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Idea Orphans

People spend a lot of time thinking about their ideas. It’s impossible not to. Because ideas live in the same place they are born: inside our heads.

In fact, the inside of the creative mind can feel like a sort of orphanage. And all the unrealized ideas are like little orphans who just want to find a good home. The ideas who have been in there the longest show the newer ideas the ropes: proper food fight etiquette, how the chore wheel on the fridge works. Sometimes the ideas sing and dance but mostly they sit on windowsills gazing longingly outside. Really, the creative mind is exactly like the eighties version of the movie Annie.

Through the use of audio, slides, animation and storytelling, This American Life's Starlee Kine and her collaborator Arthur Jones will provide inspiration well as concrete tools on how to get those orphaned ideas out of your head and into the world. And how to make people hear about them once they're free.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What makes a good This American Life story work? What are the components?
  2. How can I pitch my own story or idea to This American Life?
  3. Is my life really interesting enough to turn into a story that people will want to read, watch, listen to? How do I make it translate so that it has universal appeal instead of just a story my relatives like to hear me tell?
  4. What are the steps toward establishing myself as a cultural critic?
  5. How do I make a deadline feel real even if I'm the one who set it? Basically how do I trick myself into getting out my own way so I can make my dreams come true?



Starlee Kine, Writer/Performer/Radio Producer, This American Life

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