Monday - December 11, 2017
Issue # 292

Got some news or information you would like to get out to the storytelling community?
Contact Mark Goldman -x602-390-3858x - Mark@Storytellermark.com

Call for Proposals - Rocky Mountain Storytelling Conference

The Rocky Mountain Storytelling Conference is calling for Proposals for workshops and performances for their 2018 Conference on April 21st. Proposals are due in 8 days, on December 22nd, so now is the time!

The Conference is held in beautiful Golden, Colorado (where Coors Beer is made). The folks are very warm and welcoming and there are usually about 75 to 100 attendees. 

The 2018 theme is Change the Story, Change the World - Exploring Story’s Impact from folk and fairy tales to slams and personal stories. The featured performer and Keynote speaker will be Lyn Ford!


Nancy Hicks - Now Listening on High

It is with great sadness and regret that I let you all know that Nancy Hicks, wife of storyteller Cliff Hicks, passed away suddenly, two weeks ago. Our thoughts and feelings go out to Cliff and other family members.

Nancy did not identify herself as a storyteller, but faithfully attended the West Side Story Tellers guild meetings. She was a great listener, although, I believe I remember having heard her tell a story one time and it was quite good. She will be missed!

Nancy's memorial service will be on
Thursday, December 14, at 10:30 am
at Apollo Baptist Church
, 11611 N. 51st Ave

Open Enrollment for Healthcare - DEADLINE is FRIDAY!

You can enroll in or change 2018 Marketplace health insurance right now. The 2018 Open Enrollment Period runs to FRIDAY - December 15, 2017.


IMPORTANT: 2018 Open Enrollment Period is much shorter than in previous years

AND the Government is spending LESS on marketing & promotion!
It's important to act quickly. If you don't act by December 15, you can't get 2018 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2018.

  • December 15, 2017 DEADLINE: Last day to enroll in or change plans for 2018 coverage. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
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This Week


Storytelling at Phoestivus Open Air Market

Thursday - December 14th & 21st - 8:pm
Phoenix Open Air MArket
721 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 85004

The Phoestivus market features over 150 local artisans, producers, farmers, food trucks and community partners and reaches more than 6,000 attendees.

There will be a short Holiday Storytelling show performed at the market at SoundBite, a food truck that features a drop-down live entertainment stage produced by Short Leash Hot Dogs and KJZZ.

The Market will be held from 5pm-10pm and the Storytellers will perform from 8pm to 8:45pm. 


Thursday December 14
HOST: Megan Finnerty


  • JJ Hensley
  • Mark Goldman
  • Weldon Johnson
  • Megan Finnerty 

Thursday December 21
HOST: Joanna Brathwaite


  • JJ Hensley
  • Mark Goldman
  • Weldon Johnson
  • Dianna M. Náñez






PARKIING: There is free parking north of the Market off of Mckinley between Central and 1st. 
There is also more parking in the lot South of Pierce - I believe it is $6.  It is a huge lot that should be easy to find parking.

Winter's Light - 20th Year!

Sunday - December 17th - 7:30 pm
Winter's Light at Community Christian Church
1701 S College Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281

Stories of Light Entering Into the Darkness of our Lives

Community Christian Church keeps this tradition alive by presenting storytellers from diverse faith traditions who gather together each December to tell stories and light candles in a show of unity and hope. "Winter's Light" is a joyous, multi-cultural, inter-faith storytelling event for the holidays.
Click here for their Facebook page and a map

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Coming Up


Arizona Storytellers: Holiday Spectacular
Wednesday & Thursday - December 20th & 21st - 6:30pm
Crescent Ballroom

On this night, we celebrate the stories that unite our communities, faiths and families. Join azcentral.com and The Arizona Republic for a night of holiday cookies, cocoa and tales in the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom.


Megan Finnerty, Director of the Storytellers Brand Studio and founder of the Storytellers Project

Garrett Mitchell, reporter, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com

  • General Admission tickets ($14) & Students ($7) include hot chocolate and fabulous holiday cookies as our gift to you. Full cash bar. (No dinner.)
  • Supporter Seating tickets ($30) include hot chocolate and holiday cookies, plus priority seating in rows 2-4, a souvenir Arizona Storytellers Project glass from local maker Refresh Glass, and a holiday card with two free tickets to any 2017 show.
  • Self-park is free and is to the West of the property in the convention area. Valet is free, but tips are customary.
  • This night is best for children who understand the complexities of the holidays.
Megan Finnerty, director of the Storytellers Brand Studio
Alexus Rhone, associate producer with the Storytellers Brand Studio
Featured Storytellers:
Lorraine Longhi
Evan E. Roberts
Nate Romero
Kaden Sheffield
Rafael Carranza
Megan Finnerty
Become a subscriber: All Arizona Republic and azcentral subscribers receive a complimentary, gourmet brownie from Fairytale Brownies at check-in. Click here to learn about other great subscriber perks. 
Accessibility Note: If you require ASL Interpretation Services for this event or a future Storytellers event, or if you require accommodations related to mobility or seating, contact Alexus Rhone at arhone@gannett.com.

Info & Tickets

Music & Stories with Sule Greg Wilson
Friday - December 22 -8:45 pm
Fiddler's Dream Coffee House
1702 E Glendale Ave, Phoenix AZZ 85020 

Musician and Storyteller Sule Greg Willson performs and does what he does best - Plays Music and Tells Stories! Join him for a short set at 8:45 pm at the iconic Fiddler's Dream Coffeehouse! He informs us that some of the stories will be seasonal.

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Holiday Stories

Here you are; a Storyteller. You have a small, but good repertoire of stories you can tell to a variety of audiences; folktales; fairytales; fact-based, historical tales; even a few humorous personal stories. You feel confident about your storytelling and look forward to sharing yourself with audiences. Then, you get that phone call.

"Hello, I'm looking for a storyteller who can entertain at my party with some holiday stories. Christmas stories would be fine, I will also have a lot of guests that are Jewish, so I would love some Hanukah stories too."
(NOTE: There are approximately 1000 different ways to spell Chanukkah!)

"Oi vey!", you think. "What will I do? I don't have ANY holiday stories."

Don't despair,
Or pull out your hair.
Don't feel sad or left in the lurch,
Now is the time to start your search!

Stories of the holidays, or even other specialty stories aren't that hard to find and then craft. One should approach them as any other story you might be looking for, just as you would search for a folktale or fairytale. You may want to review my TIP about Building your repertoire

The internet is always a good place to start. A simple Google search for "Christmas stories" shows 5 million results. "Hanukkah stories" shows 2.5 million results. One can narrow the search criteria to fit your needs. Note, if you're not sure how to narrow the results, ask a 16-year-old for help!

Search online for magazines, or periodicals like Readers' Digest, or The Guardian. Once on their page, do anther search for holiday stories.

A stop at the library can open a whole new world, especially for those who haven't frequented the "original" reference resource! The Librarian knows all the best books and places to find them in the vast recesses of the place one should practice quietness. They might even share a story or two that they love with you. I'm sure they know many.

Check with your colleagues, in person or online. Storytellers are always ready to help each other with suggestions or resources.

Suffice it to say that there are many resources for finding the right holiday stoy to tell. Oh yeah, and donn't forget that you can always write your OWN holiday tale!

See Tidbits below for a simple litttle story that I have been using for many years.

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Nativity Gone Wong - No Room at the Inn
A Christmas story penned by Ron Hutchcraft, based on a supposedly true story from Readers' Digest. Some years ago, I also found the story published in The Guardian. The boy's name is different in other versions. I heard it as "Walter".

It was the biggest event of the year in the little town of Cornwall. It was the annual Christmas pageant, staring many of the people of the town. When it came time for casting the various parts, every parent wanted their son or daughter to be included, of course. On audition day, it didn't take long to match every part with just the right person. But then there was Harold. The little guy really wanted a part, but because of his learning disabilities, the directors kept passing him over. But Harold just kept popping up again, asking for a part. Finally, the directors gave in and they gave him what they judged to be a no-risk part - the innkeeper who comes to the door and tells Mary and Joseph the inn is full. It was a part with only one simple line. Little did they know that the stage had been set for the most memorable Christmas pageant they had ever seen.
The night of the pageant, you had to get there early just to get a seat. Backstage, the shepherds were putting on their bathrobes, the angels were adjusting their halos, and everyone was reviewing their lines. The directors were going over Harold's line with him one more time, "Now, remember, Harold ... 'I'm sorry, we have no room.'" Slowly, but surely, Harold repeated his line.
The men of the church had built a set that portrayed Bethlehem in the background, a manger on the right, and the inn on the left. As Act One neared its end, a weary Mary and Joseph trudged up to the inn door, desperately looking for shelter. Joseph knocked on the inn door and nothing happened. Backstage the front rows could hear the director whispering, "Now, Harold, now!" The set began to shake as Harold struggled to get the inn door open. Then, standing there in his bathrobe, Harold listened as Joseph begged for a room for his pregnant wife.
Harold said nothing. Again, the backstage whisper, "I'm sorry, we have no room." Another long pause. Finally, Harold struggled through his line, "I'm sorry - we have no room." Then he slowly closed the door. It was as Mary and Joseph began to turn away that the totally unforgettable moment came - the one no one would ever forget. Suddenly, the set started to shake again as Harold again struggled to get the door open. Before the stunned director could get to him, Harold opened the door and ran after the departing Mary and Joseph. And loud enough for people in the basement to hear, Harold shouted, "Wait! Wait! You can have my room!"
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------------------------------------THERE'S A LOT GOING ON EACH MONTH
---------------------------------CALL TO MAKE SURE THE EVENT IS STILL ON

Infuse Open Mic
Second Sunday of each month - Phoenix

Chatterbox Open Mic
Every Wednesday at  8 pm - PHOENIX

FStorytellers - Female Story Tellers - Tucson
Usually sometime during the first week of the month - but check their website) at  7 pm - TUCSON

Odyssey Storytelling
First Thursday of each month (usually but check calendar) - TUCSON

Tucson Tellers of Tales - Storytellers Guild
First Saturday of each month (except July and August) - Tucson

West Side Story Tellers - Storytellers Guild
First Saturday of each month - GLENDALE *NO meetings in July & August

East Valley Tellers of Tales -Storytellers Guild
Second Saturday of each month - SCOTTSDALE - *NO meetings in July & August

Fourth Saturday of each month (usually - check calendar) - *NO meetings in June & July
SMCC Storytelling Institute
A monthly workshop designed to help storytellers build community and deepen repertoire.
See the Calendar

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All Newsletter content ©Mark Goldman
Got some news or information you would like to get out to the storytelling community?

Contact Mark Goldman -x602-390-3858x - Mark@Storytellermark.com


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