Storytellers Academy

Empowering Emerging Storytellers

Since 2009, HRN has used educational storytelling to discuss real issues affecting the global food system. Our unique experiential audio production programs help emerging and established storytellers build practical and strategic skills that can be used to tell more compelling stories.

HRN has launched its expanded educational programming through what we now call HRN Storyteller Academy: distinct fellowships and training programs that create pathways to success for youth, young adults, career pivoters, and food industry and nonprofit professionals in storytelling, audio engineering, and food systems advocacy.

Our Programs

  • Provide hands-on strategic and practical storytelling skills, including audio production, engineering, research, and journalistic approaches
  • Teach best practices around story collection, development, sharing, and marketing
  • Harness the power of food systems storytelling to build a more equitable and sustainable world
  • Help participants translate lived experience into advocacy for food systems change
  • Allow participants to utilize their voices to tell compelling stories to advocate for and influence organizations, communities, and systems

Undergrad, Post-Grad and Career Professional Programs

HRN Podcasts

Research and Radio Fellowship

Our Research and Radio Fellowship program is open to undergrad, grad, and post-grad students, and those who are still developing their audio storytelling careers. The fellows are an integral part of the HRN team, and assist with writing, audio production, promotion, and more. Fellows begin the program with a training sprint focused on interviewing skills, developing their personal narrative skills, voiceover, and audio production, and power HRN’s flagship news and storytelling podcast, Meat + Three, to gain experiential development. Fellows dedicate six months, and 15 hours each week, to this stipend-paid fellowship. HRN hosts 16 Research and Radio Fellows per year.

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Food Systems Fellowship

HRN’s Food Systems Fellowship Program is dedicated to food writing and storytelling, supported by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts. With mentorship, support, and training, the fellow’s work focuses on creating new narrative projects that help advance food systems change. Fellows focus on a new series or podcast, gaining experience in writing, producing, interviewing, editing, and marketing. Fellows dedicate six months, and 20 hours each week, to this paid fellowship. These programs will be expanding in 2024 and beyond.

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Innovative Ideas Fellowship Cohort

An independent initiative dedicated to food writing and aimed at exploring and shaping the future of our food landscape. This dynamic and diverse team of BIPOC Fellows are asked to envision a transformative project that goes beyond the conventional, delivering a profound impact on how we think about food. The collective creativity of the team will produce a visually enticing and thought-provoking zine or publication. This platform will showcase thought leadership, expert insights, and compelling narratives, offering readers a tangible and aesthetically pleasing source of inspiration for embracing positive change in the food space. The group of 4 people per cohort work both independently and collaboratively for a six month paid fellowship.

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Voices for Change

In the realm of food systems change, there are many passionate individuals and organizations striving to make a difference. Each one holds a unique story waiting to be shared—a story that, when told effectively, can raise awareness, shift perspectives, and drive meaningful impact. Voices for Change is designed for nonprofit organizations, and our workshops aim to empower and amplify the voices of food system advocates, while equipping participants with practical storytelling skills, including audio production, research, and journalistic techniques. Tailored to the needs of each organization, our workshops culminate in the creation of three podcast episodes that capture the essence of their work, impact, and mission. These episodes are then shared through HRN’s platform, reaching audiences across our network of over 30 podcasts.

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Storytelling Fellowship Program/Research & Radio 101

An upcoming HRN Storytelling Fellowship Program is designed for graduating high school seniors and undergraduate college students who are eager to gain foundational experience in media and food storytelling. This program is ideal for individuals who are interested in/curious about audio production and food systems storytelling but may not have advanced skills or experience in the field yet. The Storytelling Fellowship Program offers a supportive learning environment where fellows will receive hands-on training and mentorship to develop essential skills in writing, audio production, and promotion. Fellows will have the opportunity to work closely with our team, contributing to various aspects of content creation and production. The program requires a commitment of 4 months, with fellows dedicating 10 hours per week to their responsibilities.

High School Programs

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Radio Scholars Program

The HRN Radio Scholars Program gives voice to the next generation of food leaders. The program equips high school juniors and seniors with the skills to document the food stories of their communities in their own voices. Students are trained in all aspects of creating radio stories: how to structure a story, use audio equipment, write scripts, ask interview questions, conduct research, contact storytellers and connect with journalists and food media professionals. 8-12 students participate in the program each semester and during a summer session.

Summertime Storytellers (Summer 2025)

HRN’s summer program for NYC high school students focuses on food podcasting and personal narrative, aiming to empower young people in food media, and promote industry diversity. The program equips students with skills to produce food-related content, amplifying their voices and engaging with food issues. It also provides hands-on learning and industry connections to inspire careers in food media, journalism, and broadcasting, supporting their personal and academic growth.