The journey of this special issue has been a complex one as it began with a proposal to the MeCSSA Practice Network for an IRL symposium at Solent University in Southampton. Actually, this was the second application the Solent University had submitted, so we were excited to have the proposal accepted. But this was pre-COVID and our plans to host the symposium in the real world were not to be. A rapid pivot to an online symposium and an even more rapid skilling up in the department of digital literacy followed and led to the successful delivery of the symposium. The convenors set out from the start to situate the symposium in response to what was at the time an ongoing 2021 REF exercise. We sought to address the inconsistencies in the narrative approaches to evidencing impact and to consider how long-term impact might be quantified in relation to creative and cultural practice. The call for papers encouraged delegates to think about different means for narrativising research and impact claims. The call for papers challenged us all to be more strategic in the development of recognition for creative practice artefacts as research objects in their own right. More than this, the symposium aimed to take hold of what has for a long time appeared ephemeral and seemingly just slightly beyond reach (e.g. the notion of impact of creative practice research). To establish quite how as practitioners, our research can be narrativised in a way which is meaningful, visible, and significant.