Pre-Conference Sessions presented by
NSN Special Interest Groups



Wednesday, July 23 • 9:00am-6:30pm


YES!/SHE Pre-Conference

Changing the World One Story at a Time


for youth , educators, and storytellers and for storytellers in higher education


The always robust YES! pre-conference day presents a variety of interactive workshops and activities for ADULTS and YOUTH.


  • Internationally recognized storytellers Margaret Read MacDonald, Jennifer and Nathaniel Whitman, our Keynote speakers, will discuss the use of storytelling to build community and character.
  • Be there for the debut of our new YES! Journal featuring lessons from several contributors.
  • Katie Knutson will present Lively Lesson Planning. Translate words on a page into exciting experiences and vice versa. Experience a lesson plan in action and tips for making your classes just as fun - all while connecting to the standards!"
  • Actively pursue theater and storytelling games with Karla Huntsman in her presentation: Fire and Light.
  • Release your Inner Teller with Donna Washington in a fast-paced program where we will explore language and repertoire.
  • Experience SHE workshops including The Great Syllabi Swap, where key presenters share higher education syllabi, lessons, and activities. 
  • Additional workshops include, Storytelling Apologetics, or How I Got to Teach Storytelling with recommendations on how to sell your storytelling courses and lessons to administrators, faculty, and students.
  • The popular YOUTH TRACK returns from 1:00–8:00pm, and includes the afternoon workshops, the Youth Concert from 5:30 – 6:30pm and a Celebratory Pizza and Story SWAP.


Full day includes four workshops, lunch, Youth Concert ticket, and the Pizza & SWAP.

Youth Track includes the two afternoon workshops, Youth Concert, and Pizza and SWAP.


Pre-Conference early registration by May 15:
Membership - $25                
Members – full day $80, Youth Track $5 for youth and $40 for chaperones
Non-members – full day $100


Later registrants (after May 15th):
Membership - $25  
Members - $100
Non-members - $120

Separate YOUTH CONCERT ticket - $10


Scholarships and CEUs available. For information write or go to



Thursday, July 24 • 9:00am-12:00noon


Producers and Organizers Pre-Conference


We'll be "On the Air with Radio Storytelling" when the Producers and Organizer's Special Interest Group does its pre-conference. If you've ever wondered - What makes a good radio story? What makes a good radio series? What are the do's, don'ts and best practices of storytelling for the radio? Find the answer to these questions from Buck Creacy, Allison Downey and Jeff Gere - three hands-on producers of radio storytelling material.



$25 for PRO-SIG members

$40 for the curious

and yes, a little nosh (continental breakfast) is included in the price.


Thursday, July 24 • 8:00am-12:00noon


Storytelling in Organizations Pre-Conference


SIO Enlightened Organizational Storytelling


Businesses, non-profits, and governmental agencies are opening their doors and their ears to the engaging, enlightening strength of story.  The Storytelling In Organizations special interest group pre-conference session will be packed with useful information and chances for discussion.

We will start with a bit to eat and drink, and then launch into a fascinating perspective on storytelling from the Knowledge Management Officer of USDA Forest Service, Patricia Suchodolski.  Following her talk, we will hear insights from 25-year veteran business executive Mark Steiman.  The 8-noon session will finish with a full hour of discussion on topics suggested that day by participants.  And finally, those who would like to continue the conversation in the room with lunch will have a chance to hang out and purchase a box lunch.
“Knowledge Sharing and Conservation in the Forest Service"

Patricia Suchodolski, Knowledge Management Officer of the USDA Forest Service

Keeping the wisdom, experience, and knowledge of retiring employees is a challenge for every organization.  There is no better way to do it than through storytelling! A key tool used by the Forest Service is story sharing.  This is not only important for archiving wisdom and knowledge of retiring employees, but also relevant in knowledge transfer in every area of the agency. Patricia, who holds a MS in Organizational Development and Knowledge Management, will share the background, process, and best practices of their story-archive and knowledge-sharing program.  She will also answer questions about her program and its application to other organizations.


“Making the Business Case for Storytelling”

Mark Steiman, Senior Executive Business Leader

For most of human history, the art of storytelling was a daily part of leadership in a community. Now storytelling has begun to take hold in organizations and businesses across the world.  However, for some storytellers, working in corporate America can seem like a whole other world.  Storytelling is hot, yet phrases like "value proposition," “building a brand” or "the deliverable" can be confusing and daunting. Mark will shed light on what it takes to bring storytelling into the corporate organization.  Mark has 25 years of experience in organizational administration, sales and HR. As an executive leader in Fortune 500 organizations, non-profits and start-ups, he will give us tools, language and know how to advance storytelling in every organization.  Whether you work externally, or internally, this session will be beneficial.


Open Space Technology (OST), an interactive event format

The SIO pre-conference will finish with a one-hour Open Space session.  This format will allow participants a chance to bring an organizational storytelling issue or idea to the group assembled.  During this time, we will break into several small discussion groups to address and discuss these topics.


Questions about the SIO pre-conference should be directed to Tom Sparough, SIO Chair,



$25 for SIO-SIG members

$40 for non-SIO-SIG members


Stay to chat and enjoy lunch together (pay for lunch separately).



Thursday, July 24 • 8:00am-12Noon


Healing Story Alliance PreConference


New Light From Ancient Fires:

The Healing Power Of Traditional Story Within Modern Contexts


Presentations are one hour each and end with a panel for open discussion. These presenters will join other HSA members in a Storytelling Concert,  Fire On The Mountain, on Wednesday, 7/23/14 at 7:30 PM.


The Hidden Story in Each Patient - Marilyn Eileena Torres-Sierra, a labor and delivery nurse, assists women in crafting their own authentic birthing stories. She will discuss how storytelling assists critical thinking in nursing students and show how the stories of her traditions can assist grieving mothers across cultures. 

A Warrior’s Healing - Kyle Mitchell, a Diné (Navajo), will share the Diné story of The Warrior Twins that touches on subjects affecting all who experience war and its aftermath.  Kyle will describe the stories application and impact on his own life as an American veteran.

 The Role of the Oluwo/Iyanifa in Yoruba-Orisa West African Storytelling Traditions - Marilyn Omifunke Torres, a professor of The Storytelling Institute at South Mountain Community College, will introduce the relevance of Yoruba West African transmission of story as an ancient healing oral tradition that offers guidance to people today.




Concert  - $10 at the door

Pre-conference (early registration deadline - May 15th)

Early registration: members & students - $50, nonmembers - $75 (admission and membership to HSA)
Later registration: members & students - $65 , nonmembers - $90 (admission and membership to HSA)

Scholarships available. For information, write

HSA will provide the necessary documentation for participants interesting in applying for professional CEU’s for this pre-conference. Please contact HSA for more information.