the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts

Dear Friends,

    I was happy to hear that WGBH was interested in having storytellers on the radio. I am a bit perplexed however about the plan, and wondered if I am the only one questioning whether boiling a 5 minute story to a one minute story is really going to promote an appreciation for good storytelling among those unfamiliar. I do not think that I would want to be a part of it until I had heard a few examples of 5 minute personal tales being edited down to one minute before I put in a story. To me it sounds like sound bites, the way our media is learning to feed us news, rather than a story with enough of what makes a story a story to be satisfying.

    I remember years ago that we were challenged to tell one-minute versions of folktales. I thought that was fun, and it did sometimes work, but it was more humorous than satisfying. I'd like to hear other people's opinions on this.  Maybe I just need clarification as to what their goal is. If it is just a "taste" of storytelling, mass. mouth style, then great. If it is meant to represent storytelling, then, I'm very skeptical.

    Thanks for listening,


elisa p.

Views: 25

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Elisa:
I can well understand your question... Maybe I just need clarification as to what their goal is. If it is just a "taste" of storytelling, massmouth style, then great. >>
Pretty sure it is not meant to "represent" storytelling... and it will be up to each person whether or not we think our telling of a one minute story will help or hinder the art. Some people are good at this...others, not so much. Does the existence of haiku "lessen" longer poetry ? Or, are they distinct enough forms that one does "detract" from the other? Guess I am banking on the latter and I am awfully fond of haiku.

en la lucha,

Below, is the email that the producers sent as clarification:

Dear massmouth Storytellers,

Here is a link of some examples of "sonic stories" or "sonic ids". These are from one of WGBH's satellite stations, WCAI on Cape Cod. These stories were told in five or so minutes, and boiled down to 60 seconds. These are the type of stories we would like you to help us produce for WGBH radio.

If you have a true, engaging story with quirky twists or a great take-away, please e-mail me ( or my colleague Cristina Quinn ( We are looking for a conversational storytelling style, as opposed to a rehearsed performance. During the editing process, we will be boiling the stories down to 60 seconds - a rare feat for sure - but if you could tell it in about five minutes, that would be great.

To hear examples, check out this link: ttp://

Reply to Discussion



Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


  • Add Photos
  • View All


What is a story slam? Get the FAQs! 9 Replies

Started by Norah Dooley in Uncategorized. Last reply by Tamara Safford Feb 4, 2014.

Press Clippings 2012-2013 - Links and as a Pdf

Started by Norah Dooley in Sample Title Jun 26, 2013.

Storytelling is front page news in Boston...12/22/12 2 Replies

Started by Norah Dooley in Sample Title. Last reply by Brendyn Schneider Dec 23, 2012.

Grand Slam Story Slam Fuller Craft Museum May 7th

The South Shore story Slams presents The GRAND SLAM STORY SLAM MAY 5TH @The Company Theater 6:30PM the winners of Doyles and SS Story Slam Season compete for Maine Getaway valued at  $1,000. Get your tickets before they are gone $25.00 in advance $20.00 members at door $30.00 non members 



© 2022   Created by andrea lovett.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service