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 Fall 2015

Date Description Facilitator
Sep 25 The stories within
Investigate what makes a story so you can begin to find stories everywhere
Louis Lafair, Associate Producer, State of the Human
Oct 2 Weaving voices
Explore perspectives​ other than your own and learn to build them into stories.
Charles Dye, Documentary Filmmaker
Oct 9 Hook your listeners
Discover how to hook your listener from the start with State of the Human's managing editor.
Jake Warga, Managing Editor, State of the Human
Oct 16 Switching to story mode
Try a mike and practice how to get scholars, politicians, and your aunt to tell stories.
Christy Hartman, Senior Producer, State of the Human
Oct 23 Anna Deavere Smith 101
Get inspired by Anna's work and learn to create moments of personal poetry where language and identity merge.
Brian Thorstenson, Playwright
Oct 30 Necessary distance
Explore the tension between character, journalist and subject and use it to make stories come alive.
Xandra Clark, Actor, Director, and Radio Producer
Nov 6 Through the tiniest door.
Re-visit the largest stories in your life, and learn to access them through tiny memories.
Toni Mirosevich, Author
Nov 13 Writing for the ear
Turn a print article into compelling aural story and explore how to turn a print article into a story by harnessing the power of scenes.
Jim Gates, Senior Editor, KUOW
Nov 20 Voice control
Take a tour of audio editing software and grok how to edit the human voice.
Will Rogers, Senior Producer, State of the Human & Senior Editor, True Story Podcast
Dec 4 Get in character
Explore a range of emotions and use your feelings to power your stories.
Natacha Ruck, Senior 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


Natacha Ruck

Favorite Topics: Process, complex projects, film and video, memoir, comedy, science

Jake Warga

Favorite Topics: Field Reporting, editing, rhythm and pacing, public radio, photography

Christy Hartman

Favorite Topics: Finding your voice, character development, interviewing, fiction, poetry

Claire Schoen

Favorite Topics: Documentary, Creating a sound rich story, interviewing, recording, getting published

Will Rogers

Favorite Topics: Live storytelling, video editing, audio editing, social media, writing for the ear

Previous Labs

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

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