Telling Compelling Personal Stories

Monday, May 21, 7 – 9 pm
MMaP (Music, Media & Place Room), Arts & Culture Centre

This workshop focuses on high stakes content: a personal story with big emotional investment, relationship, and change and the mechanics of writing and performing that story with lyricism and investment. We will discuss what makes a strong high stakes story, story structure, editing, the importance of detail, and connecting with the audience. High energy games form a large part of the learning process.

Sage Tyrtle is a professional storyteller. She teaches storytelling, and her stories have been featured on CBC and NPR radio.

Cost: $25
Please pre-register by e-mailing


From Sage’s website:

“So I’m sixteen and on a road trip with my uncle Doug and his family. Doug is the kind of guy who walks into a party and everyone runs over to hear his latest stories. It’s dark, we’ve been driving for hours, and I’ve been telling a story about what happened at school for approximately the entire trip, and suddenly Doug says from the driver’s seat, “If I hear one more word of this story I will actually die of boredom and the car will crash and we will all die.”

And I have two options: I can jump out of the car and end my worthless life, or I can say in a tiny sulky voice, “Well… YOU tell it better, then.”

And Doug tells me my own story. And it’s suddenly fascinating, full of twists and turns that really happened, but that I was burying under irrelevant facts. And I get it: storytelling isn’t a talent you’re born with. It’s an art.

Today, I’m a storyteller. I draw from a rich well of experience – including living in a tent for two years, my lesbian schizophrenic mother, almost killing people with my evil mind control (NO REALLY) – to draw my audience in and enthrall them with true stories.

I give warm and informal storytelling workshops. In 7 Week Sessions, for schools, in corporate settings, for groups. No matter what the situation, knowing how to tell a compelling story matters. It’s the difference between your audience listening, or checking their phone.

I tell stories all over Toronto, including True Stories Told Live, Dare, and Stories of Ours. I tell folktales in schools and senior centres. I’ve been invited to participate in the SOULO Festival, the FOOL Festival and the Toronto Storytelling Festival. My stories have been featured on both NPR’s Snap Judgment and CBC’s Definitely Not The Opera.

My audiences step into my odd life for fifteen minutes at a time, and sometimes their stomachs hurt from laughing. And sometimes they have to go re-do their makeup because they were crying so hard. They forget they’re in a public place. It’s just me and you. And the story.”


Story Building with Christine Hennebury

Sunday, May 27th
The Annex, Mount Pearl, 365 Old Placentia Rd.
$20 – please e-mail to register your child
Everyone has a story and if you want to tell yours aloud, Christine Hennebury can help.

With a blend of drama, word work, and flair, Christine will lead this class of junior high students through intriguing beginnings, meaningful middles, and satisfying ends to help each person find the perfect blend for their story. This Story Building Class will use drama, writing, and storytelling exercises to enable each student to develop the skills to select and shape stories for storytelling performances.

Please note: Students who are interested in the exercises but not in performing are also welcome – just let Christine know where your comfort level lies.
Christine Hennebury is a writer, storyteller, and creative life coach with over 25 years of writing, performing, and instructing experience. She is the former President of the St. John’s Storytelling Festival, a regular host and performer at local storytelling events, and she visits school classrooms throughout the region to share her stories and to guide storytelling sessions.



We host storytelling workshops during our annual festival and throughout the year as we are able. Workshops are lead by accomplished local and visiting storytellers and cover topics ranging from the development of a narrative, to body language and gesture, to the ins and outs of dealing with tech, to how to transform your written story into a spoken tale. We strive to host workshops for adults, children, and young adults.


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