, October 9, 2023

Kick-off meeting (In-person) — Saturday, October 14, 2023 in Bellevue, WA

Small group meeting (Virtual) — Saturday, October 21, 2023*

Small group meeting (Virtual) — Saturday, October 28, 2023*

Small group meeting (Virtual) — Saturday, November 4, 2023*

One-on-one Session 1 — Flexible, scheduled on the student’s time

One-on-one Session 2 — Flexible, scheduled on the student’s time

One-on-one Session 3 — Flexible, scheduled on the student’s time

(Optional) Additional One-on-one Sessions — Flexible, scheduled on the student’s time

Showcase (In-person) — Second or third Saturday of December 2023 (TBD) in Bellevue, WA

*Students are required to attend at least two of the virtual small group meetings. If you have a conflict with one of those dates, please let us know in the application process. Each student will be assigned to one small group session and will be able to choose the second session they attend.

2023 Story Gathering Workshop for High Schoolers:

The 2023 Story Gathering Workshop was a paid workshop opportunity for Washington State high school students to learn storytelling skills which centered around “own voices,” a central theme of unity and understanding across cultures (and community). Student participants in this workshop received compensation upon submission of their final piece, a minimum 1000-word article. The workshop concluded with an in-person showcase at Washington Hall where they invited their interview subjects, friends, and family to watch them present their articles.

You can learn more about the workshop and read their pieces here.

How to apply:

As part of the application, applicants must pitch a story idea. It’s okay if they change their mind by the time the program starts or during the program, but we do need to get an idea of what kinds of stories applicants are interested in telling. If an applicant is stuck or needs a little help, they can try to think about themes or stories that are tied to their identity, cultural heritage, or community. Examples of these themes or stories could include personal statements, family stories, cultural traditions, community projects, or a current event that has sparked their interest.

Applications for this workshop are open until October 7, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (PST).


Questions, comments, or concerns? Email and a member of our team will get back to you shortly. Interested in our youth opportunities? Check out our Instagram page for the latest announcements and updates.

This workshop is sponsored by the Muckleshoot Tribe and by the City of Bellevue through their Eastside Arts Partnerships. Thank you!