The LBM Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers

LBM book tent_small


Established in 2008 by Alec Soth, Little Brown Mushroom (LBM) is committed to exploring the narrative potential of the photo book. Having worked closely with photographers, writers and designers, we’re now eager to exchange ideas with students and emerging artists.

Visual storytelling tends to be a lonely business. As such, it attracts more than its share of wallflowers. Here at LBM (home to more than a couple introverts), we thought it would be worthwhile to bring creative loners together to see what we can learn from each other. We’re envisioning a gathering that is more summer camp than classroom. After various daytime outings, we’ll sit around the digital projector and tell each other stories. From there we’ll discuss the ways in which visual stories can be translated into book form.

When: July 9-13, 2013

Where: After gathering each morning at the Little Brown Mushroom headquarters in St. Paul, we’ll have regular outings around the Twin Cities. Participants should have their own transportation. Housing is not provided.

Who: The gathering will be led by LBM team: Alec Soth, Carrie Thompson, Galen Fletcher, Ethan Jones, Brad Zellar and Jason Polan. We are inviting photographers, writers, illustrators, designers or anyone interested in visual storytelling to apply. While social awkwardness isn’t mandatory, it is encouraged.

Cost: Free

How to apply: 

Create a single PDF (no bigger than 5mb) with the following:

  • Your name and contact information
  • A concise and informal biography (age, where do you live, what do you do, etc). We’d also love to see a picture of you.
  • Examples of your work (this can be photography, writing, illustration, graphic design or anything else you can get into a PDF).
  • A link to your website or other work you have online
  • Important: we can not accept PDF files larger than 5mb

Email the PDF to

Deadline: April 15th. We will notify applicants about our selection by April 30th.

view this info as a printable PDF


44 Replies to “The LBM Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers”

  1. I have a question. If I apply and am accepted but I live in the UK, how on earth can I attend? Are you able to help with travel costs (I know, I know but I have to ask) This is a subject (telling stories with photography not travel costs) very close to my heart but, much as I’d love to, there’s no way I can afford to fly all the way to the US for this.

    1. Hi Ali, mostly we just want to get to know you a little bit. Not looking for anything formal. As long as it is under 5mb, feel free to submit anything you think tells your story. Thanks.

    1. Thanks buddy. Yeah, Uncle Jackson is in storage in Minneapolis. He will definitely be participating in camp.

    1. The focus of this is book production, so we prefer a PDF. But feel free to include a link to a video in your PDF. Thanks.

  2. Is the work in the PDF supposed to show narrative potential, or is the camp open to people who are just generally interested in narrative but may have little experience (successfully) executing it?

    1. Hi Jin, the PDF is yours to shape however you wish. You can use it to show existing work, talk about experiments you’d like to do, etc. We expect, and in fact have already received, applications from people with vastly different levels of experience. What is interesting is not a formal application but an application that really leaves a lasting impression.

  3. Oh wow, if only I’d seen this a month ago an didn’t live in England. I got excited just reading about it! If this is successful, please do something like this again!

  4. I know this years application process has closed, but based on your archive it looks like these workshops take place at different times of the year? Is there and application schedule for future dates?

    Best kt

    1. This is actually our first event of this sort. You can subscribe to the LBM blog to stay informed about future events. Thanks.

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