Across all our feeds, we’ve managed to get a total of half a million downloads since we started the podcast. This is quite amazing, given that not everyone starts with episode 1 since now we have over 100 episodes in the main feed. Apart from that, we have 5 anthologies on Podiobooks and a lot of eBooks out!
Over three years ago, on Valentine’s Day 2010, we launched the podcast with a photo that was taken in Edinburgh on Frederick Street. This is – quite literally – where it all started, so we saw it fit to be the first photo for our new project.
Some of you might not know the story, so let’s tell it again. Mick and Katharina had already been contributors of writing podcasts like 100 Word Stories and Great Hites whilst at the same time pursuing their own projects. Around that time, a photo exhibition opened in Vienna. The photographer prompted the visitors to write their thoughts of the photos on a piece of paper – the stories behind the photo, or what was going on in it – and throw the paper in a big box which was situated at the exit.
That’s where the idea for the podcast came from. Katharina had always been an avid photographer, so it was easy to get the pictures that would inspire the stories. We decided to open the podcast for submissions, but read all the stories ourselves in order to maintain a consistent level of quality. So far, it has worked well, especially for people who don’t have access to recording equipment, but would like to test the waters of podcasting their fiction.
Every once in a while a hiatus is required, to recharge the creative batteries – it isn’t easy to come up with a new story every month, even when you pick the photos that prompt them. A photo that might look promising could sit on your screen for hours without a single word underneath. But then there are others – like a duck on a plank – that prompt the most varied selection of stories. The credit for this goes entirely to Mick – there might have been a moment where Katharina didn’t know why she should take a plain photo of a duck on a plank. Somewhere between cybernetic robot assassin ducks, gangland posturing and a murder she was proven wrong.
Some photos trigger discussions about the place where they are taken that are longer than the stories submitted. That’s okay, too. In the end, it’s about uniting two different creative outlets – photography and writing – just as much as it’s about throwing two different creative people together – Katharina and Mick.
Last but not least, we want to thank you – the listeners, the readers and of course the contributors – without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. :)