"An amazing richness of
storytelling talent all assembled in one place. I learnt a great deal
about Hollywood storytelling, which has changed my thinking
Steve was selected in 2000 as one of the world’s ten Most Admired
Knowledge Leaders (Teleos) along with Jack Welch (GE) and John Chambers
(CISCO). Former Program Director forKnowledge Management at the World
Bank, he now works with organizations on knowledge management and
organizational storytelling. Former director of the World Banks, African
region ($10 billion budget)
- "Storycon was the best writer's
conference I've attended in over 30 years of being a professional
novelist and nonfiction author. The people were extraordinary, the
presentations enlightening and inspiring, and the format so jam-packed
that I never had a moment for boredom. I loved it - and look forward
to next year!!"
- Thom Hartmann, author
of 12+ books, Unequal Protection, Prophet's
Way, Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, Greatest Secret. An
award-winning best-selling author, international lecturer, teacher, and
psychotherapist. His books have been written about in Time magazine, and
he has appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, and on
numerous radio and TV shows including "All Things Considered,"
CNN, and BBC. A former
journalist, international relief worker, and the executive director of a
residential treatment facility for abused children, he now lives in
Vermont where he is a guest faculty member at Goddard College and
- "This is the best experience I’ve
had in the story field since I’ve been talking professionally.
- Melanie Phillips, Co-author,
"This was the first time that the
various schools and practices of story came together - writers,
artists, organisational change, anthropologists etc etc, a rich,
creative and stimulating gathering for anyone interested in
David Snowden, Director of
Centre for Organisational Complexity with responsibility for Asia
Pacific, Europe Middle East and Africa. He is one of the pioneers in
developing the use
of story and narrative in Knowledge Management He regularly
consults at the board level on Knowledge Strategy with some of the
world's largest companies as well as to Government and NGOs.
was nothing I feared it would be, and everything I had hope it would be
and more. I will definitely be attending next year's conference and I
plan to recommend it to every writer I know.
stories. I've always loved stories. The conference expanded my
perspectives of story beyond my limited view. The funny thing is, I
didn't realize my view was so limited until I saw where some of the
other speakers were coming from. It was impressive. It provided an
amazing opportunity to see Story in all its incarnations-- in
literature, in mythology, in business, in communications, in
marketing, in social structures, in every place we gather to share
what the world means to each of us.
Melanie (Phillips) and I the first, real opportunity to present the
Dramatica theory to a group of people truly interested in story
exceeded my expectations. It had never occurred to me that stories are
used in such diverse ways and for such diverse purposes. The meeting
opened up my eyes to new possibilities."
Chris Huntley, co-creator and co-author of "Dramatica
software. Co-founded Screenplay Systems in 1982 to develop software
for writers and the entertainment industries. Their first product,
Scriptor, won a 1994 Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
was an extraordinary story conference. I recommend it to every type of
writer, especially those who need to know what makes stories great and
successful. I also plan to recommend next year’s StoryCon to all my
students and colleagues. It was
the first writer’s conference that I’ve been to that the speakers
participated in an open, sharing dialogue that was informative,
creative, stimulating, thought-provoking and fun. Brilliant ideas and
Author, Stealing from the Gods, A Dynamic New Story Model
for Writers and
Screenwriter, and Teacher, James Bonnet’s Storymaking: The Master
"Made me aware of vastly different
P.O.V. on the meaning of story."
Neill Hicks, Screenwriter, Author, Screenwriting 101
CONFERENCE! I had a non-stop wonderful time. I met some great people
whom I hope will become close colleagues in the future. I can't
imagine the conference being any better for me. I came to love the
non-stop flow of information...
"If a bomb went
off in this room (at the storycon conference), the art of storytelling
would be set back a generation.
"The art and
Science of story is finally telling its own story. Where does story
begin inside us, and where does it take us... each individual’s
notions of reality are shaped by the stories that live within them;
intelligence itself can be defined as how we apply our stories to our
"Having no expectations when I arrived,
my mind was open to the experience. What unfolded around me was
nothing short of amazing. The breadth and depth of the presentation
was mind-boggling. Spending four days surrounded by such a vast array
of brilliant people, and all of them anxious to talk about their
writings, theories, and practical applications, is the true definition
of a conference.
"I know the conference made
a difference... I am changing the way I look at my business, my
relationships, and my own writing. The conference reinforced my my own
ideas, while at the same time, it opened my mind to entirely new lines
of thinking. Can’t wait ‘til next year."
Dan Decker, Screenwriter, Playwright, author, Anatomy of A
Screenplay, director of The Screenwriters Group, one of the largest
independent schools for screenwriting in the country. Owner/ operator ,
Stylus Management, a writers management company
have no idea how important story is in your life -- or, for that matter,
in all of our lives -- until you see the masterful composition of
presentations and ideas that make up StoryCon.
you make and/or tell stories for a living, this conference is an
absolute must. If stories are a part of your work, you will get
obvious and subtle benefits from what you learn here that you can use
right away but also other benefits that will unfold slowly over
time. This is a unique and essential conference; make it a point
to be there.
"Great people, mentally stimulating, very enjoyable,
opened new vistas for me, personally and professionally. This was the
first cross disciplinary approach to story. I was able to look at story,
for the first time, from a lot of different points of view. That’s
important because story is part of my work and also because story is
part of my being. This meeting gave me unique insight that I simply
couldn’t have gotten anywhere else from any other seminar. I’ve also
met a terrific group of people here. Just the contacts alone, that I’ve
made were worth coming for.
thrilled with all the new friends I’ve made. I know this has
changed, will change my thinking. I am confident that because of what
I’ve learned, I will be a more effective and a more versatile writer
David Garfinkel is a
leading direct-response copywriter, copywriting coach, and author of
"The Money-Making Copywriting Course." He's also a gifted
storyteller, and relies heavily on good stories to get sales from his
ads and websites.
"A dynamic gathering of kindred
spirits and intellects. Despite the incredibly diverse set of ideas
and interests, there was openness and passion in the dialogue that
allowed the ideas rather than the ego to blossom. It provided me with
new lenses through which to see story and therefore the world. It has
given me very usable tools to do with structure and more stories to
Ben Callaghan, teacher who came from Australia to present on
his work using story as a tool to empower teens.
"I had a wonderful time. Storycon
was very different than the typical writers conference, actually, more
interesting. I very much want to be involved. I terribly believe in
all of this stuff. It's my life. As it was the life of the conference.
Yes, Rob, it's BIG. And important. And crucial. And, yes, you're the
wonderful man to do it. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Robert Burdette Sweet author
of Writing Towards Wisdom: The Writer as Shaman,
Professor Emeritus of English from the California State University at
In the weeks preceding the meeting I was
sometimes visited by a twinge of doubt. What would it be like, this
Science of Story conference? Perhaps it would all be far too theoretical,
pretentious, clannish for me. Yet there was an overriding compulsion to
take part, a compulsion I couldn’t explain. I had to go.
On the day of my journey to California
from the UK this strange compulsion was sorely tested. There I was, in the
centre of London - and the Tube was on strike! Getting to Heathrow Airport
by road, on a good day, would be about an hour. On a bad day like this –
who knows? Half an hour later there was I, still in central London, stuck
in a bus caught in complete gridlock. The streets were jammed. As we
inched our way towards the airport I rang my travel agency and told them I
was about to miss my plane. They replied that my ticket was non-refundable
and non-changeable. I wouldn’t be able to buy a new one.
There was nothing I could do. I might not
make it to the conference.
A delicious sense of calm descended on me.
I knew that if I had to be there, somehow I would get there. And if I was
not supposed to be there – then what could be clearer than this? It was
all in the hands of God…
Well, as all my new-found friends know, I
was very much there. United Airlines put me on the next plane without any
fuss and without any charge, and I even caught my original connection to
What I found there not only allayed every
lingering trepidation within the first half hour – it exceeded every
positive expectation I had ever dared to imagine (and I do have a very
The quality of the presentations and the
workshops were of the highest order. I found so much to inspire and fire
me, both on a professional and personal level. New insights, new levels of
understanding. It’s as if every speaker held the key to some new facet
of the wonderful world of storytelling, and each one opened up to share
his or her vision. Though the approaches differed, there was never even a
hint of conflict – it was as if we could all accept that each approach
was valid, and each of us could pick and choose. For me, one presentation
in particular supplied exactly the new understanding I had been seeking
for months in vain - in books, on the internet, in discussion groups - and
has given me more confidence and my work-in-progress new impetus. I shall
most certainly be working with this speaker professionally in the months
to come, and I look forward to that immensely!
Though some of the talks were less
relevant to my line of work, I was amazed and delighted to find that there
seemed to be a golden thread linking them all together. We were such a
diverse bunch, and yet in our diversity there was a unity, and that was
the secret of the meeting’s success.
At the risk of sounding terribly New-Agey
and esoteric, I feel that there was reason in this random coming together.
It was the right time, the right place, and the right people. Because
finally it comes down to that: the people. We were a group that had to
happen. From our various points around the world we converged and met in
one single spirit and that was the force that gave our meeting such
authenticity, such sincerity, and such power. This could be the beginning
of a beautiful friendship
Sharon Maas,author Of Marriagiable Age, Peacocks Dancing
- I've been home from StoryCon for over a
week and I'm still buzzing with the excitement and possibilities that
your conference created within me.
- Let me just give you a skattershot
- -I have never before attended a
conference that was so devoted to learning and sharing -- in an
- -The speakers (and I have since learned
that they are heavies in their field) were accessible, humble, open
and genuinely interested in communicating and sharing -- both at the
lecturn and in off-line casual conversations.
- -Putting together so many great
thinkers with so many perspective set the tone for genuine growth and
- -The conference was so jam packed that
the linear/rational brain was forced to shut down and the intuitive,
transcendent mind was allowed a free romp. And magic happened -- for
me I know; and for many others I sense.
- -StoryCon was a springboard for me into
a rich and full arena of thought and experience.
- I could go on and on about the profound
impact this conference had on my life. Thanks for putting on this
- Deborah Nikkel former
consultant to management; novelist and non-fiction writer
I was only in attendance for the first couple of days I felt that there
was a extraordinary moment being created and I was honored to be a part
of it. The eclectic nature of the conversation was beyond what I had
expected (coming from LA and often having the screenplay/show biz
approach in my ear) I was truly sad to leave in the midst of the
creation/chaos and for me (an individual who doesn't like a crowd) that
- Kudos for pulling
this event off and beginning what I hope will be a yearly coming
together of minds and hearts that will trace the intersections of
story , art , science and everything between .
- It certainly changed
my attitude toward conferences. I usually look on these events as a
bit of a chore, but this was anything but. When I arrived in Palm
Springs I imagined myself sitting in my room, getting a lot of work
done and emerging for my talks. When I went down to register I
wandered into the big room for the intro talks, fully expecting to
stay for 20 minutes. I sat down and didn't get up for 3 hours.
- From the surprise of
encountering scientists, business people and therapists at the
conference (my life is a fairly provincial one, filled with artists,
filmmakers and other low-lifes) to the midnight romping with
over-sized puppet heads I found my appreciation for what story is and
what they can do constantly in a state of flux.
- THANKS ROB FOR THE WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!
- Directly from
Storycon I went to San Diego and ran a 3 day workshop on story
boarding and pre-visualization for filmmakers. I have given this
workshop many, many times in the past 10 years. this time it was
different in that I allowed my personal stories to infuse the content
in a new way. I set them up with the words 'I want to tell you a
story' priming my audience with an age-old promise-to take them
somewhere they hadn't been before-- somewhere personal and mysterious.
It worked in a lovely way and I was pleased with the results
- Marcie Begleiter author of "From Word to Image,
Storyboarding and Filmmaking Process" is a writer and educator
who specializes in pre-visualization and has worked extensively in the
film, television and interactive industries. She is owner of whose
client list includes Paramount, Tristar, New Line, and ABC. She is
currently on the faculties of Art Center College, the American Film
Institute and the new International Film School in Cologne, Germany.