The power of story


The Conference of Birds, written in Persian in the 12th century by Farid-ud-Din the Perfumer, tells the story of how the birds met to choose a leader. Two centuries later the story reappeared in English by Geoffrey Chaucer. This time the birds meet to choose mates.


I’ve spent a great many years raising money and awareness for people and organisations doing excellent work with small resources. Working with Amnesty International (UK) and the survivors of the Bhopal disaster has taught me a lot about how to write fundraising appeals that bring in funds and get the issues talked about.

I’m often told that the way I write appeals breaks all the rules – unsurprising perhaps since I am not a professional fundraiser and have never known what the rules were in the first place. Over the years quite a few people have asked if I would run some sort of course to train them in this heretical approach of mine. That might yet happen, if enough people were interested and if such a course could be made to pay its way.

In the meantime, and partly for the benefit of story researchers working in Bhopal and elsewhere, I thought I would put up a series of pages describing the sort of materials that need to be brought together to create a good story. The work is incomplete, still in progress. When it is done I will probably add another set of pages on techniques of writing.

The story researching pages start here

Small bird by Mia Buehr