Since 2005, I’ve served on the faculty of the Masters of Fine Art in Creative Nonfiction at Goucher College. I’ve also taught memoir and literary journalism at Johns Hopkins University, The University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and The University of Georgia.
Building on what I’ve learned in a decade of teaching creative writing, I’ve created a curriculum to teach the art and craft of true, personal storytelling through workshops offered by The Stoop Storytelling Series. These workshops teach participants to focus on the meaningful experiences in their lives, shape those experiences into stories, and present them to an audience. Because oral storytelling is universally accessible, the workshops are suited to people of all ages, cultures, educational levels and disciplines. Within a span of several hours, participants can markedly improve their skills.
The Stoop offers storytelling workshops for the public, as well as customized workshops for schools, businesses, and nonprofits, whose goals range from helping their community members to communicate more powerfully to team-building. The basic workshop runs three to four hours, depending on group size, and involves a combination of lecture, discussion, and hands-on practice, with each storyteller telling his/her tale and getting feedback.
Past workshops have been at Open Society Institute-Baltimore, Stevenson University, The University of Maryland Psychiatry Residency Program, The St. Paul’s School for Girls, Maryland Institute College of Art, Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth and Family Services, and The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. I have also worked with a team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School on a research project using storytelling to help veterans reduce hypertension.