True Stories 2022

Save the date: 1st of June 2022

Get inspired by the best true stories

Save the date: True Stories Conference June 1st 2022

Markers ready? Pencil June 1st in as the date for the True Stories Conference. On that day we will organize our annual conference True Stories with our new partner Beeld en Geluid The Hague. Expect a program full of lectures, workshops and networking moments by inspirig journalists who tell you all about narrative journalism. From their brand new museum in The Hague we strive to make sure every visitor leaves with a head full of new ideas. So, True Stories the way you know it. 

Tickets are available via this link. We offer reduced fares for friends of the Stichting Verhalende Journalistiek. Become a friend for only 35,- and be one of our attendees! 

In the following weeks we will share which guests are participating during the conference. Take a look below to see what we’ve done before. 

True Stories 2020 online

Right now is the time to learn more about narrative journalism from inspiring journalists. Together with our speakers we have found other forms for the True Stories conference. View all inspiring podcasts, talks and online sessions below.

As soon as possible we will be sharing inspiring stories at an event where we can actually meet each other.

In the meantime, get inspired by our true stories online!


 What does narrative journalism contribute to reporting on war and conflict? What narrative techniques can help create gripping science journalism stories? On the 6th, 13th and 20th of October the Narrative Journalism Foundation organizes three one hour livecasts in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger.  During this series of Livecasts we’ll talk with the creators of impactful journalistic productions from all over the world. We’ll discuss how they have used narrative techniques successfully, without losing their journalistic integrity.

Stills from For Sama. Have you missed For Sama? Don’t worry, the documentary is available on NPO Plus.

Making For Sama


Covering conflict in the media can be very challenging. Compassion fatigue towards the media and their reporting on lasting conflicts unfortunately is a reality. People are often tired of the news coming from conflict areas and they have a hard time relating to the numerous victims. Last year the documentary For Sama made a huge impact and attracted a lot of attention and a large audience that got emotionally very affected by seeing the film. In this livecast we will talk with journalist Fréderike Geerdink and For Sama director Waad al-Kateab and main character Afraa Hashem about narrative techniques in the award-winning documentary and how they benefit to reporting on war and conflict. You can watch the livecast here and let us know what you think in the comments!


You can buy The Immortal Life of Henrietta Blacks here

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


Most journalists reporting on science can only dream of writing a story like Rebecca Skloot wrote, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. She researched the life (and death) of the forgotten patient and her famous cells for ten years. Together with science journalist Jop de Vrieze and Skloot we will discuss ways in which reporting on science can turn into a gripping story like this bestseller and the pitfalls of this technical genre. You can watch this livecast here. Sharing or using this livecast is only permitted for educative purposes for Dutch or Flemish journalism. 

You can buy She Said here

Making She Said


“People would say that two women had broken the Weinstein story, but it had really been three,” wrote Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey in She Said, the book on their award-winning investigation. In this book the two New York Times reporters reconstruct the compelling investigation on Harvey Weinstein, that helped ignite the #MeToo movement in 2017. The third woman they’re referring to is Rebecca Corbett, their editor at the American newspaper. During this livecast we will discuss the role of the editor in investigating and narrating a major story like She Said.  You can watch this livecast here.



Podcast making - Andy Mills

FRIDAY 15 MAY 2020

How can talking in a “chipmunk voice” help to make a breathtaking, award winning podcast? Andy Mills, audio producer for the New York Times (works for the The Daily), shares strange and wonderful insights, and shameful mistakes, that led to the creation of Caliphate, winner of a Peabody award for best podcast. An exclusive conversation between Dutch podcast maker Jair Stein and Andy Mills. Listen here!

You can read Jair Steins update on Caliphate considering recent developments here.

Photo by Philip Montgomery

How to write a journalistic bestseller? - Patrick Radden Keefe


Patrick Radden Keefe, known from The New Yorker, shares the ins and outs of writing his bestselling non-fiction novel Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. Of the four years he spent on the book, he claims 90 percent went into research and outlining and only 10 percent into the actual writing. So what did that process look like? In a candid conversation with Dutch journalist Inge Oosterhoff, Patrick Radden Keefe talks all about the best way to tell a true story and how to arrange the truth into a compelling narrative that reads like a novel. Listen here!

Photo by Jet van Gaal

Independently creating and producing your photo story - Ilvy Njiokiktjien


Photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien, member of the international acclaimed collective VII Photos, talks to Evelien Kunst about her long-term project Born Free. During this conversation, Kunst and Njiokiktjien take a closer look at what it takes to independently create a long-term visually driven story and publish on multiple platforms. Listen here!

How to pitch a true story?

Whether you are a journalist writer, photographer or podcast maker, if you want to publish your story, you have to be able to pitch it well. We selected four experts for you who will help you refine your pitch skills. Check out all True Stories masterclasses below!

Photo by Jelmer de Haas

And the main question is... - Marcella van der Kruk (in Dutch)

FRIDAY 29 MAY 2020

What kind of idea for a story can make it into a book? Acquiring editor non-fiction Marcella van der Kruk explains this to you. Working for Uitgeverij Atlas Contact, she regularly speaks with journalists about book ideas and works closely with them for the elaboration. Better than anyone, she knows what is essential when pitching a book idea.

From podcast idea to pitch - Jair Stein (in Dutch)


Do you have a good idea for a podcast, but you don’t know how to get it on the radio? As editor at Radio Doc and creator of many narrative podcasts, including Plots and 1 Minuut, Jair Stein is the right person to explain this to you. Check out his pitch tips here!

Photo by Renate Beense

How to pitch a photo story? - Evelien Kunst (in Dutch)


Evelien Kunst has been working with photographers and photo editors from home and abroad for more than 20 years, including for World Press Photo and Noor Images. Thanks to her years of experience, she knows better than anyone how to get your photos published and start of collaborations. Check out all her pitch tips here!

About True Stories

True stories last: they sweep you of your feet, lift you up, or open your eyes. Would you like to learn how to tell true stories? The Narrative Journalism Foundation organizes an annual conference on narrative journalism: a day full of lectures, workshops and networking moments by inspiring journalists who tell you all about narrative journalism.

Previous conferences

Beyond the bubble

2019 – In these times marked by protests, polarizing politics and prejudice, the power of the narrative is more apparent than ever. Storytelling can bring us together or drive us apart. The stories we tell might have the power to bridge the divide, but how?

In the meantime

Check out inspiring stories from speakers at previous conferences here:

True Stories – Beyond the Bubble – 2019

True Stories – 2018

True Stories – Amplify Your Story – 2017

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Gerard van Westerloo reading

The yearly Gerard van Westerloo lecture pays homage to one of the founding fathers of narrative journalism in the Netherlands by inviting one inspiring journalist.


Every year, a Flemish-Dutch editorial team chooses the top ten narrative journalists: the master storytellers, in Dutch Meestervertellers. In 2017 an all-English version was organized: Anthology.



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