Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 have been the runaway hits of 2016 and 2017 and now the Rebel Girls movement has been turned into a podcast – ten amazing adventures read by ten captivating storytellers for inspiring girls (and boys!) everywhere to be their own person and unafraid of being different. We were lucky enough to get the chance to chat with the books’ authors, Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli, about it and what the future holds for Rebel Girls!
Good Night Stories is a book with beautiful illustrations that was launched in 2016, now, less than 2 years later, it has been adapted to be a podcast. How was the process, from a creative and production point of view, of transforming written and illustrated stories to audio stories? What tips would you share with someone who would like to make the same transition from the written to spoken word?
When writing the books, we imagined how they would be read aloud–not just parents reading these stories to their children, but as part of a larger tradition of storytelling. We wanted the stories to feel like the stories you would share around a fire. In this way, the transition into audio felt natural, and through the sound-rich medium of podcasts, we were able to further illustrate the stories and immerse our audience with sound effects and a varying roster of narrators.
Young women starting and listening to podcasts has become a growing trend, as most of the research about podcasting trends confirms. What is your opinion on this? And where do you see this trend heading?
Most people seek out podcasts to gain knowledge or insightful information, so the fact that more women are listening to podcasts is unsurprising. Women now earn the greater bulk of college degrees in America. There’s a hunger for knowledge, especially about figures that have gone unnoticed or have been strategically erased; but regardless, have had huge effects on history
Let’s come back to the topic of your book and, now, the podcast. How did you choose the rebel girls which narrated the book and the podcast? What do you think being a rebel woman in 2018 really means?
We want to show young girls and young women that it’s not always important to be liked. We don’t just want to include perfect women or saints, you can be imperfect. These are stories of women living on their own terms – that’s what’s important. We identified three main criteria for story selection: 1) we wanted a range of different professions and fields 2) we wanted to include women from all over the world 3) we had to find women with fascinating stories, that would engage readers.
To us, being a ‘rebel girl’ means living on your own terms and resisting society’s expectations. Most women face some sort of sexism on daily basis, and being a rebel is about finding a way of surviving and succeeding against the odds. Rebels make the most of their circumstances, and they’re all around us, in all areas of life and all corners of the world. The rebel girls featured in these books are not perfect women but, in their lifetimes, they have achieved something extraordinary. They show that real women can achieve incredible goals.
Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite? Have you found any other podcasts with a similar topic which targets young and brave women like the one you’re launching?
We do listen to podcasts and were inspired with a number of productions when creating our podcast. However, much like the books, we noticed that there is simply a lack of content like this on the market, and we hope to help change that with our new podcast. We cannot wait to continue this conversation with such a rich medium and hope that it can show young girls that no dream is too big or too far out of reach.
Thinking about the future. Can we expect a volume 3? What does the future hold for Rebel Girls?
We’ve always looked at our books as the stepping stone of a larger media company. That’s why we also want to tackle radio. This is a storytelling revolution and we’re just getting started.
So there you have it – Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is not just a book, it’s a mindset and way of life. The podcast looks set to be just as inspiring and enthralling as the books themselves, so if you or any ‘Rebel Girl’ in your life want to be inspired – press play and stay rebel!