University of North Texas
 Digital Storytelling Research Group
Storytelling Resources
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Storytelling Resources

Elizabeth Figa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
University of North Texas
School of Library and Information Sciences

With Contributions and Reviews from
Current and Past Teaching Assistants and Students in SLIS 5440 Storytelling

Click on "Reviews" for commentary about selected Websites.

New  This is a page has many contributors and is dynamic. 
New Websites, resources, quotes, etc.,  may be sent to
Dr. Elizabeth Figa via 


General Storytelling

    Storytelling Organizations/Discussion Lists

    Warm-up Exercises

    Creative Dramatics

     Personal Narratives

    Tale Type, Motif Indexes, and Folklore Research

    Oral Tradition

    Ethics Resources

     Storytelling-Related Codes of Ethics


    Working with Audiences

    Storytelling in Schools and Curricula

    Programming Resources

    Special Populations

    Props and Storytelling New

    Folk and Fairy Tales

    Storytelling through Music 

    Poetry Resources

    Beauty and the Beast and Bluebeard Sources

    Storytelling in the Movies   

    Family Stories

    Holiday Stories

    Oral History

    University Oral History Projects

    Urban Legends


    Multicultural Stories


    Digital Storytelling / Globalization

    Samples of Digital Stories

     Storytelling and International Festivals

    Terms and Definitions

     Storytelling Resources       

     Storytelling Quotes 

  • “Man is eminently a storyteller. His search for a purpose, a cause, an ideal, a mission and the like is largely a search for a plot and a pattern in the development of his life story-a story that is basically without meaning or pattern.” - Eric Hoffer, U.S. philosopher, “The Passionate State of Mind”

  • “Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it's an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.” - Eudora Welty, “One Writer's Beginnings”

  • “I have learned in my 30-odd years of serious writing only one sure lesson: Stories, like whiskey, must be allowed to mature in the cask.” - Seán O'Faoláin, Atlantic Dec 56

  • “If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” - Barry Lopez, “Crow and Weasel”

  • “To hunt for symbols in a fairy tale is absolutely fatal.” - W. H. Auden

  • “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” - G. K. Chesterton

  • “Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.” - Hannah Arendt

  • “The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.” - Harold Goddard, The Meaning of Shakespeare

  • “Family lore can be a bore, but only when you are hearing it, never when you are relating it to the ones who will be carrying it on for you. A family without a storyteller or two has no way to make sense out of their past and no way to get a sense of themselves.” - Frank Pittman, U.S. psychiatrist and family therapist, "How to Manage Mom and Dad," Psychology Today (November/December 1994).

  • “Of course it's true, but it may not have happened.” - Patricia Polacco's grandmother

  • “Story is the vehicle we use to make sense of our lives in a world that often defies logic.” - Jim Trelease

  • “There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” - Ursula K. LeGuin

  • “The folktale is the primer of the picture-language of the soul.” - Joseph Campbell, The Flight of the Wild Gander
    “As we share stories, we exalt in the joy of completed journeys, solved problems and happy endings.” - Joe Healy

  • “If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.” - Salman Rushdie, “Songs Don’t Know the Score,” Guardian (London, January 12, 1987).

  • “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years.” - Willa Cather, “O Pioneers!”

  • “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” - Muriel Rukeyser, U.S. poet, “The Speed of Darkness”

  • “Faith! he must make his stories shorter Or change his comrades once a quarter.” - Jonathan Swift, “Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift.”

  • “It’s all storytelling, you know. That’s what journalism is all about.” - Tom Brokaw, Northwestern University Byline Spring '82

  • “There is a certain embarrassment about being a storyteller in these times when stories are considered not quite as satisfying as statements and statements not quite as satisfying as statistics; but in the long run, a people is known, not by its statements or its statistics, but by the stories it tells.” - Flannery O’Connor, “Mystery and Manners”

  • “All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a story to live by…. religion, whatever else it has done, has provided one of the main ways of meeting this abiding need.” - Harvey Cox, Professor of Divinity, Harvard, “The Seduction of the Spirit”

  • “Earth and I gave you turquoise when you walked singing. We lived laughing in my house and told old stories.” - N. Scott Momaday, Native American poet, “Earth and I Gave You Turquoise”

  • “The tale is often wiser than the teller.” - Susan Fletcher, "Shadow Spinner"

  •  “‘Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten, but ‘Once upon a time’ lasts forever.” - Philip Pullman, 1996 Carnegie Medal acceptance speech

  • “People who don’t have stories in their cultures go nuts.” - Rafe Martin

  • “Telling the proper stories is as if you were approaching the throne of Heaven in a fiery chariot.” - Baal Shem Tov, quoted by Steve Sanfield

  • “Australian Aborigines say that the big stories—the stories worth telling and retelling, the ones in which you may find the meaning of your life—are forever stalking the right teller, sniffing and tracking like predators hunting their prey in the bush.” - Robert Moss, Dreamgates

  • “Stories tell us of what we already knew and forgot, and remind us of what we haven’t yet imagined.” - Anne L. Watson

  • “We can never know truth, but some stories are better than others.” - Aaron Shepard

  • “Wherever men have lived there is a story to be told.” - Henry David Thoreau

  • The tales are like rays of light, taking their colors from the medium through which they pass. - W. A. Bone, Children's Stories and How to Tell Them

  • The greatest tales, well told, awaken the fears and longings of the listeners. Each man hears a different story. Each is touched by it according to his inner self. The words go to the ear, but the true messages travel straight to the spirit. - Juliet Marillier, Sons of the Shadow

Storytelling Final Project Examples