Summer Event

Flipping Failure Summer Workshop Series

COVID Stories: Academic Journeys During the Pandemic

This summer we are hosting a workshop series to capture and make visible experiences of academic struggle during the pandemic. The workshop series will be a guided process of reflection and discovery to capture and transfigure your unique story of challenge into creative audio narratives.

All MIT undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to APPLY by 11:59 pm on Friday, June 4, 2021. Please note that to establish a close-knit cohort and provide adequate coaching, space is limited to four participants.

Who should participate

Any undergraduate and graduate student interested in sharing their story of academic challenge, particularly through a creative lens. While it is not necessary that your story addresses COVID specifically, we are interested in how the last year has changed your perspective regarding a personal academic challenge. For example, your story could be about a particular academic challenge that was made worse by the pandemic, or a challenge that emerged as the result of the pandemic or even about a challenge that you were able to confront during the pandemic. Participants will work with an artist to turn their stories into creative audio narratives. These narratives will be shared with the MIT community through the Flipping Failure website.

Please note that to establish a close-knit cohort and provide adequate coaching:

  • space is limited to 6 participants.
  • attendance is required for all workshops.

Admitted participants will be notified on a rolling basis.

Duration and time commitment

  • 3 weeks (June 14 – July 1 week): two synchronous, 1-hr workshops every week. A break of two weeks will be provided for students to gather and record any remaining clips.
  • 4th week (July 19th week): one synchronous, 1 hr meeting to wrap up and present our stories to the group, followed by an individual 1-hr meeting (based on your availability) to record small interviews about your story.

    Week Meetings
    Mondays 12-1 pm ET Thursdays 12-1 pm ET
    1 6/14 6/17
    2 6/21 6/24
    3 6/28 7/1
    4 7/19
    Individual 1-hour meeting scheduled at a time that works for you during 7/19 week.


What to expect

  • The workshop series will combine exercises in observation, mindfulness, and journaling with instruction in crafting a narrative and topics in sound art (recording environments, basic audio theory, spoken word in audio). Participants will have the opportunity to take a creative approach to storytelling and sound design in a highly collaborative and supportive environment.
  • Guidance and feedback to the crafting and shaping of your story will be provided.
  • The weekly time commitment averages between 4-6 hours (including workshop time): 2.5 hrs of synchronous meetings, with the remaining of the time spent doing some experimentation and exercises on your own each week.
  • All workshops will be held virtually.

Prior knowledge needed

None. No prior experience producing audio or podcasts is required. The goal of this workshop series is to help you craft a narrative based on your own experience. Audio recordings will be used to serve this goal, with plenty of help provided by the workshop facilitator as needed. You are welcome to delve deeply into learning digital media techniques, but technical mastery is not required or expected. Students who are primarily interested in developing a narrative are encouraged to apply.

Tools needed

No special tools are required. Any additional materials you need will be provided to you by us.

Additional questions?

Email flippingfailure[at]