The "Ten Storytelling Skills" Seminar Art & Technique for Effective Storytelling


October 9-13, 2017 in Hagerstown, Maryland

If you would like to receive updates please join our mailing list here.

Basic Info:

What makes storytelling a powerful way of communicating? A careful balance of technique and art. 

Once techniques are mastered, they can be artisticslly applied in effective storytelling.  This seminar provide tools for making everyone better listeners and tellers through both technique and art.

If you are a beginning or intermediate level storyteller, this seminar is for you.

The seminar, limited to 12 persons, meets Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Tuition is $250 for early registration before July 9, and $350 afterwards. Meals and lodgings are not included.

Location is in Hagerstown, Maryland. 

Dr. Robert Béla Wilhelm has designed and taught this seminar over many years. His focus is on helping tellers develop their specific storytelling talents most effectively.

If you have quesiions, or would like to register, please email here.

More Details:

Each session in the morning and the afternoo begin with a 30 minute input from Robert Béla Wilhelm on a specific topic. The following 90 minutes is interactive, with participants telling and listening around the central topic.  Over the week, there are 10 topics that will cover the key principles of effective storytelling.

Topics will be listed in an update to this web page:

Monday - October 9 

1.  Gardner’s Challenge: Utilizing our multiple intelligences in our storytelling.

2.  Jayne’s Paradox: How the brain processes both story telling & listening… Seven gateways between “sending” and “receiving” a story. How “noise” at any of the gateways disrupts and distorts the message.

Tuesday - October 10

3.  Ariadne’s Thread: The importance of the narrative line (plot).  Telling in time and hearing in eternity - Kronos rules the telling. Kairos the listening.  The image of the Ikon in the completed story.  The narrative dimension of storytelling.

4.  Polanyi's Principle in describing details: Knowing more than we can tell and the Goldilocks Test. Why  memorizatiion results in mediocre storytelling.The descriptive dimension of storytelling.

Wednesday - October 11

5.  Perls' Practice: Projection in storytelling: the teller as simultaneously scriptwirter, director, and various characters in a tale. The virtuosisty of the narrative artist. The dramatic dimension of storytelling.

6.  Eliade’s Insight: “In Illo Tempore”. Using both enchantment and disenchantment in any storytelling event. Ecstatic and Meditative storytelling. The spiritual dimension of storytelling.

Thursday - October 12

7.  Olrik's Overview: the nine laws of oral storytelling including repetition, doubling, and formula openings and closings. How storytelling reflects that natural process of “everyday talk” and in turn enriches our everyday speech.

8.  The Modernist Shift: Subplots and Flashbacks. The opportunities and temptations of contemporary storytelling. Difference between oral, written, and mass-media (video) storytelling

Friday - October 13

9.  The Parabolic Effect:  Surprise and Reversal of Expectations as the “purpose” or “final cause” of storytelling. Storytelling both affirms and subverts the world order. The transforming and healing power of stories. 

10. Heraclitus’ Fragment 54 as the the deepest level of Fact versus Truth in the art of the story, the myth, the fable, the dream, and the vision. 

The Next Steps:  Integrating the seminar’s content in your practice of Art and Technique in the storytelling arts. Guidelines on how to monitor your progress.

Our Goal:



— Robert Béla Wilhelm

Bob Wilhelm at Hay-Adams

If you have quesiions, or would like to register, please email here.

© Robert Bela Wilhelm 2016