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A Magazine for Sheffield

Work with Us

We’re passionate about telling stories that have the potential to change the way people see and relate to the world around them, and in doing so move us closer to a just, equitable and sustainable world. If you are too, we’d love to work with you.

The big piggy bank edit 2 Large
Bryony Finnigan for Now Then.

Possibility-oriented story inquiries

Since late 2022, we’ve been using a new approach to storytelling. Inspired by asset-based community development (ABCD) and appreciative inquiry, generative journalism hosts spaces and conversations which have the ‘ability to create new life’.

What this means in practice is that we use interviewing and hosting techniques to ask unusual questions which take interviewees off script and open up lines of deep thinking, inviting people to imagine how the world could be different and to take action.

Generative inquiries have the potential to act as a form of social or cultural research and as a fresh approach to sensing and sensemaking. We believe they offer new capabilities that other forms of storytelling and research don’t.

We’d love to work with anyone who sees the potential we see in this work – whether that’s resourced through an existing budget at your organisation or by applying jointly for grant funding.

Get in touch for an initial chat with one of the team and we can work out together whether it’s something we’d like to take forwards.

Here are some of the possible ingredients of a ‘generative inquiry’:

  • Possibility-oriented interviewing, starting with familiar stakeholders then working our way out through research, existing networks and word of mouth.
  • Publishing co-produced edited transcripts of our interviews in Now Then to inspire and inform readers, and invite them into action too.

  • Bringing together events which invite interviewees, stakeholders and anyone else who is interested into conversation around what’s been uncovered and what the potentials are.

  • A final report that offers thoughts, observations and learning from the work, while acknowledging that the interviews themselves are the primary source material.

Collaborations & joint funding bids

We’re always interested to speak to anyone who aligns with our values and interests and wants to develop a storytelling collaboration which is funded either from existing money or through a joint bid to a grant funder.

We want to apply our skills and expertise as storytellers into groups and organisations who are working for social good and deep systems change, to tell their stories and explore limitless possibilities in a refreshing, innovative and life-giving way.

This is not us writing a ‘puff piece’ about your organisation – it’s a deep collaboration where we use our skills, training and experience to help you to express ideas, concepts, challenges and experiences in a way that is uniquely and unusually insightful.

Get in touch with us if you’ve got ideas for how we could work together.

Advertising in Now Then

We’re committed to keeping our stories free and accessible to everyone, which means that Now Then doesn’t receive income from our readers, except via donations.

We have an ethical advertising policy – we will only host advertising from local independent traders, charities, civil society groups and local government.

Prices start from £100+VAT for a week-long advertising campaign on the Now Then website, and we also have options available to sponsor social media posts or have a coveted spot in our weekly email newsletter, which goes out to 2,500 people and counting.

Take a look at our rates and get in touch to talk more about this with us.

Now Then is part of Opus

From our annual festival focussed on radical systemic change to a project which reimagines our relationship to nature, Opus works across many different areas in Sheffield and beyond. There are plenty of opportunities to collaborate and also to fund our work. Give us a shout if you think we could work together on something.