Pre-Conference Intensive with Kaye Byrnes (extra fee required)

Kaye Byrnes

Effective marketing and promotion are essential to building your storytelling opportunities. Explore the many ways to connect with potential venues and fill your calendar with programs. Topics include Personal Parameters, Defining Your Audience/Venues, Marketing Materials, Your Digital Presence, Making Contact and more. REGISTER HERE


Sheila Arnold

Folktales, Fairytales & Social Justice

Fairytales can engage us in the imaginary and hopeful.  Folktales gives us glimpses into cultural thoughts and norms.  This session will combine hopes and cultural thoughts to address social justice issues, like suicide, PTSD, poverty, immigration, race reconciliation, etc.  Hear a story combining fairy tale and a current issue, and then join a group discussion and brainstorm how we can use the oldest stories as vehicles for awareness and change.

Coaching Session

Sheila will offer a 90-minute coaching session in which three people receive 30 minutes each to share a story and get feedback.  Those not coached will observe and learn techniques which can be applied to their own stories as well as valuable coaching techniques to use when working with other storytellers.


Carrie Sue Ayvar

Tiny Treasures – Early Childhood Tales & Techniques

Explore tales and techniques for our tiniest treasures, our babies, toddlers and preschoolers, to strengthen and support essential Early Childhood Language and Emergent Literacy Skills. Using an interactive, multimodal approach to early childhood learning that fuses creative movement, musicality and the art of storytelling, participants will learn effective strategies as well as the rationale behind them for building language and encouraging learning through storytelling and play.


Margaret Kaler

It’s About Focus

Find the heart of the story, the emotion in the story for yourself and your audience. The emotion is the heartbeat of the story. Focus on what part of the story serves that essential “life.” History, folktale or “true story”, it is focus that gives a story its shape.  Moment by moment re-creation gives us a sense of reality.  Practice techniques to find and to evoke true emotion and strong presence in your storytelling.

Jim May

Personal Narrative, Culture, Myth

Focus on recovering and telling personal experience and family stories in the context of cultural influences, while using myth (the overarching traditional and spiritual – “big stories_ — that have informed and guided humanity over the years) to offer perspective and depth to our explorations. The workshop will include an opportunity for critiquing as well as an introduction of a proven critiquing method that participants can learn and use in their communities or with colleagues.


Ingrid Nixon

Serve ‘Em Up Fresh!

In this highly interactive workshop, we’ll explore how to spice up traditional stories to make them your own and increase their relevancy for modern audiences. Leave with specific steps you can use in your story preparation that will leave your listeners begging for more!


Sam Payne

Before Anything, Witness

A lot of storytellers work and work on perfecting every gesture, glance, and accent of a story performance, without stopping to ask why they’re telling the story in the first place. This workshop is driven by the notion that there’s nothing quite like a story that knows why it’s there.

That’s What the Music is For

Even tellers who can’t carry a tune in a bucket can find the music in a great story. Because fiddling with fundamentals of form, rhythm and rhyme, sound and structure are as much the storyteller’s tools as the songwriter’s, this workshop explores relationships between making tunes and making tales.


Judy Sima

Capturing the “Story” Behind the Facts

Do you want to tell stories of your ancestors but don’t know where to begin? Has an overwhelming amount of information prevented you from telling stories of historical figures? Are you looking for inspiring oral or written projects for your students? In this practical, highly interactive workshop you’ll learn how to move away from the “facts” to create memorable stories that bring the past to life whether in the classroom or on the stage.


Rose van der Berg

Powerful Performance Essentials: How to Captivate Your Listeners

Explore the key ingredients needed to bring a story to life. This hands-on workshop will overview dramatic, vocal and physical performance techniques. Discover new capabilities for using your voice, body and imagination through fun improvisational theater games. Take away methods to further develop your stage artistry and grow your ability to wow audiences. This safe learning space will offer all levels of experience the opportunity to expand your creativity and increase your skills and confidence.



Shawn Welcome

Verbstract Imagery: A sensible break from convention

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it! This workshop will interactively guide participants into conversation and a writing/sharing exercise that is designed to extract new, fun, and impactful ways to communicate. We will also explore ways to break conventions in writing without sacrificing the attention of your audience.