Are you the missing ingredient in your stories?

If you’ve been to one of my workshops or met me in person at all, chances are I’ve lobbed a personal anecdote in your direction. It’s not that my life is so fascinating, but it’s the material I have to work with, so why not make the best of it? What am I likely to […]

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You should learn storytelling through fairy tales

Sometime last fall, I decided to use fairy tales in my storytelling workshops. It wasn’t one of those careful choices that one makes based on some kind considered decision-making process. It was something I threw out in a conversation because I found it entertaining to ask academics to talk about Little Red Riding Hood. My […]

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A little book with big ideas about storytelling

The Mystery Feast isn’t a book I went looking for. I suspect it found me. I was aware of Nigerian author Ben Okri as any Booker Prize follower must be aware of him. His novel The Famished Road won the Booker Prize in 1991. However, my interest became more specific last summer. I spent a […]

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I want to irritate workshop participants

I love giving workshops. Over the years, my workshops have shifted from an opportunity for me to teach towards an adventure in which we explore a topic together. The terrain may be familiar to me, but like any journey you’ve undertaken hundreds of times, a new companion always makes it new again. Let me tell […]

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Use storytelling to enhance language learning

This post is a supplement to my Deskundigheidsdag presentation at In’to Languages at Radboud University. Authentic teaching materials are everywhere if you’re a language teacher. There are newspapers, websites, and textbooks galore if you are looking for non-fiction or literary texts to work with. These texts are impersonal. They do not tell individual stories and […]

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Seeds to Stories: my storytelling workshop experience

This summer, I travelled with my children by train from the Netherlands, under the English Channel via the Channel Tunnel to London and then south to Forest Row, in Sussex. There, we attended a week-long event at Emerson College. Among other things, I took part in a storytelling workshop led by the gracious and talented […]

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shovel and rake

Stop telling the wrong story and start telling your story

We tell stories when we’re asking for things. Kids do it when they explain all the circumstances that require them to own the latest gadget. As adults, a great deal of the storytelling we do is in a business setting. This starts when you write a cover letter for your CV and continues through your […]

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Tell you Story, Minus the Barnacles

Imagine my dismay when I discovered a book with the same title as my official business name. I felt a bit dumb. I felt a bit silly. But most of all, I was curious. What would a book called Storycraft be about? I ordered the book in early April after finishing Christopher Vogeler’s Writer’s Journey, […]

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Your story is just like everyone else’s

You want to tell a unique story. But can your story achieve uniqueness? It can. But the underlying themes probably aren’t so special and that’s a good thing. Most stories, almost all of them, work within one or more universal themes. A universal theme is a core question or issue that the story addresses. Think […]

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Talk about Yourself

Yesterday, I started reading Carmine Gallo’s The Storyteller’s Secret. Gallo has written a series of presentation books, all of which boast airport bookstore titles: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Mind The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of any Audience The Innovation Secrets […]

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