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Storytelling Certificate Program

Offered in partnership with Metropolitan Community College, The Storytelling Certificate Program will help you create and share your stories; whether contemporary or historical, real or imagined. Free courses taught by practicing professionals will help you grow your stories from a spark of inspiration into a polished, marketable product. Currently, you can earn a Storytelling Certificate in written or oral storytelling. This program is made possible through funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Upon completing the Certificate Program, you should be able to:

  • Describe different forms and styles of written or oral storytelling.  
  • Understand and apply core concepts, skills, and techniques necessary to create, edit, and publish or perform an original story.
  • Compare and evaluate various publication and performance models and opportunities.
  • Define and develop strategies for cultivating a particular brand.
  • Understand how basic business concepts and tools apply to professional writing and storytelling.
  • Cultivate opportunities and identify resources for continued learning.
  • Engage in a community of storytellers.

If you are an MCPL card holder and currently enrolled in the Storytelling Certificate Program, you can check your stats below.

Check Your Transcripts

Written Storytelling Certificate Requirements

Creation

  • Storycrafting Fundamentals
  • Resources for Storytellers
  • Introduction to Genre

Development

  • Starting a Writing Project
  • Writing Basics
  • Intensive Editing Masterclass
  • Story Center Critique Group (attend twice)
  • Writing Elective

Business

  • Marketing for Storytellers
  • Copyright Basics
  • The Business of Writing and Authorship
  • Publishing Options & Opportunities

Capstone

  • Participants will write 2000 words of original content to be read at the Storytelling Certificate Celebration. More information can be found on our Capstone information page.

Additional Requirements

  • Participants will write a 500-word essay on what they hope to gain from the certificate program
  • Participants will write a 500-word review of a book from The Story Center Collection
  • Participants will write a 500-word exit essay on what they gained from the certificate program

Please direct all submissions to the Story Center Program Manager Shannon Thompson at SThompson@mymcpl.org or 816.883.4780.

Oral Storytelling Certificate Requirements

Creation

  • Storycrafting Fundamentals
  • Resources for Storytellers
  • Introduction to Storytelling Varieties 

Development

  • Starting to Tell Stories
  • Performance Basics
  • Performance Showcase and Masterclass: 
  • Story Swap! (attend twice)
  • Storytelling Elective

Business

  • Marketing for Storytellers
  • Copyright Basics
  • Storytelling as a Business
  • Performance Options & Opportunities 

Capstone

  • Participants will perform a 5-7-minute original story at the Storytelling Certificate Celebration. More information can be found on our Capstone information page.

Additional Requirements

  • Participants will write a 500-word essay on what they hope to gain from the certificate program
  • Participants will write a 500-word review of a book from The Story Center Collection
  • Participants will write a 500-word exit essay on what they gained from the certificate program

Please direct all submissions to the Story Center Program Manager, Shannon Thompson at SThompson@mymcpl.org or 816.883.4780.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from going through the Storytelling Certificate Program?

  • Interaction with storytellers from different mediums
  • Workshops taught by experts covering storycrafting basics all the way to creating a business plan
  • Opportunities for showcasing
  • Capstone project

Why did the Storytelling Certificate change?

We’ve listened to your feedback and have developed a certificate that combines the same great content from experts with more time to hone your skills and interact with your peers! Work through the required workshops in either the Written or Oral Storytelling program and debut your final project to a live audience.

What if I’ve already taken classes towards the old system?

You’re well on your way to completing your certificate and you’ll be recognized as a trailblazer

How long will it take me to complete the certificate?

Workshops are offered on a rotating, quarterly basis. Determined individuals can complete requirements in a year.

Can I still attend workshops if I don’t want to complete the Certificate Program?

Absolutely! All workshops are free and open to anyone to attend.

Do I have to take workshops in order?

Workshops can be taken in any order.

How much does it cost to participate?

There is no cost to participate or to receive a certificate!

Who teaches the workshops?

Our facilitators include publishers, agents, writers, and tellers. We select working professionals that are known as experts in their field—whether that is a New York Times bestselling author or a nationally celebrated performer.

How do I sign up for the Storytelling Certificate Program?

When you attend a Certificate qualifying workshop, let the Story Center representative know that you are interested in participating in certificate program and he or she will provide the necessary information! You may also call or email Story Center Program Manager Shannon Thompson at sthompson@mymcpl.org or 816.883.4780

How do I reserve my spot for workshops?

Each quarter, new certificate workshops are made available for registration. 

Oral Storytelling Certificate Programs

Written Storytelling Certificate Programs

How can I track my progress?

If you are an MCPL card holder and currently enrolled in the Storytelling Certificate Program, you can check your status online. You must be logged into your library account. Your enrollment email must match the email you use on your library card. If you need to update either of these, please reach out to Story Center Program Manger Shannon Thompson for further instruction. If you are outside of the MCPL area, you can get an update on your progress anytime by reaching out to Shannon at sthompson@mymcpl.org or 816.883.4780. If you want to track courses yourself, we encourage you to download this form

How can I present a program at The Story Center?

We are always looking for new presenters to teach educational storytelling programs at The Story Center. For more information, please visit our Submissions page

How is attendance verified?

At each program, there is a sign-in sheet. Please make sure to sign this when you arrive. Though the Storytelling Certificate Program is self-paced, we ask all participants to stay for the duration of each course in order to receive attendance credit. 

Can you give me more information on the Capstones?

Please visit our Capstone page for more information.

For more information about The Storytelling Certificate Program, please contact Program Manager Shannon Thompson at SThompson@mymcpl.org or by calling 816.883.4780.

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