logo of Kentucky Storytelling Association


Registration Form
Travel and Lodging
Past Conferences

Search this site


Donate now with PayPal

Raise money for KSA
just by
searching the web
and shopping online!

Goodsearch: You Search...We Give!

contact info for Kentucky Storytelling Association: P O Box 4148, Frankfort, KY 40604-4148  secretary@kystory.org

2016 Conference Workshops

1. Twisting the Tale

The art of the storyteller lies in the unique telling of a tale. Explore different ways to approach a story to discover your special voice in this fun-filled workshop where each participant will put an individual spin on a well-known folktale to see how it changes while remaining the same. Results are always amusing and sometimes amazing!  Participants will leave with methods which can be applied to every storytelling situation. They will:

·         Learn to see and sense the characters, animate and inanimate, in a story.

·         Be coached to connect with their feelings about the material.

·         Rewrite part of a story using the approaches we have practiced. 

Finally, we will tell our versions of the same story to each other.  

Intended Participants: All age levels, beginning and intermediate telling experience levels will benefit most, but all are welcome.  Length: 140 Minutes. Location: Room 308.  Presenter: Laura J. Bobrow


2. Pathways to Adding a Second Language to Your Tales

Celebrate and connect our diverse communities by incorporating another language into your stories. Learn strategies and techniques for blending an additional language into your stories increasing cross-cultural understanding and communication. Fluency in second language is NOT required.

            At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will:

·         Retell at least one short story using a second language. 

·         Be able to add in words and phrases of a second language to their stories.

·         Learn multiple strategies and techniques for adding a second language into a story.

Intended Participants: Appropriate for all age and telling experience levels. Especially appropriate for teachers, student tellers, and professional storytellers.  Length: 140 Minutes. Location: Room 307.  Presenter: Carrie Sue Ayvar  


3.  Mining Your Personal Narratives: Developing 5 Minute Slam Stories

Learn strategies and techniques that will help you develop stories from your life based on your interpretation of a prearranged theme. This workshop will begin with a short discussion of Moth style StorySlam rules and expectations, including tips and tricks. Participants will then break off into small groups to develop ideas for a 5-minute story.     Then, names of everyone who wants a chance to tell their story will be placed in the hat and 5 -- 10 names will be drawn. Those whose names are not chosen will act as judges. The rest of the time will be spent in Moth StorySlam mode, with a small prize for the winner. Each participant will leave with a 5-minute story and a Moth-style experience.

Intended Participants: Ages 18 and older; all telling experience levels.  Length: 140 Minutes. Location: Room 306.  Presenters: Amanda Hay & Mick Parsons


4. Enhance Your Storytelling Through Toastmasters 
Need stage time to practice your stories?  Or feedback on a new tale? Learn how Toastmasters can provide these benefits and more.

Participants will

·         Learn the tenets of good feedback.

·         Have the opportunity to tell short stories (5 minutes or less) and receive/give feedback.

·         Learn how to write effective introductions for emcees who will be introducing them.

·         Explore other benefits of participating in Toastmasters.

Intended Participants: Ages 18 and older; all telling experience levels; any profession.  Length: 70 Minutes. Location: Room 308. Presenter: Steve Lanham


5. Team Up! Tell in Tandem

From our ‘Lucky Thirteen Essentials of Tandem Telling,’ as explained in Jonatha’s book, Team Up! Tell In Tandem to exciting full-blown examples of style, and execution, this workshop will give you the necessary tools to tell stories with a partner.      Participants will observe and practice a variety of techniques for telling, teaming with a partner (s).  Also each person will be able to add a story to their repertoire perfect for tandem telling. 

Intended Participants: All age and telling experience levels.  Length: 70 Minutes. Location: Room 307. Presenters: Jonatha and Harold Wright


6. Playful Creativity: Breaking Blocks, Deepening Telling, Fooling Your Insecurities Away

Even storytellers get stuck. Through play we learn new things about character, plot, technique and ourselves. Come play with improv, language etc and get unstuck!

At the end of this session participants will be able to:

·         Use a variety of play techniques to develop new stories and explore old material

·         Understand their own creative process more deeply

·         Have a deeper sense of the non-verbal story and character information they can access through their bodies and through drawing

Intended Participants: Appropriate for all age and telling experience levels.  Length: 70 Minutes. Location: Room 306. Presenter: Laura Packer


7. Thinking Beyond the Festival: Building A Storytelling Series

Without decades of history, a Festival startup might not be wisest. Consider bringing a storytelling series to your community with these tips, considerations, and experiences.

            Adam Booth will share the thoughts and trials experienced while creating, running, and revamping the Speak Story Series in Shepherdstown, WV. Participants will be presented with the obstacles this series faced and then challenged to solve the issues based on the needs and resources of their own communities. Booth will also share the choices and methodologies Speak Story Series used and the resulting successes and/or failures.

            You will leave the workshop with a set of reasons for starting a story series as well as considerations and experiences to help guide you should you choose to do so. You’ll see possibilities for financial and social viability (compared to a festival) and have ideas for generating local interest and community engagement. You’ll also have practical advice about advertising, funding, and development from a person who has made a successful endeavor into such a series. 

Intended Participants: Appropriate for librarians, community activists, school teachers, and storytellers/story lovers who want to create a venue. Length: 70 Minutes. Location: Room 308.  Presenter: Adam Booth


8. Thawing the Frozen Form: Telling (from) a Written Tale

Sponsored by Steve Lanham

Learn how to move a story from the written tradition into a performance in the oral tradition in this interactive workshop. Together, we will explore how the body, voice, and word choices can bring a story to life by identifying the purpose and audience,  re-viewing the storyline, and stepping away from the page.

Participants will leave with:

·         A handout of resources and background information

·         Notes from group participation about  how to get a frozen story to live anew,

·         Story kernels to add to their repertoire of stories.

Intended Participants: Ages – young teens and up; all telling experience levels; also entertainers, motivational speakers, educators.  Length: 70 Minutes. Location: Room 307.  Presenter: Jo Ann Dadisman


9. Getting Into Character

Learn the essentials of unforgettable characterization in a hands-on, lots of fun, learning adventure workshop that will help you to bring your characters to life. By the end of the workshop, participants will be more aware of how emotions, facial expression, gestures, costume and props can define their characters and enhance their storytelling skills.

Intended Participants: Appropriate for all age and telling experience levels. Particularly beneficial for anyone wanting to present regional, historical or biblical storytelling.  Length: 70 Minutes. Location: Room 306.  Presenter: Judy “Butterfly” Farlow



Workshop Presenter Biographies (In order of presentations above.)


Photo of Laura J. Bobrow

Laura J. Bobrow

An enthusiastic and inventive teacher Laura J. Bobrow calls upon her expertise to enable each participant in her workshop to find a personal creative niche. In addition to her career as a storyteller, Laura is a prize-winning poet and author whose published work extends internationally. Laura has contributed to a variety of periodicals on the subject of storytelling. Learn more at www.laurajbobrow.com


Photo of Carrie Sue Ayvar

Carrie Sue Ayvar

Carrie Sue Ayvar, is an award-winning, bilingual storyteller, speaker, Kennedy Center and Wolftrap trained Teaching Artist and Chautauqua Scholar who loves to connect people, languages and cultures via shared stories. Believing, as her grandfather taught her, thatIf you don’t know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don’t know the stories you may be lost in life”, she performs at venues large and small throughout the US and Mexico. Learn more at www.carriesueayvar.com.


Photo of Mick Parsons

Mick Parsons & Amanda Hay

Mick Parsons is a storyteller, a published poet, as well as an experienced teacher and performer.


Photo of Amanda Hay

Amanda Hay is a multiple Moth StorySlam Winner. They live in Louisville, KY.


Photo of Steve Lanham

Steve Lanham

KSA President Steve Lanham credits his success as a storyteller and speaker to his involvement in Toastmasters over the last dozen years. He describes Toastmasters meetings as “a life-long learning laboratory” where he and other members regularly conduct experiments called stories and speeches. Steve also firmly believes in the value of feedback – both oral and written – given to speakers/tellers at every Toastmasters meeting. He has conducted numerous workshops on giving feedback and various other topics at Toastmasters conferences and training events. He has also participated in Toastmasters speech contests at the club, area, division, and district levels.


Photo of Jonatha and Harold Wright

Jonatha & Harold Wright

Jonatha and Harold Wright have told stories professionally both solo and in tandem for over two decades.  They specialize in Japanese, Ohio and Ohio Appalachian stories of all genres.  Ohio is their home and Japan their home away from home.  Jonatha edited a book on tandem telling, Team Up! Tell in Tandem, published in 2010.  The Wrights tell stories to all ages and in a wide variety of venues ranging from college campuses and homes for challenged individuals to art museums and historical societies. Learn more at www.jonathaandharold.com.


Photo of Laura Packer

Laura Packer

Laura Packer knows the best way to the truth is through a good story. She is the winner of the 2010 National Storytelling Network Oracle Award and the 2012 League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling Brother Blue Award. Laura has used the transformative power of writing and story to entertain, enlighten, coach, heal and consult. She has worked around the world. Learn more at www.laurapacker.com.


Photo of Adam Booth

Adam Booth

Adam Booth's storytelling blends traditional folklore, music, and an awareness of contemporary Appalachia. His past appearances include Teller-In-Residence at the International Storytelling Center, New Voice at the National Storytelling Festival, the National Storytelling Conference, the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, Spoken Word Resident at the Banff Centre, a collaboration with the West Virginia Dance Company, and events in seventeen states. Awards for stories and recordings include two Parents' Choice Silver Honors, three Storytelling World Awards and Honors, and four West Virginia Liars’ Contest wins. He is most at home sharing stories and music with the next generation of listeners and tellers throughout Appalachia. Learn more at www.adam-booth.com Photo by Katelyn Stoneberger


Photo of Jo Ann Dadisman

Jo Ann Dadisman

Jo Ann Dadisman finds storytelling the perfect vehicle to preserve her regional heritage and celebrate the stories that bind people together. She considers herself an Appalachian storyteller who performed as a tandem teller with June Riffle as The Mountain Echoes for more than two decades. These days, now retired with more than 40 years in the classroom, she continues to tell the old tales and some new ones while hoping to inspire others to carry the torch of storytelling onward.


Photo of Judy Farlow

Judy “Butterfly” Farlow

Judy “Butterfly” Farlow “What a Character! Is always a surprise” A National Award Winning Storyteller and presenter, she has over 30 years experience, performing for schools, universities and libraries in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia as a presenter and storyteller. Learn more at http://jbutterflyfarlow.com/


Copyright 2006-2017 by Kentucky Storytelling Association. All Rights Reserved. Revised March 30, 2017 Web site designed by Kate Dudding