News from the world of No You Tell It

Show, Workshops, & Alum Updates!

Our next show is June 5th at Grove 34 in partnership with the Greater Astoria Historical Society. SAVE THE DATE!

But first… Come tell your story at writing workshops led by NYTI producers Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and Tim Lindner. Kelly Jean leads a monthly Sip & Scribe at Sunnyside Arts.  Register HERE for Friday, March 1.

Plus, don’t miss her “Queens & Me: Personal Writing Workshop” at The Astoria Bookshop on 4/17.

Tim leads a monthly Write with Flights at Departed Soles Brewery in Jersey City. Click HERE to register for this month’s, which is coming up fast on Thursday, February 22.

What have our NYTI Alums been up to? So happy you asked! Here are some fun updates.

Monique Peterson performs at Jimmy’s No. 43 in 2013. Photo by Gili Getz.

SPECIAL WEST COAST SHOUT OUT to MONIQUE PETERSON from our “Alter Egos” show, who will be the only spoken word story performer in the upcoming Center for the Arts open mic showcase in Nevada County, California, this Wednesday, February 21.


GABRIEL BEREZIN produces and hosts the podcast FUGUES.

Gabriel Berezin swaps stories with Courtney Frances Fallon in Ep 38: Blowback Part 2. Give a listen here!

 New episodes coming out next month! What is Fugues? The quick answer – it’s The Moth with neuroscience and music (and a bit of sci-fi…) 

More details at:


ROSALIE CHANDLER is stepping up to perform her “Here & Gone” story from our first team-up show with the Greater Astoria Historical Society next month for RISK!

Rosalie surprises her fellow storytellers with Westinghouse Time Capsule buttons at our “Here & Gone” show at Grove 34.

Helmed by “College Try” storyteller Kevin Allison, RISK! is a live show and weekly podcast where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public. Come join us to see how Rosalie’s story has grown now that she’s doing the telling.

RISK! Live in NYC & Online 

Thursday, 3/21/24

Caveat, 21 A Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

9:30 PM  / Doors 9:00 PM



CHRIS CROWTHERS (center square) opened up a shop with his husband last year in Narrowsburg, NY!

Project Weekend: Weekend Goods for Good Weekends. Check it out HERE.

Give a LISTEN or WATCH Chris’s story “Watermelon Sugar” in our Anniversary Apart online show from January 2022!

They sell Men’s Clothing + Accessories and Outdoorsy + Weekend Inspired Goods. Follow them on IG: @projectweekendny


Founding member MIKE DRESSEL recently profiled the Choreographer Bruno Isakovic for the Gay & Lesbian Review. Note: The piece hasn’t gone up yet, but it will run HERE soon. Maybe even by the time you check!

Mike Dressel hosts our 2019 “Snapped!” show. Give a listen and read Mike’s intro about our special Stonewall50 story swap at Dixon Place in the NYTI Ten-Year Anthology.

He also has a affiliate site where he’s curated some reading material. Check it out and shop through the link:


MATT STORRS was recently on The Moth (2/13), and you can listen to the episode (available 2/19) here!

Photo: Top left: Matt Storrs; Top right: Maria Rubio; Bottom left: Ellie Dvorkin Dunn interviews Matt Storrs

Give a listen to Matt’s “Punch Up” swap or WATCH the full show live-streamed from Culture Lab.

Matt also filmed Stories from the Stage in Boston on 2/14, and last but not least, keep an eye out for him at the NYC Fringe in April! We’ll share more info as it becomes available.


Congratulations to AIDA ZILELIAN for her newly released novel All the Ways We Lied, which explores the commonality of sisterhood through the eyes of four unforgettable women who have nothing in common except that they are bound by Armenian blood and history.

Upcoming Book Events!

New York/Queens


Rhode Island

  • April 19 – Riffraff Bookstore 
  • April 20 – Watertown Library
  • April 21 – St. Sahag Church

Back in NYC/Queens!

  • April 27 – Lincoln Center: Key speaker for Genocide Awareness
  • May 9 – LIC Book Culture

Top left: Jenn Wehrung; Top right: Story partners Aida Zilelian and Jenn Wehrung; Bottom left: Ellie Dvorkin Dunn and Jenn Wehrun; Bottom right: Aida Zilelian

Give a LISTEN to Aida’s “Punch Up” swap or WATCH the full show live-streamed from Culture Lab. You can also watch other past shows on the NYTI YouTube channel.

Still Reading? THANK YOU for your support. Keep it going!
Spread the word about all these alum updates.
Tell a friend to follow No, YOU Tell It!
CLICK HERE to make a donation through The Field.

That’s all for now. Follow Insta and Facebook for more. NYTI Alums, feel free to send us your news for our next update!

Queens & Me: Personal Writing Workshop

Want to explore writing personal essays? Interested in learning more about Queens’ history? Do both!

Join our own Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons on April 17th (6:30-8 pm) at The Astoria Bookshop for a FREE workshop inspired by our May 2023 No, YOU Tell It! “Here & Gone” show. Space is limited. Click here to reserve your spot today.

Engage with this stunning piece by Astoria-based artist Yelena Tylkina depicting history highlights – Westinghouse Time CapsuleNorth BeachAstoria Pool Sentinels, and The First Photocopy – from the Greater Astoria Historical Society archives, and tell your story!

Get the Queens “Here & Gone” image and view more of Yelena’s artwork via Fine Art America.

Copies of the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology will be available at the workshop.

Queens Artist Connection

No, YOU Tell It! has thrived due to the open spirit and fantastic support of the Queens creative community. How wonderful to have our ten-year anthology in such great company at The Astoria Bookshop.

We are planning some great Queens events this spring, but first, check out this amazing resource of Queens artists, organizations, funding resources, and space/venues organized by Hit The Lights and the Queens Artist Connection.


Want to find out more about the Q.A.C. Spring Meet-Up and upcoming NYTI plans?

Message and we’ll keep you in the loop!

Pause and Personal Request

Creating story partners to support each other while stepping into their personal stories on the page and the stage is the driving force behind No, YOU Tell It!

In this time filled with the horrific loss of innocent lives in Gaza and Israel, we’ve decided to put No, YOU Tell It! on pause. Rather than working on our next show, we are taking the time to seek out further means and resources to educate ourselves on how to bring storytellers together responsibly across differences.

The sanctity of ensuring that our storytellers feel creatively inspired and taken care of throughout our collaborative process is of the utmost importance.

Instead of our usual end-of-the-year fundraising, we ask you to donate to one of these two organizations working on the ground. How and when aid can reach people changes by the minute, but in the interest of easing suffering, please donate if you have the means.

Doctors Without Borders:
World Central Kitchen:

Thank you all for your love, support, and generosity of spirit for the past 10… now 11 years.

See you in 2024, and if you have suggestions for resources and organizations we can learn from, please send them to

November 20, 2023 Post Comment News

Look! MBC Anthology Event Program

Thrilled to celebrate the publication anniversary of the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology at the Montclair Book Center today, 9/23, from 2-4.

Take a look at the NYTI producers and contributors participating.

Top to bottom: Heather Quinlan, Tim Lindner, KJ Fitzsimmons, and Tazio Ruffilo

Heather Quinlan is a filmmaker who creates unique short- and long-form content. Her first film, a short titled “O Brooklyn! My Brooklyn!” was called “Charming … an endearing way of making an old poem more relevant” by The New York Times, and her feature-length documentary on the New York accent, “If These Knishes Could Talk,” screened at the Library of Congress. She followed that up with “SPOKE: A Short Film About NYC Bikes,” which premiered at the Williamsburg Film Festival. Most recently, Heather was Production Manager for “American River,” which debuted at the 2021 Montclair Film Festival. She is currently directing “Staten Island Graveyard,” about a historically Black cemetery on Staten Island that was turned into a parking lot.

Grab a copy here of Heather’s Plagues, Pandemics, and Viruses: From the Plague of Athens to COVID-19, which was published in 2021 by Visible Ink Press.

Tim Lindner is a course developer, poet, and college writing instructor. He’s published poems in 300 Days of Sun, The Citron Review, The Northern Virginia Review, Awakenings Review, the forthcoming edition of Artemis Journal, and more. He also owns a small business, Revisionary Writing and Editing LLC, where he helps people write their resumes, college essays, books, and more.

Grab a copy here of the anthology Tim edited, The Book of Life After Death, a collection of stories and poems about death and grieving to be published by Tolsun Books, with an official release date of 9/26/2023.

Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is a writer, educator, and storyteller. Her recent work has appeared in HiLoBrow, Marie Claire, Hippocampus Magazine, and numerous anthologies. She is the creator and producer of No, YOU Tell It!, a nonfiction series that brings storytellers together to trade tales, speak each other’s words, and empower voices on the page and stage. Kelly Jean is also the editor of the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology, available from Palm Circle Press. Follow @noyoutellit for more.

Tazio Ruffilo is a born and bred product of Paterson, New Jersey, where he was raised by his undefeatable mom, jack-of-all-arts dad, and desperado big sister. The different hats he’s worn and the cast of characters in his hometown are major influences on his writing. On most weekends, you can find him chasing his kids around a public space, trying to convince them to get down from there. Tazio teaches writing and communications at Hudson County Community College.

Grab a copy here of Taz’s first collection of short stories, Got That Fire, which was released by Tolsun Books in 2023.

New Jersey Anthology Event

On top of our September show, we’ll also be out in Montclair on Saturday, 9/23 at the Montclair Book Center for an anthology event. Save the date and come hang, New Jersey!!

Switch up your story with the producers of No, YOU Tell It!

No, YOU Tell It! storytellers work together to develop true tales on the page, then swap stories to embody their partner’s culture, identity, and life experience on stage. In 2022, the series celebrated 10 years with the launch of a vibrant anthology detailing its development over the past decade.

Join producers Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and Tim Lindner for behind-the-scenes insights on creating a new kind of nonfiction series. Hear anthology selections from contributors Heather Quinlan and Tazio Ruffilo. Followed by story trivia for fun literary prizes.

Plus, generate and trade your own tiny true tale!

Follow @noyoutellit for more.

Save the date! 9/28!

Save the date! Our next team-up show with The Greater Astoria Historical Society is a 2023 Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event – in QUEENS at Grove 34!


The Greater Astoria Historical Society is the place to learn and celebrate Long Island City and its neighborhoods. Learn more at

This project is supported by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, Statewide Community Regrants Program (formerly the Decentralization program) with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and administered by Flushing Town Hall.

This project is made possible (in part) with public funds from the Queens Arts Fund, a re-grant program supported by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by New York Foundation for the Arts.

Summer Reading!

Looking for some summer reading? Check out our 10-year anthology for story swaps from over the years and behind-the-scenes insights from the people involved.

Available to order online or in person at The Astoria Bookshop and WORD Brooklyn.

WORD Anthology Event!

In two weeks, join us on 4/20 at WORD Brooklyn to celebrate our 10-Year Anthology. Producers Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and Erika Iverson will provide behind-the-scenes insights on creating a new kind of nonfiction series.

Hear anthology selections from Brooklyn contributors Michele Carlo and Alexandra Gray.

Plus, generate and trade your own tiny true tale! More info and RSVP here.

No, YOU Did It! Celebrating 2022

Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons here! Sending out accolades for all YOU helped us accomplish this year. Heck, over this past DECADE (wow…), with your love and support.

Keep us in mind for your end-of-year giving to support 10 more years! Click here to make your tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor The Field.

Want to make a donation via a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)? Yes, you can do so in support of No, YOU Tell It! through The Field. Contact us at for all the info.

Now, let’s take a look at 2022! Starting with this fantastic 10-year anniversary logo designed by alum storyteller, Zoom guru, and the all-around fabulous Noah Diamond.

WATCH No, YOU Tell It! “Anniversary Apart”

Kicking off our anniversary season, storytellers Chris Crowthers, Gaby Martineau, and Jenna Struble swap tales for our virtual show, “Anniversary Apart,” with support from Tim Lindner & Amanda Sisk as story coach(es) and director! And, of course, the aforementioned Noah Diamond.

All of our story trivia winners received a donation in their name in support of our friends at Friends with Four Paws. Plus a puppy named after them!

WATCH No, YOU Tell It! “What I Know” 

In celebration of women’s history month, storytellers developed true tales inspired by the theme “What I Know” on the page. Watch them step into each other’s life experiences on stage. Featuring: Michele Carlo, Julia Granacki, Hannah Leland, and Sheria Mattis

Big thanks to our “What I Know” directors, Erika Iverson and Marcos Stafne.

Fun fact: Sheria Mattis and Michele Carlo’s swap is the most recent pair in the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology 2022, featuring a beautiful introduction by their director, Erika. Give it a read!

Special shoutout to Lee Anderson and Palm Circle Press for making the No, YOU Tell It! anthology a reality.

WATCH No, YOU Tell It! “Punch Up” 

For our September Brooklyn Book Festival “Book End” Event, storytellers who write for the page and the stage developed true stories inspired by the theme “Punch Up.” Featuring: Jenn Wehrung, Aida Zilelian, Matt Storrs, and Maria Rubio.

Plus, guest host and director Ellie Dvorkin Dunn and fab story coaches Tim Lindner and Pichchenda Bao. 

No, YOU Tell It! was proud to receive a 2022 Queens Art Fund (QAF) grant. Both of our live shows at Culture Lab LIC were made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Thank You, QCA!

We celebrated the launch of the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology 2022 from Palm Circle Press with the first in-person event at The Astoria Bookshop since March 2020!

Thank you to contributors Ellie Dvorkin Dunn and Jeff Wills, who read that evening, and to everyone who came out.

Get or GIFT a copy of our anthology to read through ten years of stories and behind-the-scenes insights for the series. Local to NYC? We encourage you to purchase it through The Astoria Bookshop to support a small, local business.

Just when you thought all of our anniversary fun was done…
Last week we were honored to receive one of THE BIG GIVE 2022 “Pay Your People” Grants from IndisSpace!

Check out this blog post on IndieSpace website with the links to the names and websites of all of the Pay Your People grant recipients at The Big Give 2022. Please visit their websites to learn more about their work and upcoming productions.

WHEW!! I’m so excited to tell you about the exciting No, YOU Tell It! plans for 2023, but I think I need a nap first…

All my love and gratitude for the support from our amazing No, YOU Tell It! friends and alums all these years. What an amazing journey; I can’t wait to see what the next decade brings.

Happy Holidays and wishing you a bright new year!
Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

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