New storytelling Guild Kansas & festival information

According to Doug Bennett, instructor and storyteller, we are trying to preserve the art of the oral tradition, in Kansas. There are plans in the works for the formation of a Southeast Kansas Storytelling Guild. The purpose for this storytelling guild is to give support to storytellers by offering a venue to create and tell stories, to teach others how to create and tell stories and to produce storytelling events in and around southeast Kansas.

Anyone over 18 interested in being a part of the storytelling guild may call Bennett at 620-308-5305 or

More Kansas information
April 26 & 27, 2013 will be the 20th annual Kansas Storytelling Festival!

Spirit of Oklahoma Storytelling Festival – Springfest sponsorship drive

There was a festival planning meeting this past weekend for our Spirit of Oklahoma Storytelling Festival in Seminole, this coming June, we have sorted out the details. The musical styling of Gary Parent and Kathy Thurman will start our concerts each night!
We have a workshop, storyswaps, story concerts, ghost tales, music and more June 7-8. We are looking for sponsorship donations to supplement the costs of the festival. We have had three members jump on board thus far with our printing and advertising costs. A shout out goes to Valerie Kimble, Elizabeth Ellis and Chester Weems – our flyers are on their way this weekend to the Texas festival, and an advertisement isin the Texas festival handout for us.
We are looking for Friday night sponsorship for our spotlight concert and ghost tales sessions. We also are looking for monies to supplement the events on Saturday. Please think about your partnership with storytelling, and help make our festival a success this year.

Storytelling Retreat this weekend in N.E.Oklahoma

Jan 25 – Jan 26, 2013 Come listen to renowned storytellers and immerse yourself into the art of storytelling. Mention that you are attending the storyteller retreat and receive a discounted room rate. There is no charge to listen to the storytellers, and hot chocolate and cookies will be provided at no charge.Call for more information 918-772-2046 Sequoyah State Park & Lodge; Hulbert, OK

Enhancing Storyteller Development


An ongoing issue in learning to be a storyteller is identifying benchmarks in skill development. What makes one a ‘master teller’? When are you no longer a ‘beginning storyteller?’ Do you self-describe or wait for others to label your level of achievement?

Authors Kendall Haven and Mary Gay Ducey in their book CRASH COURSE IN STORYTELLING (Libraries Unlimited, 2007) provide a useful and valuable trio of labels. Termed the “Three Levels of Storytelling” they are “Level 1: The Informal Storyteller” (the kitchen table, with friends, etc.); “Level 2: The Community Storyteller” (often used in the course of a career – library, community, church, classroom, courtroom, etc.);”Level 3: The Professional Storyteller” (high level of professional, highly polished and rehearsed delivery, thematically linked content, often larger than life and formally staged (pg. 5-6).

These labels also offer an exciting opportunity to begin to more intentionally develop not only the storyteller but to develop new voices. They also offer the opportunity for broadening the understanding of competency, style and audience.

It is possible to be a highly skilled and competent Informal storyteller or a community storyteller. It is ‘okay’ to not be a ‘professional’. Becoming the best artisan for the type of storytelling which excites and engages the teller is the goal rather than an artificial single lane fast track to acceptance as a ‘storyteller’.

Of course, this is only one small part of a very easy to use resource for anyone who wants to help others (students and adults) to become storytellers. Content includes “The Place of Storytelling in Your Library” (but it is highly applicable to other settings); “Why Tell It? The Power of Storytelling”; “Okay, But Can I Really Do It?” Making storytelling practical and doable” ; “Choosing Stories That Will Work for You”; “Learning to Tell?”; “First Aid”; “Storytelling Extras” (Costumes, puppets, Audience Participation, etc.); “Let the Stories roll!” (Program  ideas and advice, etc.).

Perfect for a guild to study together and practice the methods and skills discussed. Highly recommended.

Marketing Yourself, Social Media, and Storytelling

Story artisan Karen Chace presented as part of a panel at the National Storytelling Network Conference.  The theme of the topic was the business of story, the ethics of the story business, and marketing yourself and your stories.  Others on the panel included Elizabeth Ellis and Linda Gorham.  Her notes are now on her blog and well worth reading and studying them for implementation into your story life.  See them at “Catch the Story Bug.”