What is a WOW Weekend?
A WOW Weekend is a "Working
on Our Work" Storytelling Weekend facilitated by Scheherazade's
Legacy - Mary Hamilton & Cynthia Changaris. Wow Weekends provide
an opportunity for storytellers of all experience levels to gather
as peers and grow in the art of telling stories. Each storyteller
participating in a WOW Weekend is guaranteed the same amount of
time (minimum one hour) for the group to focus their attention on
the teller’s work. Using an artist-centered process, each
participant will be able to use the collective wisdom of the group
in service to the storyteller’s work.
Want to try out a new story? Participate in a WOW Weekend. Have
an idea for a new workshop and want to talk through it? Participate
in a WOW Weekend. Got a gig coming up that calls for you to make
a familiar tale five minutes shorter? Participate in a WOW Weekend.
Got a gig coming up that calls for you to present a program of stories
you haven't told in a long time? Participate in a WOW Weekend.
In other words, the agenda for each teller is determined by the
teller. Truly, a WOW Weekend fosters a gathering of artistic peers
listening, thinking and responding in support of one another's work.
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Storyteller’s Riverhouse Bed and Breakfast, Bethlehem, Indiana. (Bethlehem is in southern Indiana, along the Ohio River, approximately 45 minutes northeast of Louisville, KY and thirty minutes southwest of Madison, IN; 90 miles from Frankfort, KY.) To learn more about Storyteller’s Riverhouse, email Cynthia at email@example.com or call 812-293-3845.
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Dates of WOW Weekends vary from year to year. To learn currently scheduled WOW Weekends, call or email Mary at 502-223-4523 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Cynthia at 502-645-2930 or email@example.com. If no scheduled dates match your calendar, we will gladly work with you to schedule a WOW Weekend for your group of four – six people.
What's the schedule for the WOW Weekend?
A note about time: Storyteller's Riverhouse operates on the same
time as Louisville KY and Cincinnati OH.
Friday night (attendance optional): You may arrive for your
WOW Weekend as early as 2:00 p.m. on Friday for fellowship or for
quiet working on your work time. Both types of spaces will be provided
on Friday evening.
Saturday and Sunday: Breakfast will be available by 8:00
a.m. on Saturday. You may arrive in time to eat and enjoy fellowship
with those who arrived on Friday evening, or you may choose to arrive
no later than 9:15 a.m. At 9:30 a.m. we will hold an organizational
meeting to plan the schedule for the rest of the retreat. The amount
of time allocated for each teller will be based on the number of
participants with at least one hour guaranteed. At 10:00 a.m. we
will begin our first WOW session. We'll work, with breaks to stretch,
walk about a bit, eat meals, etc. until about 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.
(depending upon the number of participants). On Sunday, breakfast
will be available at 8:30 a.m. and we'll begin our first WOW session
at 9:45 a.m. We'll keep working, with appropriate breaks, until
about 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. (again, depending upon the number of participants).
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Fees and Registration
What do you receive?
- Six meals (Friday light
supper; Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner; Sunday breakfast, lunch).
- Two nights lodging (room
sharing expected, bed sharing voluntary only).
- A minimum of one hour
for your turn to work on your work.
- Attention and support
of other participants.
- Mary and Cynthia's leadership
and experience - they will participate as peers and will help
the group and the storyteller effectively use the Artist-Centered
- You may also arrange
additional lodging at a reduced rate of $50 per night.
To Register: Send a non-refundable deposit
of $50 (check or money order) for each WOW weekend you want to attend
to hold your WOW Weekend space. WOW Storytelling Weekends are limited
to eight participants. Make your check payable to Scheherazade's
Legacy, and mail it to Mary Hamilton, 65 Springhill Road, Frankfort,
In addition, we need to know:
- How to reach you: postal address, phone,
fax, email, etc. We'll send directions.
- Which weekend(s) do you plan to attend?
- Do you plan to stay overnight at the
- Will you arrive on Friday or Saturday?
- Any dietary restrictions or needs?
- Any mobility restrictions or needs? Most
bedrooms are upstairs.
- Do you want to schedule additional lodging
at $50 per night?
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How Do We Work on Our Work Together?
We use the Artist-Centered Response
Process. The Artist-Centered Response Process is a combination
of storytelling coaching techniques developed by storyteller Doug
Lipman and artist-centered critical response process developed by
dancer Liz Lerman. We'll use a step-by-step process with the artist
deciding how far to proceed along the five steps:
Step 1: Listen (to the work, to the ideas, to whatever the
artist want to use the brains of the group to consider). Sometimes,
Step 1 is the only step the artist wants because the artist just
wants to "put the work out there" to see how it feels,
but does not want to discuss it with the group. That's fine and
allowed at a WOW weekend.
Step 2: Give affirmations - the group lets the artist know
what they heard that is working. Artists are encouraged to use Step
2 to benefit from the opportunity to hear from peers. While some
may feel, "I don't need to hear affirmations. I want to focus
on what needs to be fixed, so I plan to skip Step 2!" it is
important that the artist hear affirmations. It is in Step 2 that
artists often learn about aspects of their work that are indeed
working well that the artist had not realized were successful or
had not acknowledged as strengths.
Step 3: Artist asks questions - this is the artist's opportunity
to bring up those issues the artist wants the group to consider,
ponder, give opinions on, etc.
Step 4: Listeners ask questions or
state reactions - this is the artist's opportunity to hear (and
answer if desired) questions from the group. This step can help
the artist become aware of sections where the listeners "didn't
get it" which can really help the artist figure out where tinkering
may be needed. "State reactions" does not mean "pass
judgment" but instead means the listeners can tell the artist
where they were lost or confused, or found their attention wavering,
or what they are wondering about. If a listener feels a strong desire
to make a suggestion during Step 4, the listener should ask the
artist's permission first.
The Final Step: Check back in with the artist. Often, after
the listeners ask questions, the artist discovers she/he has more
questions about the work or more comments to make, so a final check
with the artist is always the last step in the process.
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About Scheherazade's Legacy
the storytelling production partnership of two full time professional
storytellers Mary Hamilton and Cynthia Changaris, began in 1990.
In addition to developing our individual storytelling talents, we
work to support other tellers in their growth process. To that end,
we have facilitated over twenty-five WOW (Working on Our Work) Storytelling
Weekends at Storyteller's Riverhouse.
From 1992 96, we produced the Louisville, Kentucky venue
of Tellabration! The Night of Storytelling. We also produce storytelling
workshops. We've hosted workshops led by other storytellers including
Jim May, Chuck Larkin, Loren Neimi, Elizabeth Ellis, Doug Lipman
and Pam McGrath. We've developed and presented our acclaimed tandem-led
storytelling workshops for teachers, librarians, storytellers and
others wishing to develop and apply their storytelling skills.
Our workshop venues have included the National Storytelling Conference
(Indianapolis, 1997), Riverwinds Whirlwind Weekend (Belleville,
IL 1999), the Kentucky Heritage Touring Conference (1999), plus
workshops for numerous school districts and educational consortiums
in Kentucky, and several open-to-the-public workshops.
Hamilton, Professional Storyteller
Springhill Road, Frankfort, KY 40601-9211
Phone & Fax: 1-800-438-4390