News from the world of No You Tell It

Ten-Year Anthology!

Big News! We are thrilled to announce that we’ll be publishing a ten-year anthology collection with Palm Circle Press. In this anthology, you’ll find several stories from the past decade along with behind-the-scenes insights from storytellers and the No, YOU Tell It! creative team.

Coming out in September! Stay tuned for more information!

Happy 10-Year Anniversary to Us!

Today is our official ten-year anniversary! May is also Kelly Jean’s birthday month!! Help us create ten more years of stories by donating here to our fundraising drive. Anything you can give is appreciated.

What does your tax-deductible donation support? We’re so happy you asked!

  • $25 helps provide literary prizes for story trivia at the live shows in support of local authors and independent bookstores.
  • $50 goes toward administrative fees, such as our Field membership and hosting costs for our website and podcast.
  • $100 supports the storytellers who commit hours of their time to two story development meetings and a theatrical rehearsal prior to the live show.
  • $300 secures experienced story coaches and directors who support our storytellers from page to stage.
  • $500 enables us to provide a professional live stream of the event to broadcast this unique event to an even larger audience. See what this looks like in the video below!

What separates our series is the collaborative time put into each show. This extensive workshop process is a blessing, but the time commitment can also be a challenge for participants and the creative team.

Therefore, as we strive toward a new decade of No, YOU Tell It!, we are dedicated to compensating all of the artists involved. Any size donation is greatly appreciated and goes straight to the artists.

Don’t have the funds right now? Support our series witha FB like or Insta follow and share our podcast on your favorite socials.

Thank you for being a part of 10 wonderful years! Here’s to 10 more!!

Watch “What I Know”

Happy International Women’s Day! We’re so grateful these amazing people shared their stories with the world yesterday. With this year’s #breakthebias theme, we’re celebrating the women, gender non-conforming individuals, and allies across the world fighting to eliminate stereotypes and discrimination.

Couldn’t make the show last night? View the Culture Lab live stream below (show starts at 2:10 min) and keep an eye out for our podcasts in the coming weeks. If you feel moved, consider donating here to help us keep bringing stories like these into the world.

Event Information

Up Next: “What I Know” Show

Save the date for No, YOU Tell It! “What I Know” on Monday, March 7th at Culture Lab, LIC.

In celebration of women’s history month, four women storytellers have worked together to develop true tales inspired by the theme “What I Know” on the page. Come watch as they swap and step into each other’s life experiences on stage. Plus, play story trivia for the chance to win fun literary prizes.

Watch “Anniversary Apart”

We wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who was able to come out to “Anniversary Apart” the first show of our ten-year anniversary season! It was truly incredible to hear those stories come to life and see such great performances from each of the storytellers. Click here for the show program.

Sad you missed? Good news! Watch the show here:

Congratulations to our trivia winners who will receive a donation in their name to Friends With Four Paws and a puppy named after them! And what a lovely chat we had afterward. What a way to kick off the year!

If you want, you can still make a $15 suggested tax-deductible donation in support of the series. Pay what and only if you can – more is always welcome! Click here to donate.

And lastly, save the date! Our next show will be in person at Culture Lab, LIC and live streaming on March 7th – stay tuned for more information.

Event Information

Happy Holidays!

Happy holiday season and huge thanks to our No, YOU Tell It! friends and family for an amazing year.

We were truly lucky to hold our first live show in two years at Culture Lab, LIC and we’re getting excited to get back out there in 2022 with more for our upcoming 10th anniversary!

CLICK HERE to help support No, YOU Tell It! 2022: Ten-Year Anniversary Season!
(Plus, your donation is tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, The Field.)

Spark a Stand-Out Story

News about our next No, YOU Tell It! show coming soon! Check back for updates. 

First, we’re pleased to announce that our own Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is partnering with Timothy Lindner of Revisionary Writing and Editing LLC to offer three FREE college essay writing workshops this summer.
Online College Essay Workshop

If your students or kids are looking to get a running start on their personal statements for college applications, these 1.5-hour sessions can help get them going.

Registration for all three sessions (6/26, 7/24, 8/21) is open at

Contact for more information.

Happy New Year!

Like so many, 2020 was not what we expected. We were rehearsing for our first show at Sunnyside Plays and looking forward to an in-person Lambda Literary story swap when COVID-19 cases exploded in NYC back in March. Our future quickly became uncertain and we weren’t sure if we’d be swapping stories ever again.

Despite technical difficulties, a different genre of performance, and a huge learning curve, we were pleased to deliver two virtual story swaps. We hope listening to the stories provided a needed respite.

Storytelling has both the power to elicit empathy and create connection, and though we couldn’t physically be together we hope both of these things came through the screen. We’re especially grateful to everyone who came out to support the storytellers. And if you missed the shows, check out our podcast!

From top left clockwise: Heather Quinlan, Sokunthary Svay, Gail Thomas, Charlotte Marchant, Nita Noveno, Calvin S. Cato, Nancy Agabian, Nicole Shawan Junior.

Our virtual shows raised nearly $1000 for the Woodside/Sunnyside Community COVID-19 Food Relief Group – You can still donate here: Use the dropdown to indicate Covid 19 Sunnyside/Woodside Food Distribution (or Venmo @KellyJean-Fitzsimmons who will collect and donate).

In the spirit of giving, we appreciate any end-of-year donations you are able to make in support of  No, YOU Tell It! Make your tax-deductible donation directly here or through the DONATE button below – any and all amounts help make shows like “Precious” and “Coming  & Going” possible.

And LASTLY, thanks to all of our partners and elves behind the scenes who helped along the way, including but not limited to: The Brooklyn Book FestivalLambda LiteraryRevisionary Writing and Editing LLCAstoria BookshopQueens Council on the Arts, Amanda Sisk, Noah Diamond, Erika Marit Iverson, Mike Dressel, & Tim Lindner.

Until next time, check in on our podcast where you can listen to any of our past shows on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @noyoutellit for the latest updates and information on upcoming events in 2021!

Wishing you all the best for a bright new year,
Kelly Jean

Snail Mail Story Swaps

Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company. – Lord Byron

What’s your story been in the last three months since we had to postpone our March 12th “Precious” show?

How would you like to trade tales with a member of the No, YOU Tell It! community snail mail style? Email us at to be paired with a pen-pal.

We will match you up. Then take it from there to trade tales, report on how you can keep the momentum going to create positive social change, and whatever else may evolve.

We’ve thought a lot about what No, YOU Tell It! should or could say in response to the recent horrific events and the long history of racial injustice that led to them.

Our own Kelly Jean recently taught an online workshop centered around Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, which explores racial aggressions in everyday encounters and the media. These words Rankine shared as part of 826NYC’s quarenTEEN voices resonated with us:

This is how you talk or write about difficult things: you do it assuming that you don’t know. Over and over you hear that you have to write about what you know. The way to approach difficult things is to approach them as difficult things. You approach them with questions rather than positions. The making of art is not about showing how smart you are or proving anything, but really just exploring the subject so you can understand it better.

No, YOU Tell It! is all about creating stronger empathetic connections by trading stories and sharing life experiences to better understand each other. Help keep the story swapping going by signing up to be paired with a pen-pal.

EMAIL to sign up and/or with any questions.

In support of Newtown Literary and Queens Voices

We’ve had the honor of working many members of the Newtown Literary community over the years and wanted to share their words today in support of their mission to emphasize the creative writing of those who are marginalized and silenced.

The stories of Queens are the stories of this country and our world.

We here at Newtown Literary stand against racism and injustice of any kind. We honor George Floyd and countless others who have paid the price of white supremacy with their lives, many in New York City. We acknowledge the life-and-death nature of this situation. #BlackLivesMatter is a universal truth. Black people have the same rights as everyone else, and we condemn the abhorrent act of disregarding anyone’s right to life and liberty based on the color of their skin. The rights to learn, create, and succeed in the literary community fall under this banner.

In this time when the feeling of powerlessness is pervasive, the staff of Newtown Literary has been spending the last several days reflecting on how we can affect actual change, not just make lukewarm statements of support on social media that disappear when the headlines change. We believe that stories and poetry can be a form of action.

Read the full statement here and reach out through the Contact page on their website.

June 3, 2020 Post Comment News Tags:
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