Sleep Storyteller-in-Residence

What We Did

The brief was to generate coverage, buzz, awareness and users for Sleep Stories, the bedtime stories for grownups, produced by Calm, the meditation and sleep app.

Among the ways we responded was by appointing Phoebe Smith, one of Calm’s top writers of Sleep Stories as Calm's and the world’s first official “Sleep Storyteller-in-Residence” – the writer paid to send millions to sleep.

We also coined the terms “Slow Literature” and “Slow Lit” to describe the new literary genre that Calm’s Sleep Stories were helping forge – and declared Calm’s Phoebe Smith “the JK Rowling of Slow Lit”.

“Phoebe Smith has just been appointed Calm’s first Sleep-Storyteller-In-Residence … Smith fell asleep listening to the audio version of her own story.”

The (London) Evening Standard


Huge media interest and worldwide coverage – approaching 500 pieces of coverage.

This was one of many ideas that helped Calm grow from nine staff in a one-bedroom apartment into Apple’s App of the Year, the first mental health unicorn and the world’s top-grossing health and fitness app.

Key Points

  • Huge global coverage
  • Tier 1, national media
  • Spreads virally


Phoebe Smith’s appointment as the world’s first Sleep Storyteller-in-Residence won Calm worldwide coverage, which is still continuing. This came in countries including the UK, US, Canada, India, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Russia, Hong Kong, Portugal, Brazil, Belgium (French and Flemish), France, Denmark, Germany, China, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam.

  • The Today Show (NBC)
  • The Guardian – Twice, in different articles, both in print and online.
  • USA Today
  • Time Magazine/
  • Marketwatch
  • The (London) Evening Standard – online and in print.
  • The List (National US TV)
  • BBC Radio 4 – Front Row
  • BBC Radio – Saturday Live
  • BBC Radio 5 –
  • BBC Radio Scotland
  • The Irish Times
  • The Scotsman
  • & Parade Magazine (Syndicated to over 700 papers across the US.)
  • Gateway Media – Syndicated to 1,400 outlets
  • MSN
  • Apartment Therapy
  • CBC Radio – various times
  • Publishers Weekly
  • CTV Morning Live
  • The Drudge Report
  • The Magic of Sleep (Penguin book)
  • Major newspapers and other media in Austria, Mexico, New Zealand and beyond…

And hundreds more across the world.