What folks are saying about the National Storytelling Festival

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USA Today

“…the leading event of its kind in America”


Los Angeles Times

”For what New Orleans is to jazz. . . Jonesborough is to storytelling.”

New York Times

“…where thousands of the faithful gather to take part in one of humankind’s most satisfying rites.”

People Magazine

“When autumn comes to Tennessee, TVs go dark and old-time storytellers revive a nearly lost art.”

Boston Globe

“An event that can produce raucous belly-laughs one minute and deep, soul-searching revelations the next.”

Chicago Tribune

“As night fell, many people put on sweaters against the evening nip and set up blankets beside a glowing park gazebo to hear renowned tellers share ghost stories. The park was lit with tiki torches. A drooping willow tree cast spindly shadows. A creek gurgled nearby. I dare you to design a better ghost story venue.”

Smithsonian Institution

“Some stories seem to be made out of whole cloth.  Others are like the Tennessee quilts on sale in Jonesborough’s many craft shops.  They weave together past, present, fact and fiction in a tight design both dazzling and unforgettable.”

Garden and Gun

“Like a Bonnaroo of the spoken word, the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough presents yarn spinning as a living art that can rock a tent packed with hundreds of rapt listeners.”


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“The trance came over the crowd without anyone being aware. A man’s iPod ear buds dangled, unused, around his neck. Potato chip bags lay untouched in teenagers’ laps. Two thousand people sat in folding chairs under a huge white tent, utterly still, listening.”


U.S. News and World Report

“The old-fashioned art of storytelling has become a 21st century sensation.”

For the Media

General Info and Guidelines

Credentialed media are welcome at the National Storytelling Festival. Check-in is located in downtown Jonesborough at Festival Headquarters, in the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center.

Please note that the College Street Tent and the Creekside Tent are the only two performance tents in which members of the media may take photos or videotape. Recording, filming, and photography are prohibited in all other performance tents. A selection of images of the Festival and its storytellers are available here. Featured storytellers are also a good resource for images and interviews.

We ask media to please be as inconspicuous as possible. No flash or auxiliary lighting is allowed.

Request a Press Pass

Press passes are available for credentialed members of the media who wish to cover the National Storytelling Festival. (Sorry, passes are not issued to individuals who are conducting research on storytelling.) To request a pass, please e-mail Rachel@Storytellingcenter.net. 

  • Download our media guidelines here.
  • Download the Festival Press Release.
  • Find Festival Photo Downloads here.