- The Story-Teller’s Start Up Book: Finding, Learning, Performing and Using Folktales
By Margaret Read MacDonald (August House Publishers Inc, 1993)
Want to learn how? The author of Twenty Tellable Tales, and The Parents Guide to Storytelling: How to Make Up New Stories and Retell Old Favorites and numerous other story telling books, will get you started. A teacher and librarian for many years in my Seattle area, Margaret has an infectious and involving style of telling and the twelve stories in this volume are fine examples you can learn and use. All the basics are covered here from finding breaking down and learning the story, to telling it and networking with other tellers, all with excellent bibliographical material as well. This is my number one recommendation for the beginning teller. Margaret Read MacDonald is also the author of The Storyteller’s Sourcebook: A subject, Title, and Motif-Index to Folklore collections for Children.
- Storyteller (3rd edition)
by Ramon Royal Ross (ISBN 1632170272)
A classic book that helped to spawn the current storytelling revival 25 years ago, the new edition includes discussion of personal experience stories, urban legends, choral reading, storyboard, puppetry, and music and movement storytelling. Each edition has gotten better, I know, I own all three. Here is a book that will be especially useful for teachers (whether Sunday School or the working week) who want to use puppets or flannelboard or singing and dancing as a part of telling the story. There is material here I haven’t found elsewhere.
- Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need by Margot Leitman (Sasquatch Books )ctober 13, 2015)
A current phenomenon are personal stories competitions and events such as TheMoth. Here is a practical storytelling guide from a comedian, and winner of multiple Moth storytelling competitions. Did you ever wish you could tell a story that leaves others spellbound? Storytelling teacher and champion Margot Leitman will show you how! With a fun, irreverent, and infographic approach, this guide breaks a story into concrete components with ways to improve content, structure, emotional impact, and delivery through personal anecdotes, relatable examples, and practical exercises.
- TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks by Akash Karia January 11, 2015
Transform a boring speech into a fascinating story. It tells you HOW to create a story with your information and gives lots of examples from TED, including brief videos in the Kindle book as well as links so you can watch the entire show. TED which stands for “Technology, Entertainment, and Design”. The TED Talk has reinvented the art of rhetoric for the twenty-first century setting new standards. There are numerous other TED books on using stories and also TED books on public speaking such as: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking and Talk Like TED.
- The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps to Presenting an Unforgettable Story by John Walsh
In The Art of Storytelling, John Walsh takes us through the steps to presenting a compelling story—outlining the strategies that helped him move from stutterer to storyteller. This book will help any person with a story to share by walking you through all aspects of presentation . . . from what to do with your hands as you speak all the way to crafting a killer ending. He is the founder of BibleTelling, an organization dedicated to using Bible stories for evangelism and discipleship. John is an expert at helping people learn and tell Bible stories.
- Creative Storytelling: Choosing, Inventing and Sharing tales for Children by Jack Maguire (Yellow Moon Press., 1992)
A practical volume for the beginner whether parent or teacher; there is material here on sources and types, gearing stories to different ages, techniques and utilizing your own experiences to create new tales. If you want to get started, this is a good book!
- A Crash Course in Storytelling by Jby Kendall Haven and Mary Gay Ducey Libraries Unlimited (November 30, 2006)
A very simple, easy-to-use guide for beginning storytellers. The chapters are concise, easy to read, and provide useful information, not only on the dos and don’ts of storytelling but also on how to get started. It is geared specifically toward busy librarians. It is written and formatted for those who need a quick working plan to begin storytelling. It is well-organized, allowing for quick reference to the details one might need in undertaking the storytelling process….This up-to-date book will be a great help to beginning storytellers in public libraries, school libraries, and other storytelling venues.
- Stories to Play With: Kid’s Tales Told with Puppets, Paper, toys and Imagination by Hiroko Fujita, Fran Stallings (Editor), [August House, 1999]
A book on using props for storytelling working with pre-school and younger children. Many of the props in this book enable the preschoolers to recreate the story on their own, which is a valuable pedagogical process in itself. Some of the props are simple enough that the preschoolers can make their own after hearing the story, also a valuable process.
- Creating a Family Storytelling Tradition: Awakening the Hidden Storyteller by Robin Moore, August House, 1999).
Focused on storytelling at home with the family – this is a good book for learning storytelling as well. Using series of journeys in imagination – assembling a storyteller’s toolkit both inner (memory, imagination and visualization) and outer (voice, gesture and movement.) Thanks to August House for keeping this book in print!
- Len Cabral’s Storytelling Book
by Len Cabral (Neal-Schuman, May 1997 – ISBN 1555702538)
This book teaches you to act out a story and interact with your audience rather than just reading to them. Most of the stories are accompanied by a “Telling Guide” appearing in the right hand column of each page which explains step-by-step how to tell the tale and a “Teaching Guide” which offers suggestions for related activities and ideas for discussion. The book begins with some very simple tales and progresses in the level of interactivity so you can move on to more advanced techniques as you become more comfortable and experienced. A couple of dozen multicultural tales are included.
- Pete Seeger’s Storytelling Book
by Pete Seeger (Harcourt Brace., 2000)
This is a nice collection of a variety of stories, many originating in this well known folksinger’s own childhood. There are everything from family stories to versions of Bible tales to stories inspired by songs, history, legends, and Seeger’s own imagination. In an introduction to each chapter, Seeger explains the source of the tales and offers suggestions for scouting similar ones. Each story, easy to learn, and ready to read aloud or tell, concludes with possible variations, themes, morals, and, sometimes, music. Valuable for parents, teachers, camp counselors, and librarians, this cozy collection will not only be a ready resource but also may encourage novice storytellers to strike out on their own as well.
- The Art of the Storyteller
by Marie L. Shedlock (Dover Books)
A classic book by one of the founders of American storytelling written in 1915 but still one of the most readable books on the subject in print. Both the practical how-to’s and an excellent selection of stories. You can probably find this one in the library, if not in a used bookstore nearby, though it remains available from Dover Books (11 East 2nd St., Mineloa, N.Y. 11501 – no phone orders accepted), which have also kept available Joseph Jacob’s English folklore books, Andrew Lang’s Fairy Tale books of many colors, and Howard Pyle’s Arthur and Robin Hood books – look in their section on Children’s Books.
- Just Enough To Make A Story: A Sourcebook for Storytelling
by Nancy Schimmel (Sisters Choice Press., 1992)
Learning how to tell a story can make you a more effective orator and conversationalist, as well as helping you share your own life experiences and those of your family. In simple and elegant style, Nancy Schimmel relates the process of storytelling from choosing and learning a story to telling one. This is a terrific sourcebook with plenty of ideas to get you going and reading lists at the end of each section, including a four page listing of sources for stories involving strong and active heroines.
- The Way of the Storyteller
by Ruth Sawyer – Back in Print!! (Penguin USA, 1998) ISBN: 0140044361
This book first written in 1942 has be reprinted numerous times and is truely a classic! A series of essays on the nature and power of storytelling that have inspired several generations of tellers, combined with eleven excellent stories. Her chapter on how to abolish technique is heavily underlined in my copy. Reread this book often, and put quotations from it on your wall. Just as I have on my website.
Listening/Watching: Storytelling Online
The Moth: True Stories Told Live Acclaimed radio broadcasting of storytellers sharing human experience tales before live audiences. This is another addictive site! – you will be drawn in “like moths to a flame.” The Moth Radio Hour information, program archive and local station carriage details can be found at:
This American Life This is a great source for stories told on the radio. Multiple audio recordings, many topics from different people telling (mostly) true stories; a fascinating and entertaining experience.
RISK: True Tales Boldly Told “RISK! is a live show and podcast where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public, hosted by Kevin Allison of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe, The State.”
RADIOLAB “Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience”. Stories are key to the Radiolab show and are used in such a way as to capture our imaginations and aid our understanding of the featured topic.
TED.com From the famous TED Talks – a great range of examples of storytelling. Showcases presentations with stories ranging from personal history, family history, modern events and explanations. It is a great place to get motivation and inspiration for your own story. Be careful….you can get completely absorbed by searching talks at TED….a never ending source of incredible presentations.
The Art of Storytelling Show Numerous interviews with people in the storytelling world. Many interviews are available directly on this site, others available via download. Huge selection of topics. Podcasts with host, Eric (Brother) Wolf.
Storyteller.net Amphitheater podcast. Interviews and discussions on the art of storytelling.
Effective storytelling is a fine and beautiful art. A well-developed and presented story can cut across age barriers and will hold the interest and reach its listeners. Stories will be remembered long after other orations. Knowing and applying the basics of storytelling will strengthen your stories.