Live Storytelling Workshops


The Basics of Live Storytelling

The Basics of Live Storytelling with Doug Cordell

 November 1st, 2016 7pm

In one 2-hour class, NPR radio storyteller, writer and performer Doug Cordell will teach you what you need to know to develop or improve your own live stories, including: how to come up with story ideas; making your story compelling; connecting with an audience; and more. Come with a story idea or two if you have them–if not, no worries. The class will benefit beginners and experienced storytellers alike.

Doug Cordell is an NPR radio storyteller, performer and Emmy-nominated writer. His true-life radio stories are on NPR’s Snap Judgment and APM’s Marketplace. He has been featured at theaters and clubs across the U.S. and abroad, and has led workshops on story, narrative and performance in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Marrakesh, Morocco. Find out more at

Space is limited. Click here to register.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25: President Barack Obama speaks at the annual White House Correspondent's Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel April 25, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The dinner is an annual event attended by journalists, politicians and celebrities. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Speaking to Engage

Become a Better and Funnier Public Speaker

Author Talk
Tuesday, March 1st, 7pm

Become a better and funnier public speaker! Author, storyteller and occasional comedian David Nihill will share his techniques on how to capture and keep an audience’s attention using techniques from the world of stand up comedy as written about in his new book, Do You Talk Funny. In what doesn’t sound like the best plan ever, David decided to overcome his fears of public speaking by pretending to be a comedian called “Irish Dave” for one full year, crashing as many comedy clubs, festivals, and shows as possible. One part of the plan was at least logical: he was already Irish and already called Dave.

Registration recommended. Click here to register.


Storytelling Meet-Up

Come by the the Library and meet other storytellers and those who enjoy the art of personal storytelling. Participants take turns sharing and listening to true stories. Feeling shy? Don’t worry, telling a story is not required. A facilitator will be on hand to ensure a positive, productive, and fun experience.

Second Monday of each month beginning February 8th, 2016 in the Conference Room.

Registration recommended Click here to register.

“We are, as a species, addicted to story.  Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” –Johnathan Gottschall from The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human.


Storytelling Series

Join talented storytelling expert Cici Woo for one or all of these exciting classes to help hone your storytelling skills.

Live Storytelling Basics

Live Storytelling Basics will cover everything you need to know to craft a spoken personal story.  Wednesday, June 10th, 7:00pm  COMPLETE

Storytelling Techniques for Engaging Audiences

Define the storyteller’s role based on the audience; refine the story to optimize the impact.  Wednesday, June 17th, 7:00pm  COMPLETE

Storytelling for Personal Branding

Storytelling for Personal Branding will help you learn how to share who you are in a memorable sound bite. Wednesday, June 24th, 7:00pm COMPLETE

The Power of Story for Entrepreneurs

How to craft personal stories to create and strengthen connection for startups.  Tuesday, June 30th, 7:00 PM  COMPLETE

Live Storytelling Workshop

The ability to tell a powerful story is held by few and coveted by many. If you are part of the latter, here is your chance to change positions. Kari Kiernan, master storyteller and Naked Truth favorite, will help you find your story and teach you how to tell it so people will want to listen.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 from 6-9 – COMPLETE

Workshop Moderator Bio: Kari has told stories throughout the Bay Area and is a vet of San Francisco’s famed Porchlight series. Her work appears both in print and onstage. Kari was born and raised in Mill Valley and now lives in San Francisco where, possibly illegally, she has neither a bicycle nor a dog.




The ability to tell a powerful story is held by few and coveted by many. If you are part of the latter, here is your chance to change positions.  Josh Healey, master storyteller and the host of the Library’s Naked Truth live events will help you find your story and teach you how to tell it so people will want to listen.  

  • Wednesday, June 25th from 6-9 COMPLETE
  • Tuesday, July 8th from 6-9 COMPLETE

Space is limited, so please only register for one session. Priority given to new participants.   Call 415-389-4292 ex. 3 to register.

Workshop Moderator Bio: 
Josh Healey is an award-winning writer, performer, and creative activist. Fusing his distinct storytelling style with subversive humor and a fiery love for justice, Healey has been featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and is a regular performer on NPR’s Snap Judgment. Visit his website at



Powerhouse raconteur Dhaya Lakshminarayanan will impart her storytelling wisdom and guide workshop participants in crafting and telling their own stories. Check out Dhaya’s fabulous performance at Naked Truth on our Stories page.

Josh Healey will not be leading workshops due to  an unexpected scheduling conflict. 

Space is limited, so please only register for one session. Please do not register if you have already taken a live storytelling workshop at the Library. 

Thursdays in March, 6 PM-9PM

  • Session 1:  Thursday, March 6, 2014  COMPLETE
  • Session 3: Thursday, March 20, 2014 COMPLETE
  • Session 4: Thursday, March 27, 2014 COMPLETE

Workshop Moderator Bio:

Dhaya Lakshminarayanan is a stand-up comic, storyteller, and TV host. She is a frequent storyteller on NPR’s “Snap Judgment”, has appeared on PBS’s KQED, and hosted the Emmy-award winning television series “High School Quiz Show” on PBS.  She was also just named Best Comedian of 2013 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Readers’ Poll.



Live Storytelling Workshops

We all know them…people who can tell a riveting story and keep their listeners hanging on their every word. Here is your chance to become one of those people. A cohort of talented moderators from San Francisco’s famed Porchlight Storytelling series will guide participants in mining their lives for material. Porchlight has been on the forefront of this genre for more than 10 years. Over the course of one evening, you will learn to perform a personal story live, and may end up as a featured storyteller at a Naked Truth live performance.

Space is limited, so please only register for one session.

Tuesdays in November

6 PM-9PM

Creekside Room

All sessions are full. COMPLETE

Session 1: 11/5/13 – FULL

Session 2: 11/12/13 – FULL

Session 3: 11/19/13 – FULL

Session 4: 11/26/13 – FULL

Sean Uyehara, Alan Black will be leading Sessions 1 and 2.

Sean Uyehara, Les Milton will be leading Sessions 3 and 4.

Workshop Moderator Bios:

Sean Uyehara is a programmer at the San Francisco Film Society, where he has presented Porchlight Storytelling within the San Francisco International Film Festival. In addition to his curatorial work, Sean is a writer and performer, and has been featured several times at the Porchlight storytelling series.

 Alan Black is a writer of books, newspapers and bar napkins.  More specifically, he is a soccer columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, a soccer blogger for Huffington Post and the author of two books from Penguin Group USA – a memoir about suburban angst, Kick the Balls, and a soccer book, The Glorious World Cup.  He has earned his storytelling chops as a barman at the Edinburgh Castle and a Porchlight  veteran.

Les Milton has been writing and performing in the Bay Area for over twenty years. Besides writing, recording, and performing hours of radio theater, he has participated in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, written a sci-fi adventure novel for the whole family, and performed at SF Sketchfest for several years, as well as similar festivals in New York, Chicago, and Seattle. He has performed at the Punch Line and the Purple Onion, among many other venues where solo sketch comedy is a rare thing. His latest play, a sci-fi romantic comedy, will be sure to entertain just as soon as he fixes the typos and finds a producer.