Monday, February 16, 2015
Issue # 147

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

Oracle Awards - Nominations Due March 1st

NSN is proud to annually recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to storytelling.

Since their inception in 1995, the ORACLE Awards have been presented by the National Storytelling Network to those who have excelled in their art, or made significant contributions to storytelling, NSN or its members. There are several national and regional categories.
Previous LOCAL recipients of the Regional Service and Leadership Award in our Western Region are:
2014 - Liz Warren
2009 - LynnAnn Wojciechowicz
2007 - Sean Buvala
2002 - Sheila Pattison
1998 - Don Doyle
1996 - South Mountain Community College
The deadline for nominations (including letters of reference) is March 1st. So if you want to nominate someone nationally or from your region, the time to act is now!
Find more information and submission forms here

National Teller Lyn Ford in Phoenix This Week!

February 17th - 21st

National teller and author Lyn Ford will be in Phoenix this week, starting Tuesday the 17th to help celebrate Black history Month and kickoff the Return to the African Village.

Lynette (Lyn) Ford is a fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller who serves as a teaching artist with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) and the Ohio State-Based Collaborative Initiative of the Kennedy Center for the Arts (OSBCI).

Lyn has authored two books, Affrilachian Tales and Beyond the Briar Patch.  Lyn shares them to honor her elders and ancestors, and to preserve for her children, grandchildren, and extended story-loving family the heritage of orature she has gathered.

Save this week as Lyn will be presenting in the classroom and doing special concerts/workshops at South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute.
Click here to see all dates & times

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This Week


Return to the African Village & Oya's Market

Friday - February 20

This year marks the fifth annual production of Return to the African Village. Join SMCC's Marilyn Torres and a huge cast of storytellers in a joyful extravaganza of dance, drumming, and story in celebration of African Culture. Performance starts at 7:00 pm.

National Teller Lynette Ford will join the locals and will be telling on this night.

And Oya's Market will feature jewelry and clothing by many innovative vendors starting at 6:00 p.m. 

This event is an NSN Regional Spotlight Event!

Thanks to sponsors like Parkhurst Brothers Publishers!
Tickets Available Here


Friday - February 20th - 10:30 pm

Storyline: Don Quixote
Space 55

636 E Pierce St.
Phoenix, 85004

Telling starts at 10:30pm

Featuring: Marnee Burrus, Hattie Jean Hayes, Dan Hoen Hull, Jules Hyde, Joseph Redwood-Martinez, & Nate Romero. 

Space 55 is the Phoenix Mayor's 2014 Arts Award winner for Best Blackbox Theater

Tickets are $5.
More info here

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Coming Up


Nature Stories by Joyce Story
Thursday - February 26th - 11:00 am

Joyce Story will be telling at the Nature Center of the White Tank Mountain Regional Park on Thursday, February 26, at 11:00 am.

Joyce tells mesmerizing nature stories. They are all original, fact-based stories about the flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert.
20304 W. White Tank Mountain Rd, Waddell, AZ 85355
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Story Preparation Worksheet

I created a form that I use in my Community College Storytelling classes that has proved to be quite useful. The students must fill it out prior to even practicing their story in small groups. The information may change once they have told the story, or even several times before the do their required telling in front of the entire class

The form has some basic information about the story (title, origin, genre), but also has a few sections that I believe are important to help understand and craft the story in a more thoughtful and conscious way.

I recently updated the form and I am offering it here for evaluation and feedback. You may use the "comments" section at the end of this Newsletter, just as one does on Facebook.

A PDF and WORD version of this form may be found at
Feel free to download it, edit and use for yourself or your students as needed (with attribution)


Student Name: ____________________________________________

Story Title: _______________________________________________

Author/Origin: _____________________________________________

Genre & Culture: ___________________________________________

Length of story: ____________ (must be between 5-8 minutes)

This may seem silly, but I believe the teller must know how long the story is when told, or at least have a "first draft" understanding of how long it will be. Many students don't understand the difference between "going over the story in their head" and actually speaking it out loud. Keeping them to between 5-8 minutes is a means to make sure they present enough content, and help them keep focused on the most important part(s) of the story.

What’s the POINT or THEME of the story? What's the story about?

"What's the story about?" is a question Doug Lipman (The Storytelling Coach) asks quite often after the story is told in a coaching session. I have also adopted this tenet. This question is so important, that I believe it is essential to know BEFORE one tells the story. Sometimes, this revelation comes after telling and working on the story for a long time, but if the student can approach the telling with some sense of the theme, they will be in a better position to do justice to their tale.

What do you LOVE about this story? 

Another question I learned from Doug Lipman. Most seasoned tellers will admonish newbies to "Tell Stories you love!" This is good, and knowing what you LOVE about a story BEFORE you tell it, can inform your whole being about how you might convey that in the telling.

What parts of YOU or YOUR OWN LIFE connect with this story? 

In Liz Waren's book, The Oral Tradition Today, Susan Klein states:
"When something within a folktale resonates with your own story, it calls to you to be its voice. And then the responsibility begins. You do whatever you need to do to get to the root of what it means to you and the truth that resides in the story."
I believe this is true for all types of stories one chooses to tell, not only folktales. By telling a story, we show parts of who we are. We must know all the pieces in the story to which we connect. That gives the story life.

From what VOICE (Point of View) will the story be told?
    First Person - WHO is speaking? 
    Third Person Omniscient (Narrator)?
    Second Person - WHO is speaking and to WHOM are they speaking?

Here, I ask the student to make a choice about the "voice" or Point of view of the story. I ask them to think about how the story might change in any way if it was told from a voice other than that of the traditional narrator voice.

First Line:_________________________________

Most storytellers agree that one should not memorize the whole story. But most also agree that tellers should specifically craft and memorize the first and last lines of a story. (See my previous Tip on First and Last Lines)

What will be the first line of your story? Is there something other than the traditional, "Once upon a time"? First lines can set the scene, tone of the story; introduce characters; tell when and where the story takes place, etc. But the first line must also draw in the audience and make them want to hear more.

Last Line: _________________________

How will you end your story? (See my previous tip about Endings) The end to your story needs to clearly say "The End", but it is best said in the context of the story. Endings should "put a button" on the story; wrap it up in some way...or not. An ending that leaves the audience wondering what really happened can be just as effective...sometimes. Again, the point I want to stress is that I want the student to give some thought to what their last line will be. Ending the story with a great line can make it the most memorable story the audience has ever heard. And isn't that part of what we want?

©Mark Goldman 2015


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Want to Learn More About Crafting The Language of Your Story!
WORKSHOP - Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mark Goldman has designed a new workshop to help you find compelling language that fits you and fits your story!
You will be taken step-by-step through different exercises that will help you find creative imagery that jumps from “your” mind to the mind of the “listener”. Language and imagery that makes your story more memorable and lasting for the audience.
SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, March 28, 2015
Time: 10:00am - 12:30pm
Location: Private Residence near Cactus & 32nd Street - Phoenix
Fee: $27
*Save $5 - Get Mark's Book - (A $17 value)
Storytelling Tips: Crating, Crafting and Telling Stories
                 Workshop & Book: $39
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------------------------------------THERE'S A LOT GOING ON EACH MONTH
---------------------------------CALL TO MAKE SURE THE EVENT IS STILL ON

Loren Russell at Wild Horse Pass
Every Thursday-Friday-Saturday of each month - 6:00 PM - Through March 21st

Homebase Poetry
First Sunday of each month - Phoenix

Infuse Open Mic
Second Sunday of each month - Phoenix

Yarnball Storytellers 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

Third Friday (usually) of each month - PHOENIX

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 June, July & August

East Valley Tellers of Tales -Storytellers Guild
Second Saturday of each month - SCOTTSDALE

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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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