Out of the Fray: Storytelling Web site Morphs into a Magazine

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA), January 17, 2008


Fray was launched in 1996 by Derek Powazek, at a time when most people found the concept of the Internet confusing and e-mail addresses a novelty. He envisioned it as a place where people could share real-life stories – his only rules were that they had to be true and they had to be first-person. It caught on, and gave birth to “Fray Day,” a popular annual themed San Francisco storytelling event that was half open mike, have staged stories. As with New York’s Moth series and the Bay Area’s Porchlight series, as well as the newer Mortified and InsideStoryTime, audiences flocked to hear raconteurs speak – not read – about the strange, wonderful, frightening or mundane.

Now it’s come full circle: What began as an prescient online venture is now a pulp-and-ink magazine. Powazek had put Fray in a number of forms – a live event, CDs of Fray stories – but never in print before. The first issue of the quarterly takes on the meaty theme of “Busted! True Stories of Getting Caught in the Act.”

Subjects Covered: digital storytelling, storytelling festivals

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