Once Upon A Tome: the Art of Storytelling

Once Upon A Tome: the Art of Storytelling

Monday, March 26, 2007

Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in words, images, and sounds, usually characterized by an active dialogue between the storyteller and an audience. Today there is a surge of interest in storytelling, as evidenced by the dozens of storytelling festivals throughout the country. But it is also a useful skill to learn. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, for page or stage, a strong, narrative story will keep the reader interested and bring your writing to life.

A panel of professional storytellers and creative narrative specialists will share their secrets and techniques for finding your writing voice and applying the art of storytelling to your work. They’ll also explore the marketplace for writers as storytellers.

Meet the panelists

Stacie Chaiken is a writer-performer and the founder/artistic director of the “What’s the Story?” solo performance workshop Los Angeles, which presented its first festival of new full-length solo plays in February 2007. Chaiken’s new play, “The Dig: Death, Genesis, and the Double Helix,” is scheduled for a Los Angeles production in 2007.

Penny Post is a writer, speaker and coach of all who would practice the verbal arts who has also performed as a professional storyteller for 20 years. In 1990 she began teaching her own workshops about storytelling and its transition from the campfire to the conference table. Post has also served as an officer of Toastmasters International.

The oft-honored author of hundreds of magazine articles and more than a dozen non-fiction books, Marvin J. Wolf is the generalist as consummate storyteller. Writing imaginatively and authoritatively on subjects ranging from business to crime, from broadcasting to grantsmanship, and from ethics to technology, his common denominator is people in their infinite variety. Wolf is the author/screenwriter of the bestsellers “Fallen Angels” and “Where White Men Fear To Tread,” and the movie “Ladies Night,” which aired on the USA Cable Network in 2005.

Ina Hillebrandt teaches memoir writing and literacy workshops for adults and children that focus on storytelling, finding your own voice, self-expression, and performing your stories. Hillebrandt is the author of “Pawprints,” a collection of essays about the animals in her life, and “How to Write Your Memoirs: Fun Prompts that Make Writing, and Reading, Your Life Stories A Pleasure.” In her prior business life, she used storytelling in the corporate world as a Fortune 500 consultant.

Terrie Silverman, MFA, is a writer, solo performer and educator who has been writing about her life and performing it since 1995. She has been presented at various theaters and art festivals, including MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art), the Getty Center, the HBO Workspace, KPFK Radio, UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Department, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Highways, F.A.R. (Foundation for Arts Resources), the Azatlan Center for International Women’s Day, and Track 16 Art Gallery. Among her career highlights is “4 Women for Women,” which Silverman produced and performed, along with Laraine Newman, Melanie Chartoff, Ann Randolph, and host Julia Sweeney. Silverman has also worked with The Bread and Puppet Theater, and has died on-stage with Sir Ian McKellan.


Gary Young’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S. and Europe, at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the White House, the Smithsonian, and other schools and colleges. “Interruptions,” an offbeat but sensitive portrayal of grief and loss, originally produced at the Kennedy Center, ran at the Stella Adler theatre in L.A. His one-person show, “On Hold: the Myth of Male Maturity,” opens soon.