Learning to tell stories

As a storyteller I have some well-used books.


Here are some that I’ve found useful in developing my skills as a teller. Many  are out of print. Try your local library / online or second-hand book stores.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading and telling stories to learn, see, hear and feel how it works. I’ve also put myself in the way of events that would make a good story to tell – you know what I mean? But that’s another story.

IMG_1876Simple, clear guidelines in a booklet Mem Fox, Australian author and drama tutor,  put out years ago.


A classic collection of folktales from Haiti,with descriptions of the local teller, how they told the story, and how the audience reacted.  There was a new edition of this published recently.


The first book I ever read about storytelling. Well – worn.


Handy list of recommended stories, eg for girls. It was from USA, compiled by Nancy Schimmel.


A friend went to a workshop run by Anne Pellowski (also from the US) and came away inspired.


I attended a workshop with Norma Livo (USA) when she was over here. Broad in scope, academic and analytical – heavy,  but full of gems.


I often dip into this book when I’m working on a fairy tale.


I need to read more of this. In a recent Story Slam I was put on the spot – having to tell a personal story about Love just 5 mins long!

IMG_1865Alida sets out an interesting approach to creating social change and building community using certain stories.


This psychiatrist has selected tales for a particular age group and provides an analysis of each of the 20 stories.


I have met Margaret Read Macdonald often since 1988 and an authority on storytelling. During her PhD, she researched and created The Storyteller’s Sourcebook – a reference book indexing folktales & variants. Since then she has written lots of books about storytelling and stories.


 There are lots of books written about storytelling in school, or storytelling and teaching. This one was just published in the USA last year

Please feel free to suggest other titles about the art of storytelling which you have found useful. This one was first published in 1915 and set the ball rolling for storytelling in public libraries.

IMG_1870All these titles are in my personal library and part of my continuing study as a professional storyteller.


All text by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination!blog by Meg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


2 thoughts on “Learning to tell stories

  1. Thank you for the recommendations, Meg. These all seem like great resources. I’ll have to look into them–I’m sure my mom has many on her shelf.


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