Loading cart...

Pre-Festival Concert featuring Donald Davis - Wednesday, October 3rd

A Pre-Festival Event featuring Donald Davis

Wednesday, October 3 - 7:30 P.M.
Library Tent on the Festival Grounds

Separate ticket required, $20 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 Jay Huron

Festival Workshop presented by Tim Lowry - Thursday, Oct 4th

A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Tim Lowry

Thursday, October 4 - 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. •  Fee $75
Class size is limited. Register early.
Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

Essential Stories for Effective Communication
Stories can communicate vision, goals, values, direction and purpose when strategically placed into personal presentations, advertising campaigns, social media, and one-on-one conversations. Learn to replace the sound bite with meaningful stories that show who you are and what you are doing.

Professional storyteller and former teacher, Tim Lowry leads workshops across the country, including for the non-profit and corporate worlds.

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

Visit Tim’s website.

Festival Workshop presented by Elizabeth Ellis - Thursday, Oct 4th

A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Elizabeth Ellis

Thursday, October 4 - 9:30 A.M. to 5 P.M. •  Fee $125
Lunch on your own
Class size is limited. Register early.
Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

Collecting and Preserving Family Stories
Anyone who has a family will never lack for stories, and collecting them can be both rewarding and fun! This workshop will focus on types of family stories, methods of collection, and special concerns. You’ll also learn the many things you can do with stories once they’re collected – possibilities limited only by your own imagination!

Professional storyteller Elizabeth Ellis is a sought-after story teacher and coach, and offers workshops, master classes and weekend intensives for all who use the power of storytelling in their lives and work.

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

Visit Elizabeth’s website.

Festival Workshop presented by Geraldine Buckley - Thursday, October 4th

A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Geraldine Buckley

Thursday, October 4 - 2:00 P.M. to 5 P.M. •  Fee $75
Class size is limited. Register early.
Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

Rock the Flock
This workshop provides powerful communication tools for anyone who desires to change people’s lives through story. Learn to use story as an outreach tool, to write a better sermon, or shape your own personal story. Designed for ministers, counselors, Sunday school teachers, volunteers, and folks from all faith-based settings.

A professional storyteller, ordained minister and former chaplain at the largest men’s prison in Maryland, Geraldine has taught and told stories on five continents.

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

Visit Geraldine’s website.

Pre-Festival Concert featuring The Black Lillies - Thursday, October 4th

A Pre-Festival Concert Featuring The Black Lillies

Thursday, October 4 - 7:30 P.M.
Library Tent on the Festival Grounds
Separate ticket required, $20 all ages.  Buy Now!

Internationally-known and loved, The Black Lillies are one of America’s biggest success stories. Their blend of folk, soul, country, blues, and rock has won praise from American Songwriter, NPR, Rolling Stone, CMT, The Wall Street Journal, and Billboard. They have played multiple venues, including Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Merlefest, and were one of the first independent bands to play the Grand Ole Opry, where they’ve appeared dozens of times.

“Their sound continues to cross generations and musical genres.”— Vanity Fair

For tickets or more information call 800-952-8392 or click here to buy online

Visit The Black Lillies website.

Storytelling Studios

During the National Storytelling Festival, come inside the Storytelling Studio for up-close and revealing interviews with some of storytelling’s most exciting voices.  A one-time only opportunity, these fascinating and intimate conversations offer listeners a look at some of their favorite tellers in the theater of the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall. 

Tickets are $15 and on sale now.  Call (800) 952-8392, ext. 222 or Buy Online.  Seating is limited (and usually sells out quickly!), so be sure to reserve your seat soon.

2018 Storytelling Studios

Riding the Rails
Abby the Spoon Lady and Chris Rodrigues
Saturday, October 6 · 11:30 am and 2:30 pm
This one-of-a-kind studio with the “Spoon Lady,” Abby Roach, and one-man-band Chris Rodrigues will make you feel like you’re inside NC’s lively busking scene. Abby first got into street performance as a way to make money for her travels across the United States by hopping freight trains. She taught herself to play the spoons, eventually becoming an internationally-known street performer, folk percussionist, storyteller, radio personality and free speech activist.  Chris, a multi-instrumentalist, has carved out his own unique blues, Appalachian style, playing the resophonic guitar, blowing the harmonica, and singing his takes on traditional songs. Together, they’ll showcase the complex rhythms of modern hobo culture and the music that surrounds it with their stories of busking, riding freight trains, and more. The duo has racked up more than a million video views, been featured in several TV shows and documentaries, and Abby can be heard weekly on FM radio 101.3 Asheville.


Dusting off the Past
Donald Davis
Sunday, October 7 · 11:30 am
Our memories are sort of like dusty old attics—sometimes it’s hard to remember what’s in them until we’re up there really rooting around. In this exclusive studio, Donald Davis will talk about some of the different ways to access even your most passive memories, and how your half-forgotten past can become fodder for your own stories. Visit with Donald as he pulls back the curtain on how his stories come together, and how you can find and share your own.

Storytelling Theater with Kevin Kling

Storytelling Theater Featuring Kevin Kling

“The Best Summer Ever”
Friday, October 5 · 4 pm & Saturday, October 6 · 4 pm
Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall
Separate ticket required, $15 all ages.

Kevin Kling returns to our theater for his new one-man show about Maurice, a boy whose overactive imagination tends to get him into trouble. Relive the endless possibilities and wonder of summer vacation as Maurice hangs out with his ne’er do well brother, Marv, his over-achieving sister, Emily, their parents, and grandpa. As Maurice strives to gain independence, his grandfather watches his own slip away. Their bond in this light and wistful summer story is one you’ll be thinking about for a long time. With musical accompaniment by Bill Harley.

Call (800) 952-8392, ext. 221 for tickets or more information or buy online.

Story Slam!

Old School, New Rules

Thanks to everyone who submitted entries for the 2018 Story Slam.

Your Story Slam finalists are:

 Denise Bennett, VA
 Steven James, TN
 Mark Lamb, NY
 Amanda Lawrence, GA
 Rick Merritt, NY
 Sufian Zhemukhov, Washington DC

Join us at 5:30 on Saturday, October 6, at Creekside Tent to hear these Story Slam finalists!

Sponsored by Carmen Agra Deedy

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 5th at 10:30 p.m.

The 2018 National Storytelling Festival Midnight Cabaret Tellers.

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. Friday and Saturday night in any kind of weather.  Tickets are available at the gate.  Only ground seating is available, so bring your blankets.

The 2018 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 6 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 Holston Distributing, Main Street 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 Marketplace.

Swappin’ Ground is hosted by the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild.

Free Event (does not require separate ticket).

 

Marketplace

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.

Family Tent

Sponsored by Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

Some of your favorite storytellers will tell tales and spin yarns for the young and young-at-heart. The daytime program, featuring the festival’s mainstage tellers, is scheduled from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday at the Library Tent.

The Family Tent is sponsored by Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and is included with your weekend admission. A separate Friday only ticket can be purchased. For tickets or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

Special Events

In addition to main stage performances, other special events will be presented during the Festival weekend and before - don’t miss them!

Come to Jonesborough early and join Donald Davis for a remarkable evening of storytelling, Wednesday night, October 3rd on the Festival grounds.

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

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.   

Hear a specially-invited showcase of storytellers new to the National Storytelling Festival stage at a revered festival custom, Exchange Place.

Join the fun of the National Storytelling Festival Story Slam! where the teller is you!

Take part in a Festival tradition at the Swappin’ Ground. Here, anyone can tell a tale and many do.  You can even share a story of your own, just be sure to register ahead of time at Festival headquarters.