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  • Priscilla Howe

Sue Hinkel Presents: Tips for Telling

Here are some books to help you in your storytelling journey:

Telling Your Own Stories by Donald Davis. August House, 1993. In this great little book, Davis’ storyprompts draw out your personal stories. He also has a nice story structure outline. For moving from storytelling to story writing, check out Writing as a Second Language: from Experience to Story to Prose, also by Davis.

Storyteller, Storyteacher: Discovering the Power of Storytelling for Teaching and Living by Marni Gillard. Stenhouse, 1996. Not a how-to book, but a wonderfully warm “learner’s journey,” this is onestory teacher’s tale, told to encourage us all to tell stories.

Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling by Matthew Dicks. New World Library, 2018. This one is full of advice for telling personal stories, by a Moth-style storyteller.

The Storytelling Coach: How to Listen, Praise, and Bring Out People’s Best by Doug Lipman. August House, 1995. You’ll find a very useful structure for encouraging others to tell stories here. Also look for Improving Your Storytelling by Lipman.

Storytelling: Process and Practice by Norma J. Livo and Sandra A. Reitz. Libraries Unlimited, 1986. (See also Storytelling Activities by the same authors.) You’ll find nuts-and-bolts advice on storytelling here.

The Storyteller’s Start-Up Book by Margaret Read MacDonald. August House, 1993.(Also look for other collections by this storyteller, such as Twenty Tellable Tales and The Parents’ Guide to Storytelling.) I recommend this simple how-to book for beginning storytellers.

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee. Harper Collins, 1997. Though this is aimed at screenwriters, you’ll find great information on crafting stories here.

The Storyteller’s Guide by Bill Mooney and David Holt. August House, 1996. Holt and Mooney interviewed storytellers around the US for this book, which houses a wealth of information on the art, craft and business of storytelling.

Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking about Difficult Stories by Loren Niemi and Elizabeth Ellis. August House, 2001. This was written by two long-time professional storytellers who don’t shy away from telling fierce stories.

The Grammar of Fantasy: An Introduction to the Art of Inventing Stories by Gianni Rodari, translated by Jack Zipes. Teachers and Writers Collaborative, 1996. This is a quirky, funny book, full of ideas on how to play with stories in unusual ways.

The Way of the Storyteller by Ruth Sawyer. Viking, 1942. A classic in the field, this book is as readable and insightful today as it was when it was first published.

These tips are from Priscilla Howe. Thanks, Priscilla!

Subsequent months will offer tips from various sources.

Contact Sue with your tips. Email or Text 314-406-0695

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