Elements needed to complete a digital story:
  • Written story - while not required, writing down your first-person story helps you say everything you want to say in a clear way. Your written (or typed) story should be no more than 300-350 words (one side of an 8.5” x 11” piece of paper). 
  • Audio recording of you telling the story - this can be done using a phone or other recording device. Watch the “how to” videos below for a step by step guide to recording, saving, and sharing your recorded story on an iPhone or Android device.
  • 10-15 digital images to complement the story you’re sharing  (short videos can also be used in your digital story).

How to Record a Story on an iPhone

How to Record a Story on an Android Phone

Some things to note:

  • In order to send your audio via email from your phone, your email needs to first be set up on your phone. 
  • Please send your audio and images to chestermade@pahumanities.org
  • Be sure to include your full name in your email(s) so we can keep track of your digital story materials.

If you have any questions, would like support, or are interested in alternative methods of sharing your digital story please reach out to chestermade@pahumanities.org or call us at 215-925-1005 ext. 119. Leave a message and we will get back to you.

To frame your story, consider using The Four Cs:

Connection, Context, Change, Closure  (©Joe Lambert, 2009)


Good stories grab an audience right from the beginning.


Having started with a scene, we need to know more, to have the action or background of the story help us to make sense of not only when and where the scene might be taking place, what the stakes are in the story, and how they lead us toward a moment of truth.


In telling us the way the story came to an end, how the issue of our first paragraph is going to be addressed if not resolved, we see the character go through a change. 


In many stories the change is so evident that simply closing out the scene will give the audience a clear sense of the message or insight intended. This can be expressed sometimes by just the way the last line is read, punctuating the last word with clear emphasis. It can be said as we evolve through stories, from fairy tales to classic romances or tragedies, to more conceptual or modern versions of stories, we enjoy having to figure out the ending, or even to have the story end ambiguously. In our little stories, if we are confident our audiences are ready for ambiguity, then we can experiment.

Now that you know what’s needed and how to frame your story, it’s time to pick your prompt!

Suggested prompts

  • What makes Chester home?
  • What do you love about your city?
  • What do you want people to know about your city?
  • What keeps you in Chester?
  • How do you know that you’re home? Or in Chester?

If you have not done so, please submit your story idea and contact information to the form below. We will reach out and ask if you have any questions about this process.

Submit Idea Here

So you know what to expect, what is needed, and how to frame your story...now it’s time to get storytelling!

Please submit everything to chestermade@pahumanities.org. Thank you for your interest in being part of the Chester Digital Stories Project which honors the hopes, dreams, and memories of the extraordinary, everyday people in Chester.

Still have questions?  Contact project manager Ulysses Slaughter at chestermade@pahumanities.org

Public Access to Chester Digital Stories

Chester Digital Stories are a community resource – an opportunity for all of us to share experiences and promote continued conversation around a wide range of topics and issues relevant to the city of Chester, Pennsylvania. We encourage everyone to listen to and view our digital stories and share them with family and friends.

Use of Chester Digital Stories by individuals, organizations and institutions is restricted to non-commercial use. Educators, writers, filmmakers, scholars, and other interested individuals, organizations and institutions seeking to copy and/or use excerpts from or the entirety of any Chester Digital Story must request permission from the Chester Digital Story Advisory Board. Please contact Taylor Tolton-Kain at ttolton@pahumanities.org for complete information.