About Racing Nellie Bly

Connecting the Past and Present to Inspire the Future

Welcome to our transmedia project based on historical characters, Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland. We were first inspired to create Racing Nellie Bly by a mere footnote in history. Everyone knew about Nellie Bly and her race to beat the fictional record around the world in eighty days in 1890. Few people, however, knew about her arch rival, Elizabeth Bisland, also a New York journalist, who launched on the same day, several hours later, in the opposite direction, thereby challenging both Bly and Phileas Fogg.

It’s these footnotes in history that inspired this story and many others in the blogs and games that make up Racing Nellie Bly. We hope we can inspire you to join the adventures!

Nellie Bly vs. Elizabeth Bisland 

In 1890, these rivaling journalists from New York City raced each other in opposite directions to beat the record around the world in eighty days. Join the adventures in this fictional account, based on true events. Racing Nellie Bly includes blogs, mobile games, interactive pages where you choose the direction of the action, a book, and film script.

The Victorian Era (also the Technological Revolution) was a time of extraordinary imagination. Mind-bending ideas and inventions surfaced daily from visionaries including Jules Verne, Nikola Tesla, Mark Twain, and many more. It was a time when bizarre gadgets and modern devices were revolutionizing daily life. It was also a time of scoundrels, swindlers, stick-ups and scams. Newspapers battled daily for the juiciest stories to win readers’ attention. Forward thinkers defied society and questioned authority. It was a time of monumental change.

Nellie Bly embraced the changes. She pushed the envelope of investigative reporting and stunt journalism, making front-page headlines. Bly loved the electric excitement in the air. Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of The New York World, found in her his secret weapon to compete for outrageous headlines. Bly masterminded incredible schemes, donned elaborate disguises, aked exotic accents — in short, she stopped at nothing to get her story.

Elizabeth Bisland, on the other hand, loved things the way they were. She was a beautiful, snooty, high-society essayist who believed in ladylike behavior and did not allow her byline to appear on her scholarly articles. Bisland resented and feared the changes Bly was spearheading.

From the time they met, Bisland and Bly became arch rivals. Racing Nellie Bly is the untold story, based on true events, of how they ended up sharing some of the greatest adventures of all time. The first of these was a highly publicized race in opposite directions around the world <96> a feat that made daily headlines across America and around the world.

In The Adventures of Nellie Bly, Elizabeth Bisland grudgingly gives in to Nellie Bly’s unladylike schemes because she can’t deny “that Bly woman” whetted her own repressed appetite for adventure and intrigue. Despite their numerous differences and non-stop banter, they make a dynamic team as they uncover stories and meet some of the great characters who made the times so incredibly dynamic.

Check out the fictionalized scene where Nellie Bly catches a hot air balloon.

Continue to Chapter 1