Courses & Workshops

The purpose of Storytelling Toronto’s teaching program is to help all students, at whatever level of their storytelling experience, to achieve a deeper connection with the stories they tell and thus better communicate the stories to those who listen.

First Steps (Storytelling I) is typically the course most begin with, but Summer Intensive is also open to all levels, from beginners to seasoned veterans. Next Steps (Storytelling II) is open to those who wish to take their telling further, whether they have taken First Steps in the past, or have equivalent experience. We offer the Master Class (Storytelling III) for advanced and professional-level storytellers.

We also offer a variety of themed courses, from taking your story from a narrative to a script for a puppet show, to shaping your family stories, to bilingual storytelling.

In addition to our pre-set courses, our resident teachers, Lynda Howes and Marylyn Peringer are happy to work with groups privately to design a course tailored to your needs. If you are looking for a professional development workshop for teachers or librarians, or leadership development for corporate employees or interns, you have come to the right place. Send an e-mail to to inquire.

Dates: July 13 – July 15 (10 am – 5 pm),
and July 16 (1 pm – 5 pm)
Venue: Church of St.George the Martyr, 205 John Street
Facilitator: Marylyn Peringer and Lynda Howes
Fee: $391 Early Bird / $415 after July 8
Scroll down to the Summer Intensive menu below for more details.

Summer Intensive 2017


Dates: Friday, October 20 (  7pm – 10 pm),
Saturday, October 21 (10 am – 4:30 pm)
Venue: CSI Annex, 720 Bathurst St. OR Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St., Studio 173
Facilitator: Celia Lottridge
Fee: $130 Early Bird / $155 after October 13
Scroll down to the Family Stories menu below for more details.

Family Stories (Fall 2017)

Keep scrolling to the drop-down menu below for more details about our course offerings.


There are more opportunities for telling and for listening in this four-day course, open to both beginner and veteran storytellers. Some time will be devoted to personal stories, but the course focuses on the folktale as the model for all kinds of storytelling.  Each participant will choose a story from material supplied by the instructor and then learn (not memorize) it through a series of enjoyable, non-stressful activities, often with partners, designed to deepen the teller’s connection with the story. On the last day of the course, all participants tell their stories to the group and receive helpful feedback from the group and the instructor.

As part of the course, registrants visit the special folk and fairy tale collections at the Lillian H. Smith branch of the Toronto Public Library, attend the 1,001 Friday Nights of Storytelling, and enjoy a social event to meet other members of the Toronto storytelling community.

Dates: Thursday, July 13 – Saturday, July 15 (10 am – 5 pm), Saturday, July 16 (1 pm – 5 pm)
Venue: Church of St.George the Martyr, 205 John Street
Facilitator: Marylyn Peringer and Lynda Howes
Fee: $391 Early Bird / $415 after July 8

Summer Intensive 2017

FAMILY STORIES (October 2017)

Dates: Friday, October 20 (7 pm – 9:30 pm) & Saturday, October 21 (9:30 am – 5:00 pm)
Venue: Story Room Toronto
Facilitator: Celia Lottridge
Fee: $130 Early Bird / $155 after October 13

Family Stories (Fall 2017)


Do you love stories, but hesitate to tell them to others? Could you use some help in getting started within a warm and supportive environment? Then sign up for our weekend, Storytelling I: First Steps Into the Art. You’ll develop listening skills, gain confidence, learn how to give and receive feedback.

Dates: November 18 (7 pm – 10 pm), November 19-20 (10 am – 4:30 pm)
Venue: Lillian H. Smith Branch, Toronto Public Library, 239 College Street
Facilitators: Lynda Howes and Marylyn Peringer
Fee: $244 Early Bird / $270 after November 11

** There are no more spots available for the 2016 First Steps course! If you missed the course the first time around, it will next be taking place in November of 2017. **

Here is what former students have to say!

“I had hoped to find my inner courage and face my fear of speaking in front of a group. I believe I always knew I have the ability, and I wanted a safe and caring space to take the step to show myself I can do it!” —Maria Papadopolous

“I was fascinated by storytelling, but after the course I can say that I have fallen in love with storytelling … the course gave me a confidence to start learning stories.” — Sarah Abusarar

“We were gently but effectively led along our own storytelling journey in a way that made it truly meaningful.” — Jessica

“. . . my hopes were fulfilled and I’m able to take a little bit of everyone’s story away with me to create my own!” — Loen Hansford

“This has been very helpful in my growth as a storyteller, listener . . . as a teacher, facilitator, parent, grandparent . . .” — Dinny Biggs



Storytelling III: MASTER CLASS (Fall/Winter 2016 – 17)

If you’re an experienced teller and wish to work on a particular storytelling project—shaping a memoir, crafting an original story, adapting a challenging folk tale—then Storytelling III: Master Class may be the place for you.  You’ll have a forum to present and re-present your work as well as critique the work of others in the group, all under the expert guidance of a storyteller and author.

Dates: Ten evening sessions: November 10, 17, 24, December 1, 10, January 5, 12, 19, 26, February 2
Venue: Private home near TTC
Facilitator: Celia Lottridge
Fee: $430 Early Bird / $455 after October 28

Course feedback:
(Celia’s) skills in teaching the art and craft of giving and receiving constructive storytelling feedback surpass those of anyone I know.
  – Dawne MacFarlane

THREADS (Fall 2016)

Threads is a weekend workshop that immerses the participants in a single fairy tale. We begin by getting oriented and hearing the story told by Michelle Tocher. Then the participants are guided through a process that enables them to pull their own “threads” from the story, and to work with that material in a variety of ways to create their own stories. There is lots of permission in Threads to write, tell stories, sing if you wish, or bring movement to the material you make your own. This year, we’ll be diving into a rich but little-known story from the Catalans in Spain, called “The Girl-Fish.” The story is full of magical transformations and deep, indigenous knowledge about feminine power. (Registrants will be sent the story a week before the workshop begins.) It can also be accessed online

The Girl-Fish by H. J. Ford

Dates: September 24 (10 am – 4 pm), September 25 (1 pm – 4 pm)
Venue: The Textile Museum, 55 Centre Street
Facilitator: Michelle Tocher
Fee: $134 Early Bird / $150 after September 18


Telling bilingually can spice up a story, may be helpful in second-language learning, and will add authenticity to tales from a particular culture. If you are functionally fluent in a language other than English, you’re welcome to join us in this hands-on course. And you’ll have fun!

Dates: October 15 and October 29 (1:30 – 4 pm)
Venue: Storytelling Toronto at the Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, Studio 173
Facilitator: Marylyn Peringer
Fee: $60 Early Bird / $70 after October 8

STORYTELLING IN A BOX: The Art of Narration with Puppets (April 2017)

During this workshop, we will study ways of decoding story to shape narrative into a script. We will develop skills and tricks to make any story come alive in a dramatized way with a toy theatre or puppet show. We will focus on the essence (plot); the frame (scenes); and the voice (characters and dialogue). We will learn how to develop a concrete relationship with the story, how to focus on dramatic moments, and how to spice up a story with dialogue.

Dates: April 22 (9:00 am – 4:30 pm)
Venue: Lillian H. Smith Branch, Toronto Public Library, 239 College Street
Facilitators: Mariella Bertelli and Mary Anne Cree
Fee: $90 Early Bird / $115 after April 15

Storytelling II: NEXT STEPS (May 2017)

If you’ve already taken a beginner’s storytelling course *, and would like to widen your repertoire, develop your confidence, and have more opportunities for telling, Storytelling II: Next Steps is for you.

PRE-REQUISITE: Storytelling I: First Steps Into the Art of Storytelling OR equivalent experience

May 5 (7 pm – 10 pm), May 6 – 7 (10 am – 4 pm)
Venue: Lillian H. Smith Branch, Toronto Public Library, 239 College Street
Facilitators: Ruth Danziger and Lynda Howes
Fee: $244 Early Bird / $270 after April 29

Here is what some past participants have to say about some of our courses:

It helped me to focus more on the characters and the descriptions of the scenes. The practices piece with a partner were invaluable. As my story’s language was challenging, I learned to change my energy which is difficult at most times. Thank you for all of your feedback and ideas. I’ll be back for Next Steps (Storytelling II). –Kathleen Smyth, on First Steps (Storytelling I)

I feel I know so much more about how to tell a story, the importance of the use of specific language in telling folk tales, and especially the importance of relaying the story from one’s heart. The exercises we did were very helpful in this regard. Marylyn and Lynda you are the heart of this class, and I thank you for all that you have given to us. You import more than knowledge. Thank you. –Susan Hartman

I really enjoyed what we learned, which was more focused on the “telling” aspect, and I’ll try and incorporate this into my telling and communications moving forward. Thank you so much for everything! –Neal Khosla

I felt like I got more from the course than I was expecting. Lynda and Marylyn gave us the tools and exercises to connect and become a story in a way that allowed me to learn how to tell the story more from my heart than my head. Thanks! –Camlin Vinayagamoorthy (TPL)

It was wonderful. Thank you so much. Visualization was excellent. I loved the last day hearing the stories and the feedback for all. –Dorothy Denton


Interested in finding out more about our courses? Get in touch with us.

Cancellation Policy

Please note that the deadline for cancellations is two weeks prior to the course date.  Cancellations received after this deadline will be subject to a cancellation charge of 50% of the course fee.  In the event that the course is cancelled by Storytelling Toronto, you will receive a full refund.