My top five for Storyology. Okay, make that fifteen.

Chef’s special: The program manager’s guide to Storyology 2017

Storyology is back: Kicking off in Brisbane Aug. 24–26, rolling through Melbourne Aug. 28–29, and in Sydney Aug. 28–31. Therefore, this illustrates the inside of program manager Clare Fletcher’s brain. Credit: Louise Summerton’s riff on Andrew Frazer’s original drawn mascot.

As program manager at the Walkleys, I work with our CEO and program director, Jacqui Park, and the team to lure the speakers that make Storyology the journalism event you can’t afford to miss. It’s a pretty great job — equal parts reading-the-whole-internet-for-“research”, cold-emailing my heroes, and assembling a giant jigsaw puzzle of ideas. The next part of the job is convincing you to get your tickets.

Jacqui made a nice analogy as she launched our program:

Storyology brings together those of us who not only need stories, but who need to tell stories like we need air or food. We don’t just eat food — we need to gather it and cook it and plate it as well — and it’s the same for stories. Call it a My Kitchen Rules for storytellers, bringing together our fabulous community of journalists with a broad public audience who want to know how we do it.

Maybe that makes us Manu? At any rate, here on Medium we’ll posting tasty little bites to introduce you to many of those speakers over the coming weeks.

I have to say I’m most excited that we have Andrew Quilty with us for all our Storyology programming. This freelance photojournalist embodies so much of what we celebrate at Storyology: independence, ingenuity, innovation, an eye for undeniable yarns. His work is a powerful blend of classic visual storytelling and modern technology — as well as appearing in the world’s best mastheads, his Instagram posts are perfectly contained stories. You can tell he takes his role as journalistic witness seriously, and his coverage of Afghanistan ranges from hard news to daily life, the kind of stories you can only get at street level. We’ve watched his work develop from a Young Journo category winner in 2008 to a Gold Walkley winner in 2016. Expect inspiration and maybe a new crush.

Storyology fans will recognise Aine Kerr and Maria Ressa from past programs — and you’ll know their sessions in Sydney are essential. Since her last visit, Aine has joined Facebook as head of journalism partnerships and she’ll be clueing us in on how the social media giant is approaching its relationships with the news industry, developing tools and trainings for journos and news consumers. Maria, meanwhile, joins us from the Philippines, where people have faced some of the most destructive internet propaganda campaigns in the world — and her Rappler social news network has been working on technology to battle them.

Oh hey, elephant in the room. “Fake news” is an attention-grabbing shorthand for a lot of what we’re talking about in our industry at the moment. At Storyology we’re approaching it with our trademark style: constructive conversations and case studies from people who are working on real solutions to sustain the craft we love. Like Maria, and Aine, and Frederic Filloux who’s building an automated system to score the quality of online news sources; Craig Silverman from BuzzFeed News, arguably the world’s leading authority on the topic of misinformation, will headline in Brisbane; Irene Jay Liu who heads up Google News Lab for the Asia-Pacific will appear in all three cities; and Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor, who will kick off our Sydney program with a keynote about trust in journalism.

Brisvegas power couple Patience Hodgson & John Patterson (+ little Soda)

Could be my bias as a Queensland kid, but I’m really excited about our Brisbane Storyology debut. We’re breaking new ground with Storyology After Dark — a magazine come to life on stage, with journalists telling stories live (including Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Trent Dalton, Jo Chandler and John Lyons). There’s a whole Saturday of big-issue talks grounded in journalism, like crime writing and Queensland’s history, foreign correspondence and the young voices telling Brisbane’s story today. I can’t wait to hear Patience and John from The Grates talk with comedian Mel Buttle (they call her Buttz), ethereal muso Airling and Jerath Head from Griffith Review about how their city has become a destination rather than a bio footnote for young creatives. And Friday, Aug. 25, is Storyology for Journalists — with solid gold sessions on podcasting, women in media, the new newsroom, and managing major reporting projects.

They’re just my highlights. Yours might be completely different. Check out the full program to find out.

Confused about which parts of Storyology are best for you?

We’re still a couple months out and there will be more speakers and programming announced, including talks in Melbourne, so jump on our mailing list and stay tuned.

See you at Storyology!

By the way, we couldn’t do all this without our partners: Facebook’s bringing Aine Kerr out. Craig Silverman joins us with the support of BuzzFeed News. Google Australia bring us Irene Jay Liu and Frederic Filloux. Nikon Australia is supporting Andrew Quilty’s visit. Pretty great, right?