Texas Storytelling Festival

The 33rd Annual Texas Storytelling Festival “Talk of the Town” will entertain and inspire and lift your appreciation for the places you have lived or dreamed of. Treat yourself to great stories from these beloved storytellers who bring their own local color with them: Adam Booth, Beth Horner, Laura Packer, and Tim Tingle.


The Talespinner Party, Story Store, Concessions, and the Silent Auction are important fundraisers for the Tejas Storytelling Association.


The Talespinner Party is Saturday night. Join us for this lively gathering of storytellers and story lovers. TSA provides pre-dinner beer, wine, and appetizers.  Our caterer takes into consideration the needs of vegan and vegetarian diets, so be sure to identify your needs when you purchase your ticket with registration.

story storeOur Story Store features storytelling books, CDs, puppets and other items that storytellers love but cannot always find when we need them! Story Store is conveniently located in the Rotunda and is open before, after, and between concerts and mainstage events.


Concessions are sold in the Rotunda and you are welcome to snack as your heart and tummy desire. You may indulge in soft drinks, coffee, chips, granola bars, candy and fruit knowing that your purchase is helping TSA pursue its mission.

silent auctionThe Silent Auction runs from Friday morning until 7:30 pm on Saturday night. It features items donated by storytellers, festival participants and guests with new items being added as festival goers arrive, so check back regularly!  This year’s auction features a “Buy me now” table, just like eBay! Would you like to donate something to the silent auction or the “Buy me now” table? Please bring them to festival or contact TSA. Auction winners may pick up their items at intermission or after the Saturday evening concert.


Deadline for festival rates is February 23, 2018.


2018 Texas Storytelling Festival Host Hotel:


SpringHill Suites Marriott
1434 Centre Place Drive
Denton TX 76205
Reserve under Texas Storytelling Festival
Click here to book online.

Special festival rate of $102 per night per room. Choice of 1 King or 2 Queen Beds.

SpringHill provides a shuttle service to the Denton Civic Center, complimentary breakfast, and a restaurant on site. Each room has a refrigerator, coffee maker, and a microwave. Free parking

Remember: Booking at the SpringHill Suites helps the Tejas Storytelling Association defray costs. They provide rooms for our featured tellers based on number of rooms booked and used.




Coming North on I-35
Exit at Teasley
Continue on the access roadTurn right on Centre Place Drive
Spring Hill Suites is on the left
Coming South on I-35
Exit at Teasley
Go under I-35
Turn left onto the I-35 access road
Turn right on Centre Place Drive
Spring Hill Suites is on the left


Thursday, March 8

7:00-9:15 pm Boot Hill Ghost Story Concert FREE! asl

Friday, March 9

9:00-10:30 33 in Little D Opening Concert of Featured Tellers asl
10:45-12:15 Stories North of Ordinary Concert

Workshop A

“The Wild and Wacky World of Fractured Fairy Tales”
with Marilyn Kinsella

12:15-1:15 Lunch and Story Swaps with Judy Allton
1:15-2:15 John Henry Faulk Concert Talk of the Town Side Show

“Ashton” with Adam Booth
(in Women’s Bldg.)

2:30-3:45 Two Chairs Telling – Conversation and Stories
2:30-4:00 Workshop B

“Developing Your Five-Minute Story”

with Paul Normandin

Workshop C

“Science: Tell It Like a Story”

with Fran Stallings

3:45-4:15 Chocoholic Frolic – Treats from Wiseman’s House of Chocolates of Hico, Texas
4:15-5:15 Rising Stars Concert – FREE!
Featuring Favorite Tellers from our Guilds
Talk of the Town Side Show

“Country Girl, City Girl”

with Beth Horner (Women’s Bldg.)

5:15-6:00 TSA Membership Meeting, with board president Richard Nash
5:15-7:30 Dinner break. We recommend the Bell Street Food Truck Park!
7:00-7:30 Musical Mayhem – Tom McDermott
7:30-10:00 Quakertown Theatre Concert of Featured Tellers asl

with Presentation of Marvin Brown Volunteer Award

and Special Services Award

10:05-10:20 After Hours Musical Celebration

Saturday, March 10

9:00-10:30 McKinney Street School Show-and-Tell asl
Family Concert – FREE
Emcee Sue Kuentz with Beth Horner, Nancy Simpson, Mark Babino, Gary Whitaker, LACA Bridges, and National Youth Storytelling Torchbearer Phoebe Beckelhymer
9:00-10:30 Workshop D

“Talk, Talk, Take-away”

with Tim Tingle

Workshop E

“Start with the Truth: Then Stretch It”

with Donna Ingham



10:45-Noon Kids Day Activities

Story Activities for ages 7 and under with LACA Bridges and Jan Peck

Kids Day Activities

Story workshop for ages 8 and older with Mark Babino and Gary Whitaker

Affiliate Guild Meeting

(bring your lunch to the Bluebonnet Room)

10:45-12:15pm Liar’s Contest Workshop F

“Playful Creativity”

with Laura Packer

Workshop G

“Walking to find Poems and Stories”

with Loren Niemi

Noon-1:00 Kids Day Activity

Pizza on the Patio for Kid’s Day participants and their parents

12:15-1:30 Lunch and Story Swaps with Judy Allton Affiliate Guild Meeting

(bring your lunch)

1:30-3:00 True Life Urban Legends Story Slam

with Shayne Larango and Paul Normandin

Workshop H

“So You Want to Be a Storyteller”

with Sheila Starks Phillips

Workshop I

“Cinematics in Storytelling”

with Adam Booth

3:15-4:45 City Limits:

Fringe Concert FREE

Workshop J

“Collaboration: How Great Teams Are Made”

with Beth Horner

Workshop K

“Folktales, Fairy Tales, and Social Justice”

with Sheila Arnold Jones

5:00-7:00 Talespinner Dinner and Silent Auction
7:00-7:30 Musical Mayhem – Tom McDermott
7:30 Silent Auction Ends
7:30-10:00 Saturday Night at the Talkies with Featured Tellers 

Presentation of John Henry Faulk Award

Sunday, March 11

8:00-9:00 Labyrinth Walk FREE!
8:00-11:00 Master Class with Beth Horner

for intermediate-advanced tellers
“Powerful Story Presentation: A Coaching Master Class”

in Women’s Bldg (separate ticket)

9:30-11:00 Sacred Tales Concert FREE
11:30-1:00 Farewell, Storyville: Closing Concert of Featured Tellers 

Festival Tickets

Now is your chance to be a part of this memorable event. You can register for the Festival in a number of ways.


Friday, February 23, 2018 – Deadline for early bird registration. Save $35!


Ways to Register –


Click here to be redirected to our Festival Registration page.

Purchase your tickets with a credit card. Payments are processed by PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account. You will receive an email receipt from PayPal. If you do not receive this receipt, it probably means that the payment did not go through. Call or email the TSA office to confirm the payment and make other payment arrangements.


Click here to Download Registration Form and mail to our office.


To have a ticket purchase form mailed or faxed to you, contact TSA at 940-380-9320 or email tsa@tejasstorytelling.com


Refunds: There will be no refunds after February 28, 2018.



Early Bird: Full Festival Pass
$60 with TSA Membership / $95 without TSA Membership


After Early Bird/At Door:  Full Festival Pass
$95 with TSA Membership / $130 without TSA Membership


Full Day Pass:
$50 with TSA Membership / $75 without TSA Membership


Individual Prices:

$10 Concert or Event
$15 Workshop
$50 Master Class
$12 Friday or Saturday Lunch Box
$25 Saturday Dinner


FREE CONCERTS: Ghost Stories, Fringe Concert, Rising Stars, Kids’ Concert and Activities, and Sacred Tales


TSA Yearly Membership:

$35 Individual
$60 Family
$75 Organization
$10 Youth



marilyn kinsellaThe Wild and Wacky World of Fractured Fairy Tales 
Marilyn Kinsella

Hokey Smokes, Rocky and Bullwinkle fans! This is what we’ve been waiting for! We will review the history of fracturing, talk about different ways to fracture a tale, work together to fracture a nursery rhyme, and then, work in groups to fracture a fairy tale. We will tell our tales to each other and some (with your permission) may land on.

As Taleypo the Storyteller, Marilyn Kinsella has been telling stories from nursery schools to nursing homes since 1981. She has presented this fun and high-energy workshop for groups in Hawaii, Washington State, as well as for a number of Illinois storytelling guilds. www.marilynkinsella.org or markinsella19@hotmail.com

paul normandinDeveloping Your Five-Minute Story 
Paul Normandin

Whether you want to hear yourself on the Moth Radio Hour or just be able to tell a story at your next party, this workshop will help you be a better prepared and more confident storyteller. It will provide you with the tools that you need to develop a memory or a personal anecdote into a five minute story.

Paul Normandin has a BA & MA in Speech Communication. He is the 2017 Tejas Festival Story Slam Champion and the 2016 Houston Moth Grand Slam Storytelling Champion. A teacher of true, personal stories, Paul models his workshops on Margot Leitman’s book: Long Story Short. wiki.austinimprov.com/wiki/Paul_Normandin or pagen8@gmail.com

fran stallingsScience: Tell it Like a Story 
Fran Stallings

How do tales about nature hold attention, teach content, and inspire curiosity to know more? Learn how to use the same story elements that work in time-tested folk tales to craft science information into “fact-tales” that make complicated ideas easy to remember, and help students see meaning in masses of facts.

Biologist Dr. Fran Stallings (“EarthTeller”) uses the traditional art of storytelling to impart modern science concepts and content while sharing timeless lessons of understanding and respect for our planet’s living things. She performs and teaches worldwide. www.franstallings.com or fran.stallings@icloud.com

tim tingleTalk, Talk, Take-away! 
Tim Tingle

In the first-ever gathering of storytellers that encourages at least 6 people to talk at the same time, Tim will have dozens of stories available for learning. After 90 minutes of fun and animated practice, everybody leaves with new and improved repertory for all ages—handouts actual or online, or both—and youthful energy. Let us do it!

Tim is a 2018 Featured Teller.
www.timtingle.com or timtingle@hotmail.com


donna ingramStart with the Truth: Then Stretch it 
Donna Ingham

Oxymoronic though it sounds, any good lie must be “believable” – up to a point. Starting with “true” characters, settings, and situations a teller can then begin to stretch those truths into downright outrageous exaggerations for the amusement and amazement of his/her listeners. This workshop will provide examples, suggest techniques, and invite participation.

Formerly a mild-mannered college English professor, Donna Ingham has morphed into a world-class liar, and she has the trophies to prove it. She is a recipient of TSA’s John Henry Faulk Award and NSN’s ORACLE Regional Excellence Award. And, that is the truth. www.donnaingham.com or tell.write@gmail.com

laura packerPlayful Creativity: Breaking Blocks, Deepening Telling, Fooling Your Insecurities Away 
Laura Packer

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by intellect but by…play.” —Carl Jung
We work hard on our stories, sometimes getting blocked or frustrated. Through play we move beyond boundaries, learn new things about character, plot, technique and ourselves. Expect to stretch your creative boundaries with improv, games, creativity exercises and more, leaving with the seeds of a new tale.

Laura is a 2018 Featured Teller.
www.laurapacker.com or laura@laurapacker.com

loren niemiWalking to Find Poems and Stories 
Loren Niemi

This workshop does two things to encourage our creative process. The first is to actually (consciously) walk through the environment to put our bodies in motion, open our senses, and invite memory and imagination. The second is to craft stories and poems from that experience with structuring prompts and examples from the workshop instructor.

Loren Niemi is an innovative storyteller, published poet (including the chapbook, Coyote Field Coach), author of The New Book of Plots of uses of narrative, and co-author with Elizabeth Ellis of the critically acclaimed, lnviting the Wolf ln: Thinking About Difficult Stories. www.storytelling.org/niemi or niemistory@aol.com

adam boothCinematics in Storytelling 
Adam Booth

Since the 1890s, the motion picture has grown as a force in storytelling. What can oral tellers learn from film? This workshop introduces tellers to advanced elements of storytelling culled from cinematic techniques. Focus is on diegetic cognition, framing, sound, and the “other” senses. Come prepared to work and explore how filmic components contribute to top-notch telling.

Adam is a 2018 Featured Teller.
www.adam-booth.com or adam@adam-booth.com

sheila starks phillipsSo You Want to Be a Storyteller? You Already Are! 
Sheila Starks Phillips

Okay, now that you have heard some great stories, wouldn’t you like to try telling some tales yourself? This workshop is for beginning storytellers or wannabe storytellers. It will touch on where to find a story to tell, learning a story, presentation, stage fright, protecting your voice, and all aspects of becoming a first-rate teller.

Past TSA President, Faulk Award recipient, and master storyteller for over 25 years, Sheila Starks Phillips has appeared in the National Storytelling Festival’s Exchange Place and twice been Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center. Sugar Land Proud for forty years, she has brought the Houston Area Liars’ Contest trophy home four times. www.sheilaphillips.com or zoolady@airmail.net

beth hornerCollaboration: How Great Teams Are Made 
Presenter: Beth Horner

Storytellers collaborate on projects, programs, and events, but what makes some groups hum and others barely able to tolerate each other? A veteran collaborator, Beth takes you step-by-step through a practical and participatory process incorporating the artistic, business, financial, organizational and personal considerations essential to establishing a successful collaboration. Come on your own or with fellow collaborators. Great fun!

Beth is a 2018 Featured Teller.
www.bethhorner.com or beth@bethhorner.com  

sheila arnold jonesFolktales, Fairy Tales, and Social Justice 
Sheila Arnold Jones

Fairy tales engage us in the imaginary and hopeful. Folktales let us glimpse cultural thoughts and norms. Let us combine hopes and cultural thoughts to address social justice issues such as suicide, PTSD, and race. Hear a story combining a fairy or folk tale with a current issue, then join in to discuss, brainstorm, and create stories for awareness and change.

Gifted by God with performance skills, Sheila Arnold Jones has been using this talent since she was eight years old. Since 2003, she has been a full-time storyteller traveling throughout the United States and sharing a variety of stories as well as performing Historic Character Presentations. www.mssheila.org or sheilaarnold39@aol.com