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Meet Me in Denver This July
by Chris King

At this point, you are probably asking, “Why would I want to meet you in Denver, and especially in July?” If you are interested enough in the power of storytelling to be visiting this website, you would love take part in the National Storytelling Network’s (NSN’s) National Storytelling Conference, July 10-14, 2002 in Denver. I guarantee that this will be one of the most satisfying and life enhancing events you have ever attended. Having attended many conferences and conventions in my life, I rate the NSN conferences highest of all in my estimation. In this article I am going to share some of the planned highlights.

Pre-Conference Offerings consist of four full-day tracks. There are four Special Interest Groups (SIGs) sponsored by NSN. These groups are formed by NSN members who wish to focus on a particular area of storytelling interest. Each group will be hosting an all-day program open to their members and anyone else who is interested in attending. The Storytelling in Organizations SIG will be presenting Stories as Told in Organizations with the goal of learning to foster meaningful communication within organizations through stories and building a bridge between the storytelling community and diverse organizations. Fund Raising and Marketing for Organizers of Storytelling Events will be produced by the Organizers SIG and will help attendees walk through the basics of constructing both marketing and fund raising plans. The Healing Story Alliance, another NSN SIG, will present Emissaries from the Imagination to provide an opportunity for participants to discover meaning through the use of imagination and fantasy. Working With Young Tellers, produced by Youth in Storytelling, an NSN SIG, will offer anyone working with young tellers informative workshops, talks and presentations from some of the most experienced experts in the field.

Four keynote speakers will offer a wide variety of topics along with challenging their listeners to grow and think in many different areas. Barre Toelken, Ph.D., Director of the Folklore Program at Utah State University, will present The Necessity of Narrative in the Native American Cultures. Cahty Luchetti, writer of six books of popular American history, two of which have won prestigious national awards, will present Stories of the Frontier West: “How does god make babeys out of clay?” Susan Klein, acclaimed storyteller, award-winning author and workshop leader, will share Storytelling Is Not for Sissies – Speaking with an Authentic Voice. And, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., internationally acclaimed poet, diplomate Jungian psychoanalyst, and cantadora (keeper of the old stories in the Latina tradition) will present Mentoring: How to Be an Elder: The Gifts and the Challenges.

And that is only the beginning!

Workshops, Showcases and Intensives will fill the daytime hours. Orchestrated and presented by storytellers from across the nation, these informative sessions will cover topics from the many uses of stories, to the how-tos of creating and telling stories for different audiences, to helping others tell stories, to the business of storytelling, to using the Internet for research and marketing, and to tackling storytelling projects of all sizes and descriptions.

Evenings will be filled with presentations, socializing, dancing and awards. We will enjoy the opening Reception, the NSN’s Western Region Storytelling Concert, a Western Night with music and stories followed by Story Swaps, and the ORACLE Awards Ceremony, followed by a Reception and Story Swaps. As you can see, there will be a chance to have fun, network, tell and listen to stories.

What more could you hope for? I am sure that by now, you want to know the rest of the story and where to sign up. Just visit NSN’s website at for the full roster and for the answers to any of your questions. Register now. You’ll be glad you did!

I hope to see you in Denver in July! Be sure to introduce yourself. I’d love to meet you.

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