StoryLab’s mission is to help Stanford students, faculty and staff learn the craft of storytelling. Let us help you build vivid, compelling stories out of your research, personal experiences, imagination, and insights.

Open to all students from all majors and levels of experience.

1-2 pm: workshop

From 1 to 2pm take a targeted workshop with an accomplished storyteller. Examine the craft of a great story or a skill that will make you a better storyteller in any medium.

Guest speakers include Stanford staff and lecturers, performers, TV producers, cartoonists, playwrights, improvisers, filmmakers and activists.

Upcoming Schedule

StoryLab Spring 2015

Date Description Facilitator
Apr 3 Breaking the rules
Learn the rules of writing for the ear, then find out when and how to ignore them.
Eileen Williams, Producer, State of the Human
Apr 10 Mining for stories
Meet Storycraft instructor Michelle Darby and learn to mine your life for stories to tell live in front of an audience
Michelle Darby
Apr 17 Turning science into story
Analyze science communication and find out how to turn your research into an engaging story.
Kate Nelson, Producer, State of the Human
Apr 24 Pitch perfect
Practice pitching with Anna Sussman and Julia DeWitt, and learn how to get your stories on the air.
Anna Sussman, Managing Editor, and Julia DeWitt, Producer, Snap Judgement
May 1 Own your voice
Discover how to develop your own unique sound with KALW's Leila Day.
Leila Day, Reporter and Producer, KALW
May 8 Putting pixels to purpose
Investigate how to capture lives and create community with story veteran Joe Lambert.
Joe Lambert, Executive Director, Center for Digital Storytelling
May 15 Show AND Tell
Explore compelling scenes and discover how to incorporate ideas into your stories. Stegner Fellow Michael Shewmaker shows you how to turn your ideas into stories.
Michael Shewmaker, Stegner Fellow
May 22 A continent of stories
Meet the creators of Radio Ambulante and learn how to make your stories live large.
Carolina Guerrero, Executive Director, and Daniel Alarcón, Executive Producer, Radio Ambulante
May 29 Immersive soundscapes
Discover why and how to create a sonic world for your story.
Justine Beed, Producer, State of the Human
June 5 Movies for the ears
Explore radio dramas and learn how to stage stories in sound.
Jackson Roach, Producer, State of the Human

2-4 pm: One-to-One mentoring

From 2 to 4pm, get one-to-one mentoring to help you discover, develop and deliver any story about your research or experience.

Stanford students: feel free to drop in or make an appointment (with Tutor Trac) for general support, digital storytelling, performance, or tips on how to narrativize research. After you click the tutortrac link and sign in, click "search availability," then "storylab one-to-one," then choose a topic and date.

Non-students: please make an appointment by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Go To Tutor Trac


Nina Foushee

Favorite Topics: creating stories out of research, finding stories, interviewing, story structure, putting your stories into a bigger context

Christy Hartman

Favorite Topics: finding your voice as a narrator, character development, plot, interview questions and techniques, fiction, poetry

Joshua Hoyt

Favorite Topics: memoir, how to write for the ear, voice narration, interviewing, audio editing, getting unstuck, finding what your story is really about

Will Rogers

Favorite Topics: live storytelling and live storytelling events, video editing, audio editing, social media, translating written stories into audio

Natacha Ruck

Favorite Topics: figuring out your process, managing complex projects, memoir, film and video, comedy, science story, plot, pacing

Previous Labs

StoryLab Winter 2015

Date Description Facilitator
Jan 9 Tiny metaphorical things
Explore how Cheryl Strayed uses metaphor to create resonant moments in her work and learn how to do the same in your own. (Cheryl will be hosted by SSP on January 13th.)
Jonah Willihnganz, Director, Stanford Storytelling Project
Jan 16 Write what you DON'T know
Employ Cheryl Strayed's favorite writing promts, drawn from her talk at Stanford. Cherie Steinkellner, who was originally scheduled to lead this workshop, will come to Storylab in the spring.
Jackson Roach, Producer, State of the Human
Jan 23 The writers' room
Step into the writers's room with Nip/Tuck's producer Richard Levine and find out how to write for television.
Richard Levine, TV and film producer, Nip/Tuck, Masters of Sex, Boss
Jan 30 Laughter and liberation
Discover how NPR Snap Judgment's Josh Healey keeps audience laughing -- and learn how to use your own experiences to change the story on the issues you care about most.
Josh Healey, award-winning comic storyteller and activist
Feb 6 Dive deep into your interviews
Explore interviewing with media producer Claire Schoen and figure out how to get profound stories.
Claire Schoen, audio storyteller and media producer
Feb 13 Saying it right
Sift through early drafts of stories and uncover what it takes to sound natural.
Joshua Hoyt, Senior Producer, State of the Human
Feb 20 How to edit voice
Meet KALW’s audio guru and discover how to sound-engineer your way to the truth.
Chris Hoff, senior sound engineer and editor for KALW's daily news magazine Crosscurrents.
Feb 27 How to make a story sing
Explore how to score your story and learn how to make music do what you want it to.
Chris Hoff, senior sound engineer and editor for KALW's daily news magazine Crosscurrents.
Mar 6 Braden Grant ins and outs
Meet our grants manager and get ready to apply for a Braden Grant for the study of Oral Narrative.
John Lee, Braden Grants manager, PWR lecturer.
Mar 13 Process your process
Quiz a gang of Stanford storytellers and figure out how to manage your writing process.
Natacha Ruck, Senior Producer, State of the Human

StoryLab Autumn 2014

Date Description Facilitator
Sep 26 Put on your Ira Glasses
Explore Ira Glass's storytelling strategies and discover the kind of stories you want to tell.
Nina Foushee,
Co-Managing Editor, State of the Human
Oct 3 Make a scene
Find out how to turn moments in time into scenes and learn the shortcut to great stories.
Natacha Ruck
Senior Producer, State of the Human
Oct 10 Keep them laughing
Meet poet and performance artist Toaster and discover how to use humor to reach deeper truth.
Performance Poet featured on All Def Digital/InkslamLexus Versus and Flow
Oct 17 Go from page to stage
Explore the art of The Moth and figure out how to take your own stories to the stage.
Tess McCarthy,
Storycraft TA, member of the Stanford Improvisers and Robber Barons Sketch Comedy, and president of Stanford Swingtime
Oct 24 Find stories everywhere
Practice your interviewing skills and find the stories you want to tell.
Christy Hartman
Senior Producer, State of the Human
Oct 31 Explore graphic novels
Explore Marjane Satrapi and Chris Ware's Graphic Novels with Author and Co-director of The Stanford Graphic Novel Project  Scott Hutchins.
Scott Hutchins,
Author and Co-director of The Stanford Graphic Novel Project
Nov 7 Tell stories visually
Meet Cartoonist Thien Pham and learn to harness the superpowers of comics.
Thien Pham
Cartoonist and Visual Artist
Nov 14 Capture Great Sounds
Learn how to capture sounds that tell stories with a senior Producer from KALW's Crosscurrents.
Julie Caine,
Senior Producer for KALW's Crosscurrents & Audiograph
Nov 21 Turn Sound into Story
Try your hand at audio editing and figure out how to mix voice and sound to tell stories.
Rachel Hamburg
Freelance Producer and former Managing Editor, State of the Human
Nov 28 Happy Thanksgiving

Dec 5 Make Your Own Podcast
Quiz a gang of Stanford podcasters and figure out how to create your own show.
Will Rogers
Co-Managing Editor, State of the Human & Senior Editor, True Story Podcast