January 2017 Meeting

First, a warm welcome to everybody visiting from Saint Louis On The Air!  If you’re just learning about the local storytelling community, we will have our first meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, January 24th.

The address is The Crown Center, 8350 Delcrest, St Louis MO 63124.  The “back” entrance is locked during evening hours, so please enter through the front or side doors.  We typically meet in the large event room just to the left of the front desk.  Potluck snacks will start around 6 PM, with storytelling starting at 6:30 PM.  Residents of the Crown Center will always have first priority for storytelling slots.

To reiterate a few things mentioned on the radio, we welcome storytellers of all ages and backgrounds.  We love folktales, personal stories, family history stories, you name it.  We’ve had people get up and recite The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe, and we’ve had people describe being there in person to hear Billie Holiday singing in Carnegie Hall.  We’ve heard stories of surviving the Holocaust, first loves, first days at school, and tall tales that could almost be believed.  We’ve heard about revenge plots, the Soviet Army retreating across Eastern Europe, serial killers in Rolla, and legends of Momotaro.  We’ve heard it all before, and we delight in the retelling.  We give constructive feedback if requested, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a happier group of listeners anywhere.  And if you don’t have a story to tell just yet, please join us for an evening of entertainment that doesn’t need to be recharged or plugged in.  Well-behaved children are always welcome, and if any stories aren’t PG-rated, they will be announced in advance.  Such stories are rare, though.

So come out and join us!


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Join us this Tuesday evening!


Gateway Storytellers, in conjunction with Riverwind Storytellers, invites you to attend our Tellebration event.

Join us for a free evening of storytelling fun for the whole family!

Tuesday, November 22nd at 6:30 PM

at the Crown Center

8350 Delcrest, St. Louis MO 63124

Free admission, refreshments provided


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Gateway Grapevine – August 2016

grape_vine_embroideryAugust 2016

“Pleasure before Business” could be our new motto!

For our July meeting, we moved the sharing of stories directly after the potluck dinner in order to accommodate Crown residents who might wish to join the fun. Surprisingly, this seemed to cut the business portion of the meeting nearly in half. Yay, progress! We enjoyed seven stories that evening, including:

  • An untitled, new work in progress by Sue Hinkel, inspired by Eve Bunting’s Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust.
  • An original, untitled work in progress by Marilyn Sue Warren that wove together Chuck Berry, an 8-year-old girl, a mean man, and a presidential election.
  • “The Purple Lady”: an original story of friendship and the benefits of stepping out of one’s comfort zone, by Jennifer Bennett.
  • Roger Rose‘s version of “Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady” or “Sovereignty”.
  • Michael Bennett’s original tall tale “Bibles over Baltimore”, which won him a spot in the 2nd annual MO State Liars Contest.
  • Jane Hardy‘s original story of her culinary adventures with modern technology, entitled “The Very Bad Carrots”.
  • Nancy Fox‘s breadcrumb path of “How I Got Here”.
  • and Sera Jennings‘ original tale of “4 Days on the AT with a Rock Band”.

Membership Dues for 2016 are $20.

Please send a check to Marilyn Sue Warren at 4375 Humber Circle— St Louis, MO 63129 or pay in cash or check at the next Gateway meeting.

Upcoming Opportunities:

The St Louis Renaissance Festival will now be held in the fall. This year’s dates are the weekends (Saturday, Sunday) of September 17th – October 16th.

Gateway Storytellers has been providing the festival with family friendly entertainment for years, and the need for G-rated material is stronger than ever. Tellers sign up for one or two days of telling (3-4 half hour sets spread throughout the day). Watch for upcoming emails from Gateway about registering to participate in this fun storytelling opportunity.

The 17th Annual Storytelling Celebration in Kansas City will take place November 2nd-5th.

More information about this local festival will be coming to their website in September.

Tellabration, a nationwide storytelling event, will take place November 19, 2016.

More information about St Louis Tellabration events will become available as arrangements are made.

The 2017 River and Prairie Storyweavers Chicken Festival will be held in Topeka, Kansas, January 20th-22nd.

Everyone will have an opportunity to tell, whether your story involves chickens or not. For more information, check out the RAPS website here.

The 2nd annual MO State Liars Contest:

Among the 11 finalists sharing their tall tales at the Columbia Public Library in July were Gateway’s Vice President Michael Bennett, and his daughter (and our youngest member at just 17 years old) Linda Bennett.

The competition was fiercely hilarious, but Gateway was well represented by these two veteran tellers who were just happy to have made it to the finals.

The next Gateway Meeting will be held at the Crown Center on September 27th.

Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm, stories at 6:30 pm, and business will be conducted at the end. We hope to see you all there!

Have an announcement for the next Grapevine?

Please contact Secretary Jennifer Bennett at foo4luv@gmail.com




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The Gateway Grapevine: May 2016


May 2016


In Our Thoughts:

Diane Banks suffered a bad fall, but she is currently on the mend. Kathy Gregory sent a “Get Well” card from Gateway.

Joyce Slater’s father recently passed away. Kathy also sent her a sympathy card from Gateway.

*Please keep Carol Watkins and her husband, who continues to struggle with health issues, in your thoughts and prayers.

A Friendly Reminder from our Treasurer:

Records show only 19 paid Gateway members for the year 2016. If you have not yet paid your dues for the year, please send $20 to

MarilynSue Warren
4375 Humber Circle
St. Louis MO 63129

Thank you!

New Schedule for July Meeting:

In an effort to better accommodate the residents of the Crown Center, we’re going to try rearranging our schedule at the July meeting. We will set up our potluck at 6:00, begin stories at 6:30, and hold our business meeting afterward. Hopefully, this will encourage more of our hosts to enjoy stories with us.

Barbara, the President of the Resident Council joined us for the May meeting, and we had a lovely time.

May Meeting:

We enjoyed several great stories at this month’s meeting, which featured special guest Ken Wolfe performing “Mice Aren’t Funny”, his award-winning entry in last year’s MO State Liars Contest. Other stories included:

Linda Bennett’s “The Art of War” – an original tale about Sun Tzu training a group of women to defeat a rival general’s army by successfully applying the principles outlined in his famous text. (Linda has also submitted this story to the 2016 MO State Liars Contest.)

Roger Rose’s “The Prodigal Brother” – a companion tale to the “Parable of the Prodigal Son” which focuses on the story of the good son.

Jennifer Bennett’s “The Fortune Teller” – a traditional noodlehead story.

Kathy Gregory’s “No Charge for My Love” – based on Shirley Caesar’s song by the same name.

Upcoming Events:

RISK! is coming to St Louis – June 25th. The award-winning, live storytelling podcast, hosted by Kevin Allison, will be recorded at the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar Blvd) at 8:00pm. Tickets are $20 each. The theme for the night is “Worried”. Information about submitting a story for the night can be found at the website’s submissions page: http://risk-show.com/submissions/

Note: this is an event for mature audiences, so please leave the kiddies at home.

The 2016 MO State Liars Contest –  July 16th. The event will be held at Columbia Public Library at 10:00am and will feature performances from the top ten entrants. Come hear some whopping good tall tales.

The 2016 National Storytelling Conference – July 21st – 24th.  The conference will be held in Kansas City. The deadline for the early bird special has passed, but you can still get a $50 discount if you mention Jackie Wright’s name when registering. For more information, visit the National Storytelling Network’s website at http://www.storynet.org/conference/

Our next meeting will be July 26th at 6:00pm.

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So, I went to the St Louis Storytelling Festival. What next?

We had a great schedule and turnout for the St. Louis Storytelling festival – the 37th year is now complete.  I spoke to a few people who really enjoyed the experience and wondered what to do between now and May 3-6, 2017.

  • St Louis Gateway Storytellers meets on the fourth Tuesday of odd months.  Address and schedule is here.
  • Riverwinds Storytellers covers the greater St. Louis area, but with a focus on the Illinois side of the river.  (They love and accept Missouri members as well.)  Their website is here.
  • Second Tuesdays is a monthly storytelling get-together on the second Tuesday of every month from 7:00-9:00 pm. The event starts at 7:20 pm on the dot, but we recommend arriving at 7:00 pm to get a drink and a seat!  Second Tuesdays is held at a different location every month.  For more information visit Second Tuesdays on Facebook or Twitter.
  • So Life Stories meets occasionally, and they produce a podcast from their events.  Details may be available here.
  • Story Swap is a monthly program held on the 2nd Monday of each month at the McClay branch of the St. Charles County Library, 6:30 PM.  Small group, very flexible, and a great place to refine and get feedback on stories you’re trying to develop.  Or just come and listen.  Visit http://www.youranswerplace.org/ and search for Story Swap.
  • Serving the state but headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, is MO-Tell.  Website is at this location.

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Return of The Gateway Grapevine


April 2016


We are pleased to announce the return of our bimonthly newsletter: The Gateway Grapevine. The newsletter will be published on our website and automatically distributed to members of our email group. Anyone wishing to receive a hard copy may submit a request to our secretary, Jennifer Bennett, at the next meeting.

 A memorial service for Liz Lippa will be held on April 10th at 11 AM.

Please join us in bidding farewell to a dear friend. Liz was many things, including: a storyteller, an active volunteer for OASIS and the Saint Louis Holocaust Survivors and Descendants group, and an advocate for survivors of domestic abuse. Her memorial service will be held at

The Jewish Federation of St. Louis
12 Millstone Campus Dr.
St. Louis MO 63146

For more information, call 314-432-0020.

Gateway has made a $100 donation to the St. Louis Holocaust Museum in Liz’s name.

The St. Louis Storytelling Festival will be held on May 4th-7th.

The website www.stlstorytellingfestival.com has been updated, and further updates can be expected as we draw closer to the festival date.

Lisa Overholser announced two new events with the festival.

On May 5th, a panel discussion will be held at the Missouri History Museum, covering the topic “Stories At The Core”. This free panel is sponsored by the Community Arts Extension, and is intended to promote cultural heritage tourism in the state.

A workshop will be held in Lexington, MO (West end of the state) on April 22nd.  The cost is $25 for a full-day workshop that will include lunch.

To volunteer for the festival, please contact Sue Hinkel at shinkel@mail.win.org.

If you work with a school that can pause standardized testing long enough for storytelling, please contact Sue Hinkel with that information as well.

Festival volunteers will receive an invitation to the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, which will be held at 5:00 PM Saturday May 7th, at UMSL just prior to the finale concert at the Touhill.

A $50 donation gets an invite to the Donor’s Dinner on Wednesday, May 4th.

Gateway has made a $600 donation to the St. Louis Storytelling Festival.  We would have liked to donate more, but we only had 12 paid members as of the start of the March meeting.

If you haven’t yet paid dues for 2016, please send $20 to:
MarilynSue Warren
4375 Humber Circle
St. Louis MO 63129

Checks should be made out to “St. Louis Gateway Storytellers”.

The National Storytelling Network Conference will be held July 21-24 in Kansas City.

Early Bird discounts are available through May 12th.  Senior discounts are also available.  Information can be found at http://gatewaystorytellers.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cc7918ed8080dd47cf4224c1d&id=985f52089b&e=33c72036ff

MO-TELL is being reorganized.

The 2nd Annual Missouri Liars Contest will be held in Columbia this year on July 16th.

Entries must be submitted by May 20th. For more information, visit  http://www.mo-tell.org/2016-missouri-state-liars-contest/

Larry Brown will also have details and sign-up sheets for tellers available to perform in state parks.

*These positions pay fairly well.* For more information, visit http://www.mo-tell.org/about/mo-tell-news/  MO-TELL annual membership dues are $45.

Participants in Dr. Kevin Cordi’s “Playing with Stories” workshop will be working on setting up a Storybox program to run in local schools.

Please contact Sue Hinkel, Lynn Beetner, or Marion Nichols for more information.

RISK, a major storytelling podcast will be hosting a live performance in St. Louis.

RISK will be broadcasting live at Blueberry Hill’s “Duck Room” on June 25th.  The theme of the night will be “Worried”.  If you have a “true story you never thought you’d dare to share, please pitch your story to Kevin Allison at http://gatewaystorytellers.us13.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=cc7918ed8080dd47cf4224c1d&id=b8064e16b6&e=33c72036ff.

The podcast reaches hundreds of thousands of people each week.  Some of the stories from the podcast have crossed over and appeared on NPR shows such as “This American Life” and “Snap Judgment”.  The show will NOT be suitable for children.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at the risk-show.com website.

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2016 Gateway Update

Our first meeting for 2016 will be held on Tuesday, January 26th.  We lost one of our own in December.  Liz Lippa, a wonderful storyteller known for her stories of family and overcoming hardship died after a long battle with cancer.

We invite members, Crown Center residents as honored guests, and friends to our January meeting.  We invite members to bring snacks to share.

Eating:  6:00, Business Meeting: 6:30, and Stories: 7:00.

If you’d like to get on the list to tell, please contact Michael Bennett at gatewaystorytellers@gmail.com.  We can have one longer format story of up to 20 minutes arranged in advance, and “regular” stories should be kept to 10 minutes or less.

Officers for the year:

President: Cathy Gregory

Vice President: Michael J Bennett

Treasurer: MarilynSue Warren

Secretary: Position open, accepting nominations/volunteers

We’d also like to publicly thank Carol Watkins who served as President for 2015.  She leaving the Board of Directors but not the organization.

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