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August 11, 2014

Spotlight on Storytelling: Narratively App

“In the summer of 1741, the crew of a secret Russian expedition spotted something off the southern coast of Alaska, and a nautical legend was born.”

That is the premise of a true story that you won’t read anywhere else than on Narratively, an award-winning news site whose tag line is “human stories, boldly told.”

In Narratively’s words, the site’s writers and other contributors explore the “world’s big cities and hidden corners for the characters and narratives that the mainstream media aren’t finding — the underdogs and overlooked tales that enlighten us, connect us, and capture our imagination.”

So Lumia and other Windows Phone users, if you like good storytelling, you’re in luck. Narratively is available as a new app exclusive to Windows Phone. Download it here.


The free app’s clean, elegant design showcases the stories — whether told via words, photos, audio, or short documentary film — to best effect. The app also makes it easy to search by theme, keyword or story popularity, and you can share Narratively stories via email, social media, or text message.

Both the site and the app take full advantage of the innovative possibilities of online storytelling, such as text interspersed with full-screen images or buttressed by mini-documentaries.

For example, a striking photo essay complements “The Night I Broke Back Into Prison,” a photojournalist’s first-person account of visiting the prison where he was incarcerated for more than three years. Another story about a young Christian rapper is paired with a music video.

Narratively focuses on a different theme each week, and the story that I quoted above, “The Mysterious Sea Ape of the Aleutian Archipelago,” was recently published under the aptly named category, “Weird Science.”

Check out Narratively and tell us what you think! After all, we are hardwired to tell and listen to stories — our thirst for narrative helps us make sense of the world.