About Storytellers

The Storytellers Project is a nationwide series of live, curated events from the USA TODAY NETWORK that helps connect communities to diverse audiences.

Face it, it's hard to bring people together when we all have varied backgrounds, beliefs and opinions. But one thing that unites these differences is our appreciation for entertaining and illuminating stories of relatable common ground. And our mission is to help you create those narratives and be confident to take the stage to tell them.

Our award-winning journalists help community members to draw out authentic, personal experiences and hone them into engaging dialogue. It's an art form that empowers, which is why we're excited that it's spreading like journalistic wildfire across our NETWORK.

Since its founding in Arizona in 2011, more than 600 people have taken the stage to share their stories at more than 100 events, and the USA TODAY NETWORK launched the program nationally in 2015, coordinating more than 90 nights of live storytelling.

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Here's how it works

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of stories do people tell?
All sorts of topics are addressed because the world is a complex place. Each night does have a main theme, which all stories should revolve around either literally or metaphorically, and 100% conversationally. And there may be cussing.

What kinds of people tell the stories?
All kinds! We have a 97% acceptance rate from people whom have contacted us with a story to tell, from as young as 17 to as old as 82. As long as you participate in the coaching process and are within our guidelines you'll probably end up on stage.

How do I buy a ticket?
Click here for a list of our upcoming events and ticket information. And we hope to see you there!

How do I sign up to tell a story?
Just visit our Tell a Story Page and fill out the form.

How do I sponsor a night or a series of nights?
You can find a range of opportunities here and information on how to connect with the right people who can help you step-by-step.

Where can I see Storyteller Project events?
Click here to see our full list of USA TODAY NETWORK newsroom events.

How can I learn more about private or corporate storytelling coaching?
Here's all you'll need to know to get started.

Why is a national media company running live storytelling events?
The USA TODAY NETWORK has over 100 newsrooms nationwide with a goal to help communities connect. We could have tried super gluing all of your hands together, but this seemed like a more logical (and definitely more effective) approach.

Other Reasons Why:

  • Content generation. We hear it is king. And these events help create or support podcasts, radio play, pre and post-show stories, photos, videos, full-length audio, and social media posts. 
  • Branding moments for sponsors and partners to generate a halo-effect and create PR messaging. 
  • Subscriber/reader acquisition, affinity, and retention.
  • Brand building for individual journalists.
  • Creating a space for everyone to have a voice and stories to be celebrated.

Are Storytelling nights accessible to people with hearing loss or impairment?
Yes! We work with ESL translators, so you just have to contact the event coordinator prior to the event in order to provide this service. Information is available on the ticket page or on your city's About page.

What ages are appropriate for Storytelling nights? (Will I be covering my child's or my mother's ears all night and writing a curt complaint letter afterwards?)
Have grandma babysit the kids that night to avoid any post communication of "DEAR SIR OR MADAM" in all angry caps. Essentially, they're 90 minutes long, and while vulgarity is not encouraged, it's not banned either. We would recommend the same types of rules you would apply to a movie and would rate ourselves around a PG-13, minus nudity. Although that's not banned, either.

Who runs these nights?
A team of USA TODAY NETWORK journalists, in 9 cities across the country, curates the stories, books the venues, and manages all aspects of the event execution. A team of advertising and sales experts helps align sponsors and events.

National Storytellers Project Team
Storytellers Brand Studio Team
Phoenix Team
Nashville Team
Cincinnati Team
Indianapolis Team
Coachella Valley Team
Lansing Team
Fort Collins Team
Des Moines Team

What is the difference between a Storyteller Project event and a Storyteller Brand Studio event?
Better crab dip. No, actually Storytellers Project is a nationwide series of live storytelling nights. USA TODAY NETWORK newsrooms curate and host the nights of first-person stories told by neighbors and notables. The journalists have coached all the speakers in order to deliver the most entertaining (and illuminating) stories to a diverse audience.

The Storytellers Studio coordinates custom live storytelling events where brands are taught how to tell compelling stories that connect them to the communities they serve. It's a more genuine experience in knowing more about a brand than some flashy commercial. Behind every great company are great people. Here they reveal their humanity in a relatable story we can all empathize with.

I am a super-curious person and my question is not listed.
"42". If that still didn't answer your question, send your inquiry to Megan Finnerty.