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Erin Rosolina

Jordan Foltz

Preregister Now for the National Storytelling Festival

Welcome to the International Storytelling Center

Sam Payne

Pat Nease

Katie Liesener

Jasmin Cardenas

Joe Herrington

Carol Cain

Pat Nease

Sam Payne

Joe Herrington

Katie Liesener

Jasmin Cardenas

Carol Cain

Pre-Festival Concert featuring Donald Davis - Wednesday, October 5

    A Pre-Festival Event featuring Donald Davis

    Wednesday, October 5 - 7:30 P.M.
    Library Tent on the Festival Grounds

    Don’t Kill Santa
    Get a jump on the holiday season with Donald’s collection of hilarious Christmas stories.

    Separate ticket required, $15 all ages.  For tickets or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

    For other ticket options to Donald’s Tellers-in-Residence week.

    Visit Donald’s website.

    *photo by Fresh Air Photo

    Pre-Festival Concert featuring Kathy Mattea and guitarist Bill Cooley - Thursday, October 6

      Sponsored by Carnegie Hotel

      A Pre-Festival Concert Featuring Kathy Mattea

      Thursday, October 6 - 7:30 P.M.
      Library Tent on the Festival Grounds
      Separate ticket required, $20 all ages.  Buy Now!

      Grammy award-winning singer Kathy Mattea and guitarist Bill Cooley will share songs and stories from their rich musical partnership of over twenty years. Mattea’s work has garnered multiple CMA, ACM, and Grammy Awards. A genuine storyteller, Kathy draws inspiration from her Appalachian roots.

      Visit Kathy’s website.

      Pre-Festival Workshop with Ann Randolph - Thursday, October 6

        A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Ann Randolph

        Thursday, October 6 - 9:30 A.M. to 5 P.M.
        Separate ticket required · $125 all ages · Very limited seating
        Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

        Write Your Life
        From the mundane to the extraordinary, everything in your life is a story waiting to be told. In this highly acclaimed workshop, Randolph will use improvisation, writing exercises and more to help you discover your own unique and powerful story. For anyone interested in a personal essay, memoir solo performance, or even everyday journaling. There will be a break for lunch on your own.

        A nationally recognized educator, performer and playwright, Festival guest artist Ann Randolph has been featured on NPR, PBS, and the BBC.

        For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

        Visit Ann’s website.

        Pre-Festival Workshop with Kim Weitkamp - Thursday, October 6

          A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Kim Weitkamp

          Thursday, October 6 - 1:00 P.M. to 4 P.M. •  Fee $75
          Class size is limited. Register early.
          Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

          Wielding the Storytelling Light Saber
          Hello, Jedi. What is your quest—writer, director, manager, storyteller, genealogist, parent, college student? Regardless, storytelling can be a powerful tool for meeting your goals. Learn how to use story in your daily verbal and written communication so you can defeat the dark side—an approach you’ll apply to all aspects of your life.

          A well-known teller and trainer, Weitkamp has helped others utilize the power of story for over 20 years. Her clients include Forbes 500 companies, all of whom call her Yoda.

          For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

          Visit Kim’s website.

          Storytelling Theater featuring Special Guest Ann Randolph

            Storytelling Theater with Special Guest Artist Ann Randolph

            Friday, October 7 · 8:00 pm
            Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall
            Separate ticket required, $20 all ages.

            Randolph brilliantly portrays a plane full of hilarious characters as she flies cross-country to attend a relative’s funeral. Achingly funny and poignant.

            Inappropriate in All the Right Ways
            Saturday, October 8 · 8:00 pm
            Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall
            Separate ticket required, $20 all ages.

            Randolph shares her autobiographical wild ride, from living as a volunteer in a mental institution to residing off the Alaskan coast pretending to clean the Exxon oil spill.

            For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

            Visit Ann’s website.

            Story Slam!

            Old School, New Rules

              Deadline Friday, August 12th!

              Have you got what it takes to be the National Storytelling Festival’s next Best Story Slammer? Anyone’s welcome to apply – all you need is a little bit of courage and a true, five-minute story that suits this year’s theme, LOST AND FOUND.

              Applications are in the form of a recorded 2-minute story excerpt. (Details below.) All entries will be judged by a panel and six will be selected to tell at the National Storytelling Festival on Saturday, October 8. Those selected will receive a weekend ticket to the Festival!

              WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW –

                • Your story must connect to the theme LOST AND FOUND in some way. (Note: You do not need to say the words of the theme in your story, but your story should connect to that idea.) Be creative!

                • True, original stories only.
                • Contestants must be at least 16 years old.
                • Stories must be told, not read. No notes or props.
                • Content must be suitable for a general audience, ages 13 and up.
                • Former featured National Storytelling Festival tellers are not eligible to enter.
                • Be sure it’s a story with a beginning, middle and end, and not a joke or anecdote.
                • You’ll be notified if you’ve been chosen for the Slam by August 31.

              First place: $300
              Second place: $150
              Third place: $50

              TO ENTER—
              You can enter by providing an excerpt of your story by phone or by mailing a recording.

              To enter by phone: Call 1-888-600-3135 and follow the prompts. You’ll be asked for your name, phone number, and email address. Then provide a two minute excerpt of your story.

              To mail, send recording to:
              International Storytelling Center
              Attn: Story Slam
              116 W. Main
              Jonesborough, TN 37659

              Deadline to enter is Friday, August 12. You’ll be notified if you’re ‘in’ by August 31.

              It is a competition – and if you are selected to tell at the Festival, you’ll only have five minutes at the mic to wow the judges. You will be judged on your performance, how well the story is crafted, its connection to the theme, and adherence to the 5-minute time limit. Please remember you do not have to say the theme LOST AND FOUND in your story; it only needs to be implied. Be creative!

              Midnight Cabaret

                Stay up late and enjoy a night of rollicking, grown-up fun at the ever-popular Midnight Cabaret.

                • Tickets are sold separately. $20 for adults.
                • Buy Now!
                • Not recommended for children.
                • Stories begin Friday night, October 7 at 10:30 p.m.

                Ghost Stories

                Ghost Stories

                  Sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts

                  Crones and gnomes and creepy things fill two nights of fanciful adventures in open-air concerts beneath the stars.

                  Brave the Ghost Story Concerts with two different collections of frightening tales served up beneath the nighttime sky during open-air performances which are always a Festival favorite.   

                  Tickets are sold separately.  $10 for all ages. Buy Now!

                  Stories begin at 8 p.m. each night in any kind of weather.  Tickets are available at the gate.  Only ground seating is available, so bring your blankets.

                  The 2016 National Storytelling Festival Ghost Story Tellers.

                  Exchange Place

                  Explore the diversity of American storytelling at Exchange Place, featuring tellers new to the National Storytelling Festival stage. A revered Festival tradition, the program includes specially invited storytellers from across the country who share their finest tales during the National Storytelling Festival. 

                  The Exchange Place event is included with your weekend admission, but has limited seating.

                  Yarnspinners’ Party

                    Celebrate, meet the National Storytelling Festival’s featured tellers, and enjoy great food and fellowship at the Yarnspinners’ Party on Saturday, October 8 from 5-7 p.m. at the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.

                    Entertainment provided by the Jonesborough Novelty Band, who will be joined by some of your favorite musically-talented tellers ― including Donald Davis on the accordian.

                    The Yarnspinners’ Party is hosted by the ISC Board of Governors and sponsored by Cabot Creamery, Holston Distributing, Main Street Cafe & Catering, and One Stop Wines & Spirits.

                    Proceeds from this private event go to support the work of the International Storytelling Center.  Tickets are $100.  This is a tax deductible contribution.  For reservations or more information, call (800) 952-8392, ext. 283 or Buy Now!

                    Wine and Beer Garden

                      Sponsored by Holston Distributing

                      Relax in the afternoon at the Festival’s Wine and Beer Garden, featuring a selection of regional beer and wine available for purchase.  A popular festival feature.  The Wine and Beer Garden is sponsored by Holston Distributing.

                      On the front plaza of the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.

                      4–7 p.m. Thursday
                      4–8 p.m. Friday & Saturday

                      Swappin’ Ground

                      Under the Swappin' Ground

                        At the first National Storytelling Festival in 1973, a handful of storytellers gathered around the courthouse in Jonesborough’s town square and traded tales.  An old wagon served as the stage, and listeners took their seats on bales of hay. 

                        Today the Swappin’ Ground tradition continues in the center of Storytelling Park.  Here, anyone can tell a tale—and many do.  Stop by and listen as tellers recapture the humble beginnings of the National Storytelling Festival.

                        To share a story of your own, just sign up at the Festival Headquarters.

                        Swappin’ Ground is hosted by the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild.

                        Free Event (does not require separate ticket).



                        Marketplace Tent

                          During the Festival, be sure to visit the National Storytelling Festival’s official store for storyteller merchandise and Festival souvenirs including the latest storytelling books, teller CDs and DVDs, shirts, tote bags, and more! The Marketplace Tent is located on the corner of First Ave. and College St. next to the Food Court.

                          Meet the Tellers!

                          Throughout the Festival weekend you can also come to the Marketplace to meet your favorite storytellers face-to-face and get autographs!  Further information will be included in your Program of Events, which you’ll receive when you arrive at Festival Registration.

                          ISC at TEDx Nashville

                          Stories in Motion: The Story of the Stuff

                          Stories in Motion: The Story of the Stuff

                          ISC at TEDx Nashville

                          ISC president travels internationally and nationally to promote peaceful storytelling

                          International Storytelling Center President to give The Botkin’s Lecture at the Library of Congress

                          2016 Story Slam

                          Everyone is a Storyteller

                          United States of Arts

                          Storytelling Live! series starts May 5th

                          Tellers in Residence 2016

                          Barbara McBride-Smith

                          Barbara McBride-Smith

                          Bil Lepp

                          Bil Lepp

                          Kevin Kling

                          Carol Birch

                          David Novak

                          Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton - New Voice

                          Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton

                          Ingrid Nixon

                          Ingrid Nixon - New Voice

                          Will Hornyak - New Voice

                          Linda Gorham - New Voice

                          Clare Muireann Murphy - International


                          Baba Jamal Koram

                          Dan Keding

                          Michael Reno Harrell

                          Storytelling Live! tickets to go on sale April 1

                          Storytelling Workshop presented by Tim Lowry

                          Storytelling Workshop presented by Minton Sparks

                          Storytelling Workshop presented by Anne Rutherford

                          The Silver Dove

                          Stories in Motion: Modern Art Meets Ancient Myth

                          Stories in Motion: Modern Art Meets Ancient Myth

                          The Silver Dove

                          Leigh Ann Schneider

                          Children’s Concert with Olga Loya

                          Children’s Concert with Willy Claflin

                          Evening Concert Featuring Rev. Robert Jones

                          Rachel Stiltner

                          Storytelling & Community in Jonesborough, Tennessee

                          Mr. George and Me

                          Stories in Motion: Remembering David Bowie

                          Stories in Motion: Remembering David Bowie

                          Mr. George and Me

                          Clare Muireann Murphy

                          Don White

                          Oba William King

                          Minton Sparks

                          Noa Baum

                          Olga Loya

                          Anne Rutherford

                          ISC President Kiran Sirah Invited to Give Talk in Charleston, SC

                          ISC Remembers James C. Martin

                          Our Year in Review

                          Joining the Storytelling Revolution

                          Kevin Kling: Lost and Found

                          The Story of a Tennessee Champion

                          In Honor of International Human Rights Day

                          ISC to Receive NEA Grant

                          Tennessee Gift-A-Tag Program

                          You’ve started your shopping. Now give the gift that matters.

                          Between the Parentheses: Don White on the National Storytelling Festival

                          In Her Own Words: Carol Transou

                          Meet the Press

                          Remembering the 43rd Annual National Storytelling Festival

                          Who’s Who at the National Storytelling Festival Edition

                          Three Ways to Honor Veterans Day

                          Students travel to the National Storytelling Festival