Workshops

Nothing Informs Your Story Like Hearing Someone Else Perform Your Story!

While our live shows are curated, our experience working with hundreds of storytellers — writers of all backgrounds, artists from other disciplines, and people without a traditional literary background — has taught us that the No, YOU Tell It! workshop process is beneficial to anyone interested in strengthening their writing and storytelling skills.

  • Writers gain a new perspective on their story by hearing other voices read their words aloud.
  • Performers step into someone else’s true-life tale to form an intimate connection with the personal material.
  • All together, we form a collaborative group that strengthens and deepens each participant’s work.

Want to speak with a member of the No, YOU Tell It! team to design a workshop for your school, office, or organization? Contact us at noyoutellit@gmail.com.

Our collaborative creative nonfiction workshops focus on true-life tales built around a specific theme. We can work with students, professionals, community organizations, groups of family, or friends. Options include:

  • Half-day (3-4 hours)
  • One-day
  • Weekend Intensive
  • Multi-week Workshop

The result is a camaraderie-building experience like no other.

The No, YOU Tell It! Team

Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons
Creator and Producer
Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is a writer, teacher, and storyteller. Her recent nonfiction work has appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, Marie Claire, Black Fox Literary Magazine, The Literary Review (TLR), Newtown Literary, and she is a 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her superhero comedy, All I Want Is One More Meanwhile... recently made its Midwest premiere at Otherworld Theatre in Chicago. After earning her MFA in creative nonfiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kelly Jean combined her love for theater and literature to create No, YOU Tell It! Follow Kelly Jean on Twitter @KJ_Fitzsimmons
Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons WebsiteKelly Jean Fitzsimmons Twitter
Mike Dressel
Producer and Director
Mike Dressel is a writer whose work has appeared in Burning House Press, Jellyfish Review, Litbreak, Chelsea Station, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, among others, as well as in the anthologies Best Gay Stories 2016 and Best Gay Stories 2017. He was a frequent guest judge for the flash fiction reading series The Prose Bowl, and a panelist on the live comedy news show Fight the Feed. He teaches at The City College of New York.
Mike Dressel WebsiteMike Dressel Twitter
Erika Iverson
Director and Dramaturg
Erika Iverson is a New York based theatre artist and storyteller. She is proud to be part of the creative team at No, YOU Tell It! where she serves as director, dramaturg, and cheerleader for non-linear storytelling. In recent years Erika has performed at La MaMa ETC, The Cornelia Street Café, Fez, the Abington Theatre Company, The Knitting Factory, and Judson Street Church, created original roles with the Magis Theatre Company and This Is Not A Theatre Company, and directed for One Woman Standing and the United Solo Festival.
Email Erika IversonErika Iverson Twitter

Workshop Testimonials

My experience with NO, You Tell It! really helped guide me as a writer, especially when it came to getting to the more vulnerable parts of the piece I wrote. Interacting with other writers and having them read your work out loud gives you a perspective that is hard to come by in this day and age when everyone's too busy to sit and listen. It would be an understatement to say that No, You Tell It! inspired and uplifted me as a writer and an artist.

Andrew Condouris MFA Alumni, Fairleigh Dickinson University NYTI: "Schooled" part of FDU's MFA in Creative Writing Summer Residency August 10, 2018

Participating in the No, YOU Tell It! workshops has been one of the most artistically satisfying endeavors I have ever experienced.  (So much so, that I continue to sign up time and time again.)

As a former performer, I was searching for a new creative outlet.  I never considered myself to be a “writer” though I secretly enjoyed it and felt I had something to say.  The idea of putting my writing out into the world was exciting and terrifying at the same time. The NYTI workshops created a safe, supportive and fun space to create. Writing prompts and exercises helped to inspire stories that I never suspected were wanting, desperately to be told. Collaborating with a community of artists helped me to find and hone my own voice.  I left every class feeling confident, and completely respected and stimulated creatively.

Knowing that someone else would be reading my work challenged me to craft new skills as a writer as I did not have the luxury of relying on my old verbal story-telling “tricks.”  Reading someone else’s story allowed me the chance to tap into my first love of performing and bringing someone else’s words to life.

Katie Johnston Integrative Nutrition Health Coach NYTI: "Revelation" & NYTI: "Tongue-Tied" workshops at Q.E.D. A Place To Show & Tell December 21, 2016

Kelly Jean and Erika led a fabulous custom workshop for a group at my church. Not only did my friends and I have a wonderful time, we also learned so much about each other. The workshop was very well-organized and facilitated, and I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a fun alternative to a team-building activity, or just for something different to do with friends!

Brooke White Project Manager NYTI workshop at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester September 22, 2015

I had no idea how valuable switched-up storytelling would be for my writing and performing. I decided to take the workshop to “shake up” my performing voice and make myself write. As someone who has only ever performed my own stories, I was enlightened by performing a piece with a different sensibility and tone than my usual writing. The vulnerability and immediacy with which I had to perform showed me that, before this workshop, I had been holding back. I would recommend this workshop to anyone interested in writing and/or performing. No, YOU Tell It!'s writing exercises, performance direction, and workshop model have honestly been more helpful to my growth as a performer than any other model I've ever tried. And all by telling another person's story. Who knew?

May Flam Storyteller and Grant Writer NYTI: “Fated” workshop at The Astoria Bookshop September 16, 2015

I would recommend No, YOU Tell It! to anyone interested in expressing themselves creatively. I'm not a writer or a performer so I wasn't confident going into it, but everyone was very supportive and encouraging throughout the entire process. The experience was challenging for me, but also fun and very rewarding. I learned a lot about myself and my abilities by stretching myself in a new way. Thanks to the support of the NYTI team and my fellow storytellers, I found the courage to share my story and perform in front of an audience. I originally participated in No, YOU Tell It! to learn how to meet new people and express myself in a new way, but the experience also came with an unexpected benefit. It boosted my self-confidence.

Vicki Cabrera Product/Program Management Professional NYTI: “Glory" workshop at Mark Fisher Fitness April 19, 2014