Tag Archives: Workshop

Introduction to Traditional Stories

This is a five session introduction to finding, learning and confidently telling traditional folk, cultural, and fairytales.

Iin July and August the American School of Storytelling will offer a 5 session Introduction to Traditional Stories. Taught by Loren Niemi and Diane Edgecomb, it will include how to find, learn and confidently tell traditional stories. It will also explore creating contemporary or braided variations and the necessary cautions of cultural appropriation.

Online (Zoom) Wednesday nights from 6:00-7:30 PM Central time July 13, 20, 27, August 3 and 10th. Priced at $100 for all five sessions, this will be both informative and fun, whether you want to tell a lighthearted Goldilocks and the 3 Bears or the darker shadow of the Brothers Grimm’s Bearskin.

Storytelling Summer Camp: Humor and heart. What makes the story work and why it matters.

This is a four session introduction to the art and craft of storytelling. The topics vary by session – come to one or come to all.

Want to tell stories? Want to tell better stories? If you are interested in sharing traditional stories with your children and family, or students or others, these four sessions will help you learn how to select and learn age appropriate traditional stories. If you are interested in telling personal stories whether in the 5-6 minute Moth format or the more comprehensive longer format, these four sessions will help you decide where to begin, where to end, what to include and why it matters. This is a hands- on process which will have you telling stories in each session. Sign up for all four sessions or drop by for any one of them.

July 7th – How to find and learn stories regardless of whether they are traditional or personal.

July 14th – Beginnings, endings and how we get from one to the other.

July 21st – Who is telling the story and the selection of the right details to “hook” the audience.

July 28th – Humor and heart. What makes the story work and why it matters.

Each $20 session is from 7:00 to 8:30 PM Central time on the Zoom platform.

Storytelling Summer Camp: Who is telling the story and the selection of the right details to “hook” the audience.

This is a four session introduction to the art and craft of storytelling. The topics vary by session – come to one or come to all.

Want to tell stories? Want to tell better stories? If you are interested in sharing traditional stories with your children and family, or students or others, these four sessions will help you learn how to select and learn age appropriate traditional stories. If you are interested in telling personal stories whether in the 5-6 minute Moth format or the more comprehensive longer format, these four sessions will help you decide where to begin, where to end, what to include and why it matters. This is a hands- on process which will have you telling stories in each session. Sign up for all four sessions or drop by for any one of them.

July 7th – How to find and learn stories regardless of whether they are traditional or personal.

July 14th – Beginnings, endings and how we get from one to the other.

July 21st – Who is telling the story and the selection of the right details to “hook” the audience.

July 28th – Humor and heart. What makes the story work and why it matters.

Each $20 session is from 7:00 to 8:30 PM Central time on the Zoom platform.

Storytelling Summer Camp: Beginnings, endings and how we get from one to the other.

This is a four session introduction to the art and craft of storytelling. The topics vary by session – come to one or come to all.

Want to tell stories? Want to tell better stories? If you are interested in sharing traditional stories with your children and family, or students or others, these four sessions will help you learn how to select and learn age appropriate traditional stories. If you are interested in telling personal stories whether in the 5-6 minute Moth format or the more comprehensive longer format, these four sessions will help you decide where to begin, where to end, what to include and why it matters. This is a hands- on process which will have you telling stories in each session. Sign up for all four sessions or drop by for any one of them.

July 7th – How to find and learn stories regardless of whether they are traditional or personal.

July 14th – Beginnings, endings and how we get from one to the other.

July 21st – Who is telling the story and the selection of the right details to “hook” the audience.

July 28th – Humor and heart. What makes the story work and why it matters.

Each $20 session is from 7:00 to 8:30 PM Central time on the Zoom platform.

Storytelling Summer Camp: How to find and learn stories regardless of whether they are traditional or personal.

This is a four session introduction to the art and craft of storytelling. The topics vary by session – come to one or come to all.

Want to tell stories? Want to tell better stories? If you are interested in sharing traditional stories with your children and family, or students or others, these four sessions will help you learn how to select and learn age appropriate traditional stories. If you are interested in telling personal stories whether in the 5-6 minute Moth format or the more comprehensive longer format, these four sessions will help you decide where to begin, where to end, what to include and why it matters. This is a hands- on process which will have you telling stories in each session. Sign up for all four sessions or drop by for any one of them.

July 7th – How to find and learn stories regardless of whether they are traditional or personal.

July 14th – Beginnings, endings and how we get from one to the other.

July 21st – Who is telling the story and the selection of the right details to “hook” the audience.

July 28th – Humor and heart. What makes the story work and why it matters.

Each $20 session is from 7:00 to 8:30 PM Central time on the Zoom platform.

Woman smoking on couch

The Body in Stories

Three 90-minute sessions on Thursdays, (7-8:30 PM Central time) June 9, 16 and 23 for $30 a session.

In June we are going to offer a Zoom repeat of 2021’s most popular class “The Erotic in Stories”, now called “The Body in Stories” (due to social media banning us for the title) which explores the difficult physical and emotional presentation of romance, sexuality and physical intimacy in stories. What is cliche? What is too much? What is enough to make how we tell about that which we often avoid telling not offend or run roughshod of the rest of the story? Bring the story you are interested in, troubled by, want to tell and we’ll work on it together.

If you can’t commit to all three sessions but want to explore the topic one on one, email us at americanschoolofstorytelling@gmail.com and we’ll schedule times.

Tigh-Na-Mara Resort

Rivers of Voices, Ocean of Stories: Coming Together Conference 2022

May 24 – 28th, at the Tigh-na-mara resort, Parksville, British Columbia on beautiful Vancouver Island

Loren joins Elizabeth Ellis to teach a “Difficult Stories” Master Class and a workshop of the interconnected dynamic of “Plot/ Point of View” for the Storytellers of Canada’s National Conference on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, May 24-29th.

  • Loren Niemi & Elizabeth Ellis present a “Difficult Stories” Master Class on May 25
  • Loren Niemi’s “Double Helix: Plot and Voice in Narratives” workshop on May 28
  • Evening Concert with Noa Baum, Elizabeth Ellis, Loren Niemi and Rubena Sinha on May 28

Reimagining Traditional Stories

by Loren Niemi – March 27, 2022

What do you remember about your favorite fairy tale? The major characters? Three pigs, a wolf… The basic plot? They build houses, the wolf blows the first two down but can’t shake the third. What else? The setting? Where were the pig’s houses? The time of year? Springtime or was it Summer? Who is telling the story?

Ahh, now there’s the first question that needs be asked about traditional tales, and personal tales as well. While most traditional tales are told in the third person (they/them), there is an argument to be made that when told in the first person (I/we) the story has more “energy” and greater emotional engagement. What is the story when told from one of the pigs or the wolf’s point of view?

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How Erotic is that?

by Loren Niemi – September 8, 2021

When we posted the description for “The Erotic in Stories” some wag commented that it was “talking about pee-pee” which probably says a lot about his proclivities but nothing about what the workshop actually is. If anything, that comment points out the need for a considered understanding about what eroticism is amid the frequent and casual misunderstandings.

We are not talking about porn. We are not talking about cliché. We are not even talking about the ordinary images of bare-chested hunks of Romance novels or the prominent busts of femme fatales of Detective/Crime covers, though they may claim it.

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Woman smoking on couch

Forgetting the Middle for a Moment

by Loren Niemi – August 7, 2021

In America we are used to stories that begin, “Once upon a time…” It is familiar and recognizable. What follows is not here and now, but some other place, some other time in which, as often as not, magic and adventure are possible. What follows is a story that proceeds to an ending which, as often as not, concludes with “Happily ever after.” It takes us out of that other time and place and returns us to the here and now. This too is a metaphor that all is well, that the world turned upside down has been righted.

“Once upon a time” and “Happily ever after” are not the only beginnings and endings of stories. There are dozens, hundreds, of culturally specific beginnings and endings but all serve the same purpose to mark a departure from the here and now into another realm. Why? It is easy to see the utility of those formula beginnings and endings in traditional stories. They are a shorthand that lets the audience suspend judgment, and enjoy the lessons, values, modeling of behaviors that are contained in the entertainment, that is the story.

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