When I first started to seriously consider storytelling, I spent a lot of time doing research at the library  My research included reading folktales, reviewing audio/video recordings, buying books and searching the Internet for storytelling information.  I started to follow the work of storytellers I admired, and I visited with program coordinators at my local library and school district to find out what they looked for when they worked with storytellers.    

I joined a local storytelling group, and became a member of the NSN – the National Storytelling Network (www.storynet.org).

National Storytelling Network

NSN-We Grow Storytellers

I also made an effort to go to as many storytelling workshops, events, concerts and storytelling festivals as possible. At each show, I evaluated different presentation styles, story selections and I watched how the audience reacted to specific stories.  I was not doing this to duplicate what other storytellers did, but to consider what qualities made a story worth sharing and of interest to an audience.   

My local storytelling guild provided me with a peer group to serve as a test audience for the new stories I was learning. There is nothing so fine as a support group of like-minded people to listen and provide feedback about what really works in a story, or to make suggestions on how to make a story better.  

I also expanded my knowledge about the art of storytelling by joining other storytelling groups like www.storyteller.net and www.professionalstoryteller.ning.com. (Most recently, I find I am using the Internet more often since it continues to provide even more ways to learn and connect to other storytellers through blogs, newsletters, social networks and YouTube.) 

I am amazed at how things have changed since I decided to become a full-time storyteller in 1996! What a fun and exciting journey it has been. As I look to the future, I smile – what new experience or learning opportunity waits? Only time will tell.  

If you are thinking about telling stories, or if you are considering becoming a storyteller, I hope the information in this blog will help you find your way. 

I love to hear from folks interested in telling stories, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the art of story.