one candle passing its flame to another   Doug

Story Dynamics ®

> Services > Workshops > Topics for Multi-Day Workshops

Free Newsletter
About Doug
Advanced Search
Contact Doug

Register Now
Online Courses
Phone Seminars
Trainings, Speeches
The Soul of Hope
Other Services

Order Now
Seminar Tapes
Workshp In a Box
Voice-Care Kit
Audio Recordings
Video Recordings


Finding & Creating
Prof. Development
Story Concepts
Story In Society
Work with Stories

Storytelling Ring
Hasidic Stories

envelope icon Email this page to a friend

Topics for Multi-Day Workshops

available from Doug Lipman

Doug Lipman is a highly experienced workshop leader,
who can offer workshops in a variety of formats.

This document gives descriptions of workshop topics for multi-day workshops (as opposed to brief workshops) from one-and-a-half days, to a weekend, to four days in length--or even longer.

Doug will be happy to create a workshop specifically for your needs. Or you can choose from various multi-day workshop topics, divided into the following areas of interest:

Topics for multi-day workshops

Individualized Coaching

Coaching Storytellers

In this workshop, you'll have a chance to be coached intensively--and supportively--by one of the leading teachers of storytelling in the country. You will make progress in whatever area is most holding you back:
  • insight on structure
  • style
  • performance mode
  • story content
  • emotional blocks
  • characterization
  • use of other art forms, etc.
Each of the full days, you will get a turn to be coached in front of the group, and Doug will give periodic presentations to provide information that you and the group need. In addition, on the final day you will have the option of planning what steps to take next, and how to gather the necessary resources in order to take them. Doug's gentle but incisive coaching is based on the idea that every teller needs to be responded to in a unique manner. In this workshop you'll have a chance to be met where you are, helped with your unique needs, and assisted in developing your skills for your own storytelling and for coaching others.
Focusing on Emotional Impact

In this workshop for intermediate & advanced storytellers, you'll have a chance to be coached intensively by one of the leading teachers of storytelling in the country. Further, this is a opportunity to "zero in" on the emotional aspect of telling stories:
  • how to find and heighten the emotional core of a story;
  • how to develop your "emotional imagination;"
  • how to use your storytelling and your personal growth to augment each other; and
  • how to use body, mind, and spirit to convey a story's emotional essence.
Long Stories Coaching

How do you get coaching on a long story? Bring it to this unique workshop! As the storytelling revival gains momentum, more and more storytellers find themselves working on big projects:

  • 45-minute and longer stories,
  • integrated programs of shorter stories, and even
  • full-evening, two-act stories or "one-person shows."
Such stories have typically been too long to include in their entirety during other coaching workshops. This "long stories" workshop, however, is designed exactly for working on the longer story. Each participant will:
  • have two opportunities to tell an entire long story or program of stories (up to two hours long!) to the entire group
  • be coached three times in front of the group
  • listen to the long stories and coaching sessions of each of the other participants

To enable this luxurious attention for each participant, the workshop will last five-and-a-half days, and be limited to only five participants.

Topics for multi-day workshops

Creativity and Storytelling

Character: A Storytelling Workshop

CHARACTER is a fundamental element of all stories, and a point of entry into the stream of creativity. This workshop is led by a team of three leaders: Jay O'Callahan, Christine Shumock, and Doug Lipman. The three workshop leaders will work as a team to encourage the special imagination that characters require. Jay, Christine and Doug will provide fun, focused exercises and information aimed at freeing the participants to explore the characters who live inside us--how to let them speak, breathe, move, and come to life. This workshop is open to beginners as well as experienced storytellers--anyone interested in creativity. No one will be put on the spot; each participant will be supported in choosing his/her own way of exploring and sharing.
The Creative Process Through Storytelling

This workshop is led by a team of two storytellers, Jay O'Callahan and Doug Lipman. Jay and Doug have assisted each other with their creative storytelling for the last eight years. They have learned that each person has a process to discover that can enhance the creative flow, and that this process can include all of life, even apparent obstacles. In this intensive, personalized workshop, you'll have a chance to explore and appreciate your own gifts of creativity--and to make detailed plans for integrating what you learn into your daily life.
Making Fairy Tales from Personal Stories

Using the theory of fairy-tale style, Doug Lipman has developed a method of creating a fairy tale from the emotional material of a personal experience. Doug described his technique in a series of articles in the National Storytelling Journal. Now, you can be guided through it in person:
  1. You'll choose events or themes from your own life that have meaning for you.
  2. You be guided through the elements of fairy tale style via a series of structured exercises.
  3. Doug will help you compose a fairy tale that has the same emotional content as your own story, but with resolutions suggested by the fairy tale's powerful images.
Place: A Storytelling Workshop

PLACE is a fundamental element of all stories, and a point of entry into the stream of creativity. This workshop is led by a team of three leaders: Jay O'Callahan, Christine Shumock, and Doug Lipman. The three workshop leaders will work as a team to summon a sense of presence for each participant and for the group as a whole. Jay, Christine and Doug will provide fun, focused exercises and information aimed at freeing the participants to explore their connections to place, not only from the workshop environment but also from their childhood and their current life. This workshop is open to beginners as well as experienced storytellers--anyone interested in creativity. No one will be put on the spot; each participant will be supported in choosing his/her own way of exploring and sharing.

Topics for multi-day workshops

Reaching Out with Storytelling

Finding Your True Market

Learn to approach marketing from the heart! In our society, every creative artist has to function as a business person. That's the bad news. But business does not have to be heartless! It can flow from the same love and creativity that inspires you to tell stories. The most effective marketing helps you tell to the audiences that you love--and that love you.

This intensive workshop will guide you to the good news:

  • finding your unique niche,
  • developing your natural audiences, and
  • building a foundation for your next years of providing what only you have to offer.
You will get help:
  • refining your vision,
  • deciding on appropriate goals,
  • allocating the necessary resources, and
  • making an action plan to turn your vision into reality.
Doug will also give you individual assistance with the nuts and bolts of marketing, including such topics as:
  • deciding what audience to seek
  • positioning yourself in a way that gets results
  • making & marketing a recording
  • designing your brochures and press packets
  • using magazine ads
  • targeting and executing a direct mail campaign
  • deciding what further help you need.
Finding the Sacred in Stories

A workshop led by Doug Lipman and Pam McGrath In this three-and-a-half day workshop, you'll have a chance to discover what is sacred in the ordinary: in your self, your life, and your stories. You'll get a combination of 1) exercises designed to put you in touch with yourself, your sacred impulses for telling, and the beautiful natural environment and 2) coaching by two of the nation's most skilled coaches.
Spiritual Stories

What are "spiritual stories?" For Doug, they are stories that reinforce our connections--to ourselves, each other, or to the universe as a whole. This workshop will be an immersion in stories of the spirit--including a chance to be coached in an atmosphere appropriate to the stories! During the workshop, you will:
  • listen to spiritual stories, including a full performance of Doug's mystical adventure story, The Soul of Hope.
  • participate in exercises to discover your own spiritual stories, and even your own definition of what makes a story "spiritual."
  • be encouraged to share your own stories with the group.
  • be coached twice according to Doug's nationally recognized process, each aspect of which can be thought of in spiritual terms:
    • listening,
    • appreciating, and
    • offering suggestions to help you achieve your goals.
Stories and Connection

Storytelling is a powerful tool for creating connections. Through stories, we experience connections to:

  • the experience of others
  • other cultures
  • people who have gone before us.
Stories create a common experience that lets us relate to our different experiences. Stories connect us not only to other people, but also to:
  • the environment,
  • the inner world, and
  • the world of the spirit.
They can help us establish our relationship to nature--and to our particular sense of time and place.

This workshop requires no previous experience in storytelling, but is suitable for storytellers of all levels. Doug will lead the group in concrete exercises that will draw stories out of the participants. He will help participants discover their unique strengths and resonances with the storytelling art. You can come to this workshop with no knowledge of storytelling. When you leave, however:

  • you will have an experience of the variety and accessibility of storytelling,
  • you will have a personal connection to a dynamic, pliable tool that you can bring into any situation.

Topics for multi-day workshops

Storytelling for those who work or live with children

Multiculturalism and Storytelling

As more and more educational and other institutions emphasize multi-culturalism, storytelling provides a natural, enjoyable way to encourage pride and celebrate cultural diversity. At the same time, controversies arise about the use and abuse of cultural resources (such as stories) and the appropriateness of telling stories from cultures other than our own. This workshop will show how to use storytelling to celebrate diversity in any setting--whether culturally mixed or homogeneous. It will provide hands-on, concrete activities such as:
  • Learning stories and songs about diversity
  • Adapting a folktale to bring out its cultural setting
  • Playing story games to elicit personal stories in mixed-culture settings
  • Experiencing ways to allow students to compare multiple versions of a folktale
  • Listening to unusual variants of well-known folktales
  • Learning how to teach students to collect stories from their families.

At the same time, this workshop will give you information to help with your thinking about questions such as:

  • When is it OK to tell the stories of another culture?
  • Don't stories belong to everyone?
  • How much can I change a folktale?
  • Do I have to research a story before telling it?
All these activities and questions will be presented within an inclusive framework of how art can affect the relationships between individuals and groups of people.
Stories and Images

Learn the main types of imagery (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) and how to use them in stories and in the classroom.
Story Games: Playing to Communicate

Story games involve students in telling stories before they realize they are doing more than playing games. Do you need activities:
  • for oral language, communication skills, or pre-writing?
  • to encourage students to review or apply curriculum--from language arts to math, science, history, geography or social studies?
  • to teach critical or divergent thinking skills?
Story games allow active participation in any time slot, from three minutes of waiting to a multi-week project. In this workshop, Doug will teach you dozens of story games and how to introduce them to any age group. He will help you find and adapt games for your particular needs, whether you need them for the classroom, the home, the recreation center, or to use within performances. You will learn the basic game structures, how to deal with a variety of player responses, how to avoid common pitfalls in teaching the games, and how to create story games for any subject or group. Like your students, you will learn an enormous amount while having a great time!
Telling Stories to Children

This workshop is led by Judith Black and Doug Lipman
Why storytelling?
  • Storytelling assists with:
    • transmitting world cultures,
    • reinforcing learning experiences,
    • helping the emerging ego, and
    • enjoyment of oral literature.
  • Storytelling is a living art that brings children and adults together around a nurturing core.

Who should come?
  • Teachers of all kinds, ministers, therapists, social workers, librarians--and others who want to utilize storytelling in their work with young people.
  • The course emphasizes developing individual skills and styles of telling, so participants with all levels of storytelling experience are welcomed!

What will I learn?

Participants will learn how to access the storytelling imagination--both in themselves and in children. They will strengthen the skills of creating stories for children, & of integrating young listeners into their work. The class is a balance of workshops and coaching. Participants will choose workshops suited to their needs and background; some of the possible workshops include:

  • Getting Stories Off the Page
  • Creating Stories From Family Life
  • Music and Stories
  • Participation Tales
  • The Techniques of Telling
  • Improvised Stories
  • Teaching Young People to Tell
  • Re-Inventing the Folk Tale
  • Story Games
  • Creating Stories to Aid Curricular Objectives

Topics for multi-day workshops

Storytelling skills

Beginning Storytelling

Everyone can tell stories! Build your confidence, skills, and repertoire. We'll use story games to overcome shyness. We'll explore solutions to the basic problems of storytelling, including:
  • outlining stories,
  • adapting stories, and
  • adding participation to stories.
Through individualized coaching, you will be helped to discover how to analyze a tale and how to tell it in your unique way.
Finding Folktale Variants

Have you ever:
  • found a traditional tale you liked--all except for one episode?
  • learned a traditional tale from another teller or from a book, and wished you knew how to find or create your own "personal" variant to tell?
  • wondered what people mean when they drop terms like "motif number" or "Aarne-Thompson folktale type"?
In this workshop, you'll learn the techniques Doug has spelled out in The Yarnspinner for researching by Tale Types. In addition, you'll learn to use motif indexes for research as well as for inspiration. You will leave the workshop with a folder full of photo-copied variants of the tale you chose to research--as well as references for other versions to find later. Further, you'll learn how to:
  • use the variants you've found to solve problems in the story,
  • analyze the significance of the story's elements,
  • make educated judgments about changing the story, and
  • create your own unique, collated version.
No research skills or experience are necessary, except for a willingness to treat your folktale safari as an adventure!
Story and Song: Two Arts Living As One

In this workshop, you will learn how to combine storytelling and music--whether you think of yourself as a storyteller, as a musician, or as neither! You will learn how to add music to stories, to give:
  • mood,
  • cultural flavor,
  • a chance for participation, or
  • a heightened sense of structure and emotional focus.
You will also learn ways to create a story around music--to build on:
  • the sound of an instrument,
  • a piece of music,
  • a musical feeling, or
  • an imaginative explanation of a mysterious song or sound.
You will learn ways to:
  • create songs,
  • play an instrument you've never seen before,
  • weave a program combining music and story, and
  • break the artificial boundaries between one art form and another.
It is not necessary that you play an instrument--but if you do, bring it! If not, bring your voice! If singing scares you, too, then bring your willingness to experiment with "found sounds" and your inner spirit of play. The small group size guarantees that you will receive individual help. Doug will help you with:
  • information,
  • hands-on exercises, and
  • non-threatening chances to collaborate with others.
Wherever you've been stuck in combining story and song, Doug will assist you in restoring your creative flow.

Topics for multi-day workshops



Doug Lipman

152 Wenonah Road, Longmeadow, MA 01106 U.S.A.
Phone: (781) 837-1940
Alternate Phone (rings the same line): (413) 754-6728
Fax (toll-free): (888) 300-6665

This page was last updated on Friday, November 28, 2003
Copyright©2003 Doug Lipman