Keynote Speakers

Saturday 8:45-10:15 am

Janice Del Negro

StoryCrafting: Retelling Folktales in Your Own Voice

All stories are personal, even traditional ones. This workshop focuses on the structure of oral narrative and how to retell traditional and other stories in a distinct voice, with special attention to developing the seven-minute fairy tale. Cooper Braun will discuss the power of metaphor. Workshop attendees will participate in a cooperative storytelling exercise and leave with the tools to create their own original works.

Janice Del Negro, PhD, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, teaches Children’s Literature, Storytelling, and Young Adult Literature. She collaborated with Ellin Greene on the classic textbook, Storytelling: Art & Technique. Del Negro’s books, Lucy Dove (1998), Willa and the Wind (2005), and Passion and Poison (2007), have received starred reviews and notable awards. She conducts workshops on storytelling, book reviewing, writing, reading motivation and was featured at the National Storytelling Festival, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Illinois Storytelling Festival, the University of Illinois Youth Literature Festival, and many other celebratory events.


Saturday 1:05-2:40 pm

Matthew Taylor

An interactive keynote that explores why and how stories work and how to harness their power to wow your audience.

 The keynote covers: story structure; how information is absorbed and recalled; how it applies to many facets of your work and life; practical tools and tips that can be applied immediately to improve your storytelling; and presentational skills. We will also explore the undeniable link between storytelling and leadership and how as a storyteller you are a leader.

MATTHEW TAYLOR award-winning author, professional actor, storyteller and humorist has been entertaining audiences throughout the United States and internationally for the last twenty-five years.

Transplanted to Colorado from the small sailing village of Itchenor, England, Matthew is a partner of A.C.E. Entertainment, which has written and produced over fifty original shows, and is currently touring their smash hit, Girls Only – The Secret Comedy of Women. Encouraged from the popularity of the A.C.E. show, Tales of an Englishman, Matthew continued to commit his stories to paper, which have now been compiled into the book, Goat Lips: Tales of a Lapsed EnglishmanReleased in the spring of 2015, Goat Lips has received the 2015 Independent Publishers Book Awards Gold Medal for Humor and is a National Indie Excellence Award Finalist.

Matthew has a long history of coaching theater, storytelling, and the art of improvisation. He formed Persuasion through Narrative in 2010 to teach communication skills through the use of narrative and has quickly gained a strong reputation, especially within the legal profession and educational institutions.

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