• Adele

    Adele Browne

    S. Bloomingville OH



    Old-timey family style Appalachian folk & fairy tales in the spirit of "make your own fun!" for all ages.

    exp. 9/20

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    Gary Buchanan

    Creston, WV

    (304) 354-7506

    I enjoy attending storytelling festivals and participating in story swaps/slams/open mics. I have been known to tell a lie or two as well. I am a proud West Virginia native and a member of the Virginia Storytelling Alliance, the Kentucky Storytelling Association, and the Storytellers of Central Ohio.

    exp. 9/20

  • Joanie

    Joanie Calem

    Columbus, Ohio




    Joanie Calem is a singer/songwriter, storyteller and inclusion advocate. Born in the USA, Joanie moved to Israel at 15, where she began her career as a performer, storyteller and music teacher.  In 1998, Joanie moved from Israel to Columbus, OH, and has been busy presenting song and story programs nationally and internationally since then. Joanie is the mother of a young adult with autism, and dedicates much of her performance work to "concert conversations” for all ages, inviting audiences to create and maintain inclusive communities using original songs, stories and conversation.

    exp. 9/20

  • Judy

    Judy A. Clapper

    Columbus, OH



    SOCO member

    exp. 9/21

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    Rebecca Coleman

    Lancaster, OH


    SOCO President

    exp. 9/20

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    Beverly Comer

    Stories for ages 2-102. Customized programs with this in mind. A wide variety of stories that speak to the heart, tickle the funny bone & spark the imagination. Lively, sometimes interactive, performances with traditional and varied presentations. For Preschool-K thru lower elementary I will use my storytelling apron, puppets, props, singing & joining in! (Including Toddler & Two's programming, also!) You're invited to be delighted and yearn to learn with stories.

    exp. 9/20

  • Michelle Cornell

    Michelle Cornell discovered the power of storytelling while working as a drama teacher. In her classes she observed how children were drawn with wonder to the content of traditional tales.
     This inspired her to share traditional literature as a storyteller. Her assembly programs have taken her into schools, libraries and museums throughout the state.  She currently works with The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, The Arts Bridge Program of Parkersburg, WV and the Discovery Place Libraries, Summer Reading Program.  Michelle is also a member of the Ohio Storytelling Network, (OSN)  She is thrilled to be a part of the regions growing and thriving storytelling community!

    exp. 9/20

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    Sally Crandall

    Columbus, OH



    Sally Crandall's stories and workshops are designed to tickle your funny bone and stretch your imagination from here to yonder. My programs are about using imagination. They are about traveling without ever leaving your seat. I believe that the spoken word, traveling through the air, is the simple spark for each imagination to do its own powerful work.

    exp. 9/19

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    Kevin Cordi

    "Cordi has made it his crusade to teach the value of a storytelling legacy." — The National Storytelling Network

    For over twenty-seven years, Kevin has not only told stories on a national and international platform, but uses stories to help others find meaning in their work, school, and personal lives.  He has told stories in over forty states,  England, Scotland, Singapore, Canada, Japan and in Qatar.  Kevin shares stories with a highly energetic, animated and interactive style and is considered by many storytelling professionals as one of the most influential and dynamic storytellers and teachers today.  His award-winning story work has been commissioned by The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, American Library Association, National Storytelling Network, Newsweek, and the Qatar Foundation International.  

    He is the author of You Don’t Know Jack: A Storyteller Goes to School (2019, University of Mississippi Press) and Playing with Stories: Story Crafting for Writers, Teachers, and Other Imaginative Thinkers (2014, Parkhurst Brothers) and Raising Voices: Creating Youth Storytelling Groups and Troupes.  (2003, Libraries Unlimited.)

    "As an organizer of an event that incorporates 20,000 guests, if you are looking for a performer who can enchant audiences, call Kevin."
    — Catherine Paparella, Program Director

    exp. 9/19

  • Lynette Ford

    Columbus, OH


    "Home-Fried Tales" for all ages: Affrilachian storytelling--rooted in Lyn's multicultural family traditions; "From Aesop to Zora" to "Spookers & Haints" and more--folktales and legends of the African Diaspora, personal and original stories, workshops, keynotes and published narratives shared with humor, heart, history and joy.

    exp. 9/21

  • Jim

    Jim Flanagan

     Jim Flanagan is an award-winning author and storyteller.  He is known for his character education stories and ghost tales.  He has authored 5 children’s books and has told his stories throughout Ohio and several other places including the Washington DC libraries and Ireland. He currently teaches writing at the James Thurber Writing Academy and is the resident storyteller at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

    You will remember how his stories made you feel

    exp. 9/20

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    Veronica Fenney-Okafor

    Columbus, OH


    SOCO Board Member

    exp. 9/20

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    Craig and Cindi Garrelts

    Christmas-oriented stories (both real & fiction) includes Santa’s connection to the real St. Nicholas. Church stories for adults connecting Santa legend to Jesus’ birth & the Bishop of Myra. Work with children from the “Santa Chair” to keep the legend alive"

    exp. 9/20

  • Joyce

    Joyce Geary

    Worthington, OH


    Joyce is an eclectic professional storyteller sharing a wide variety of tales with all ages wherever and whenever someone will listen. She tells stories of history, family stories. stories of holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s and St. Patrick Days, folk and fairy tales, Bible stories, tales from other cultures, and will research and develop programs to suit your needs. Joyce also focuses on first person roles such as Mary Chase Reed, a teacher from the 1890’s, Katie Luther and Susannah Wesley as well as Biblical characters Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, Noah’s wife, Joseph’s sister Dinah, Miriam and others. Stories come alive and pictures grow in your head and heart as you listen and become involved. 

    exp. 9/21

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    Susanna Connelly Holstein

    Professional storyteller, writer, poet, blogger and balladsinger Susanna Connelly Holstein ("Granny Sue") is from Jackson County, WV. Her work has been published in anthologies, online journals and on four storytelling CDs.  A West Virginia History Hero and founding member of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild, Holstein has presented Appalachian and Celtic stories and ballads, world folktales, folklore and family stories as well as storytelling and writing workshops for over 25 years. She is a proud member of the WV Storytelling Guild, SOCO, West Virginia Writers and the Kentucky Storytelling Association.

    exp. 9/20

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    Ada Jones

    Painesville, OH


    Ada Jackson Jones--Minister--Oral Historian Dailog through the Slave Narratives, telling the story of travel by slaves in the Underground Railroad and the people, the conductors, that helped them.

    exp. 9/20

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    Jeri Kladder

    Columbus, OH


    SOCO Member

    exp. 9/20

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    Matt Kulma

    Dublin, OH



    SOCO Member

    exp. 9/20

  • Teri Lott

    Teri, a retired educator, feels fortunate to share her love of stories with the young and the young of heart. She has been invited to share lotts of tales at schools, libraries, retirement communities, festivals and many other fun places! So many stories, so little time. 

    exp. 9/20

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    Rick McCracken-Bennett

    Johnstown, OH

    (740) 967-1177

    SOCO Member

    exp. 9/20

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    Frank McGarvey

    In 1993, Frank found that he could be paid for telling stories.  How weird is that? He joined a marvelous group of storytellers in the Storytellers Of Central Ohio.  They have helped him in so many ways.  They taught him to love telling Spooky stories, Irish Tales, folk stories and occasionally other kinds as well. In addition to storytelling, he reads to kids trying to instill in them a love of reading to stimulate their imagination.

    exp. 9/20

  • Julie O'Keefe McGhee

    470 Buckstone Pl

    Westerville, Ohio 43082


    I'm a teller, a writer and collector of tales both old and new for all ages. Tales I tell will come from Ohio, the Midwest and the world especially the Celtic lands. Transplanted Shamrocks; Recollections of Central Ohio's Irish-Americans is a book resulting from my story collecting. This book is available from Amazon and Outskirts Press.

    exp. 9/20

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    Bill Myers

    Gahanna, OH



    I am a physician retired from 40 years of Family Practice medicine in Circleville, OH.  Now my wife and I live in Gahanna. I am a barely competent teller of stories but am an excellent listener. There can be no successful story tellers without an audience, so that is my role. The Tellers of SOCO are a wonderful and varied group that I support by attendance, appreciation, and applause.

    exp. 9/20

  • Roy Nichols

    Westerville, OH



    Known as Dr. Iron Beard and (seasonally) Santa Nick.  Roy is a retired attorney who practiced law for 25 years after leaving state government.  During that time he also taught at Columbus State.  In addition to his work with SOCO, Roy is affiliated with the Ohio Storytelling Network, Central Ohio Folk Festival, the Ohio History Connection, Westerville Historical Society, Hanby House, Griswold Center, and the Blendon Senior Center.  He is also involved with the Westerville Senior Center’s Silvertones Chorus and Forever Young Theater Group.  At the Gillie Rec Center Roy is affiliated with the Gillie Players and Underground Railroad Study Group.  Roy performs 3 shows per year with Vaudvillities Productions and is involved with the Faith Covenant Church in Westerville.

    exp. 9/20

  • Erin O'Neil

    Columbus, OH



    Erin O'Neil is a comedic and engaging storyteller. She is passionate about inspiring optimism, courage, and adventure in her audience. As a young world traveler Erin has experienced what it's like to be alone and vulnerable while navigating through countries in which she could not verbally communicate. Her most recent adventure left her stranded in Asia for three months with nothing more than a failed first post-graduate job, $2,000, and a list of places she wanted to see. The stories she brought home are those of heartwarming relationships, incredible moments of synchronicity, and significant personal development and growth.

    exp. 9/20

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    Cathy Jo Smith

    Irish and Irish-American history, stories and songs, tales and Irish Wake presentation (nothing serious; just a "going away" party!)

    exp. 9/20

  • Larry E. Staats

    Columbus, OH


    Currently I do old time Appalachian stories, percussive dance, & Instruments. Formerly, I was an active Lawyer, Bankruptcy Trustee, & a Reserve Army Officer

    exp. 9/20

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    Connie Pottle

    Columbus, OH


    SOCO Member

    exp. 9/20

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    Melanie D. Pratt

    I am an eclectic teller who loves to tell tales from the Celtic nations (Scotland, Ireland, and Wales especially). I also do seasonal tales - Hallowe'en, Christmas, Valentine's Day. I also tell tales from the Native Americans and First Nations.
    In addition to storytelling, I also teach  an introductory course in storytelling.
    Sláinte mhath.

    exp. 9/20

  • Melody Tolle

    Puppet Shows and stories for All! I tell folk tales, fables, bible stories and my life stories. 

    exp. 9/20

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    Bizzie Vunderink

    Ashland, OH


    A long time ago a short girl told a little story to a small audience. The audience liked the little story and the short girl liked telling it. Now, she tells longer stories to any size audience and she still likes it.  And she is still short.

    exp. 9/20

  • Rev. Joan Van Becelaere

    (Pronouns: she/her)

    Executive Director | Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio

    7430 Grand Bahama Dr

    Columbus, OH 43085

    (303) 641-5896




    The Rev. Joan Van Becelaere has a background in children’s theatre and loves to offer Dr Seuss stories. She regularly includes storytelling as part of her Sunday services and enjoys offering Biblical storytelling. Rev Joan spent over 11 years as the District Executive of the Ohio-Meadville District and then Staff Lead for the Central East Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Last year, she semi-retired and is the part-time Executive Director of UU Justice Ohio. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her spouse, Jerry Wagenman, and their four cats – Zachariah, Hezekiah, Elijah and Jezebel.

    exp. 9/20

©2019 by Storytellers of Central Ohio