Tag: Workshops

Special No, YOU Tell It! “No Regrets” Show at FDU

Our own Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons was stoked to spend the week at Fairleigh Dickinson University working with the incredible students in *FDU’s low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing on how to read their fiction, nonfiction, or poetry with a little oomph (as we like to call it). She also produced a special No, YOU Tell It! show with a trio of alums from the program.

After an intense 10-day writing residency at the Florham campus in Madison, NJ packed with workshops, lectures, visiting authors, and a killer outdoor dance party – No, YOU Tell It! “No Regrets” (theme intentional) had the formidable time slot of 10 am on the final Sunday morning.

No Regrets collage

But switched-up storytelling knows no bounds as the crazy talented Heather Lang, Letisia Cruz, and Taz Ruffilo (pictured left to right in the top row) wrote and performed three amazing pieces, keeping everyone captivated down to the residency’s last moments.

Over the past month, the trio participated in intensive story workshops and rehearsals with Kelly Jean, and the final result both broke and warmed our hearts. A huge thank you to René Steinke and all of the brilliant faculty, students, and alums at FDU’s summer residency, especially our “surprise guests” at the show Renee Ashley and Patrick Joshua Laskey!

Want to bring a No, YOU Tell It! workshop to your school, organization, or office? Click here to learn more or contact us at noyoutellit@gmail.com.

*FDU’s low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing is ideal for students who want a more flexible academic schedule. Students attend two 10-day residencies each year, one in August at FDU‘s Florham campus in Madison, New Jersey, and one in January at the university’s Wroxton campus in Oxfordshire, England. Throughout the remainder of the school year, as they write and revise their creative work, students work one-on-one with their mentors and participate in online workshops. Click here to learn more about the program and how to apply.

Sink or Swim Workshop Showcase

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

For the last few weeks, participants who signed-up for the No, YOU Tell It! workshop led by Kelly Jean and Erika at Q.E.D. in Astoria have been working to develop their true-life tales on the page.

Join us on Wed, 2/17 at 7:30 as they take the Q.E.D. stage to swap stories inspired by the theme “Sink or Swim.”

“Switched-Up” Storytellers:
Elizabeth Frank
Mike Tartaglia
Molly Touger

PLUS, NYTI alum and comedian Jenn Wehrung (Laugh It Up, Astoria!) will kick-off the evening with some “Sink or Swim” stand-up!


(Photo credit: Larry Auerbach)

RSVP on Facebook. Click here to purchase tickets for the workshop showcase at QED.

Want to host a “switched-up” storytelling workshop at your school, office, or organization? Visit our Workshops page for more information or contact us at noyoutellit@gmail.com

Listen to the “New Toys” Showcase from QED

Thank you to all who came out for our NEW TOYS workshop showcase this week at QED: A Place To Show & Tell.

Press play to listen in on the full evening, or cue up the individual stories:

Dear Tinder by Alessia Donati (2:12)
– performed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

Always Believe, Love Santa by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons (14:50)
– performed by Alessia Donati

Guitar Therapy by Tamora Wilson (33:55)
– performed by Brooke White

Her Human by Brooke White (46:00)
– performed by Tamora Wilson

Switch your story with us on March 31st at our very first NYTI Open Mic Story Swap at QED. NYTI alumni Mark Woollett, Shelley Gazes, and Raquel Penzo – along with special guest David Lawson – are going to swap stories on the spot!

There are also open mic spots available so you can sign-up to flip scripts with someone! Tickets are just $5 and can be purchased here.

Revelation Recording at QED

Here is the recording of our recent workshop showcase at QED: A Place to Show & Tell in Astoria. Thank you to our five switched-up storytellers, Alessia Donati, Jessica Cannon, Carrie Haugh, Katie Johnston, and Violet Olds.

Curious about taking our switched-up storytelling workshop? Press play and enjoy the whole evening to see what we’re all about, or you can cue up the individual stories:

Casper Evelyn Birdie by Alessia Donati (2:38)

– performed by Violet Olds

Swipe Right for Humanity by Violet Olds (15:03)

–  performed by Alessia Donati

The Photo by Carrie Haugh (27:24)

–  performed by Jessica Cannon

California Dreamin’ by Katie Johnston (40:28)

–  performed by Carrie Haugh

My Guilty Heart by Jessica Cannon (54:35)

–  performed by Katie Johnston

Our next session starts on 3/1, click here to register and save your spot!

Looking Ahead to 2015

It’s almost too much to contemplate, but we are staring down 2015 to bring you some exciting events. Time travel with us, to the near future, and see what we have in store.

First, we’re starting the new year off with our Winter Storytelling Workshops at Q.E.D. in Astoria.  The January workshop is now full, but you can register for the one starting in March by clicking here.

In an intimate setting, the class will utilize our switched-up storytelling format to help writers in drafting an original nonfiction story. Here are some of the things participants can expect:

  • Freewriting exercises to kick-start your first draft
  • Two workshop sessions to refine your true-life tale
  • An individual rehearsal with a NYTI director
  • A live class show (open to the public) where the paired partners will perform each other’s stories
  • A bonus post-show session where participants can reflect on the impact of hearing their story performed and learn additional tools for revision

The March schedule is as follows:

March 1st — 2:00PM to 4:00PM — Class
March 8th — 2:00PM to 4:00PM — Class
March 15th — 2:00PM to 4:00PM — Class
March 22nd — 1:00PM to 4:00PM — Rehearsal (Note: Participants will schedule individual one hour rehearsal sessions with their director during this time.)

Tue, March 24th – 7PM to 8:30PM – Workshop Showcase on the Q.E.D. stage

March 29th — 2:00PM to 4:00PM — Final Class

March enrollment, while limited, is still open. Click here to register.

Next, our official storytelling shows resume on February 18th with Dark Woods, which will take place at our usual haunt Jimmy’s no. 43. More details to come.

If you have any questions you can always get in touch.

December 12, 2014 Post Comment News Tags: , , ,

Register For Our Storytelling Intensive at Q.E.D. Astoria


Write your story. Perform someone else’s. Two days, two ways to explore storytelling with No, YOU Tell It! 

We’re excited to offer a switched-up storytelling intensive at Q.E.D., a new workshop and event space located in Astoria. You can learn more about Q.E.D. here.

We believe everyone has a story to share, and our two-part intensive provides a supportive space to experience the creative, vulnerable, and ultimately elating process behind both writing and performance. There is limited enrollment, so participants will receive individual attention from the NYTI creative team.

Some nitty-gritty on the way the workshop will be conducted:

Session 1 (11/15, 2-6 p.m.) Participants will be guided through a series of writing exercises to help them draft an impactful nonfiction story.

Between sessions, participants will work on their story. While they are busy writing, we will pair the stories – and switch-up the storytellers – based on how they complement each other.

Session 2 (11/22, 2-6 p.m.) Flipping scripts, participants are coached through performing their partner’s story. Then, the paired partners perform one another’s stories for the group.

You will leave the intensive with a draft of your true-life tale on the page, experience performing someone else’s on stage, and feedback on what direction you want to take your piece in next.

The fee for the workshop is $50. NOTE: Class is limited to 8 students and advanced purchase is mandatory. If you cannot attend both sessions, you will not be refunded so please keep this in mind when signing up!

Click here to register. As always, you can email us with questions or concerns. We love to hear from you!

Fated: The No, YOU Tell It! Fall Workshop


We recently wrapped up our fall workshop, where participants followed the NYTI formula of drafting a story based on a theme, in this instance Fated, revising those pieces, then switching-up and performing them. We’re grateful to The Astoria Bookshop for hosting the public reading. A final workshop session allowed the authors to compare their experiences and explore options for further revisions.

Speaking of the process, here’s a testimonial from May Flam about her experience:

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 when 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?

From the reading at the Astoria Bookshop, here’s Cailean O’Connor performing “A Painless Chronicle” written by May Flam.

Our second half of the night paired workshop participants Steve Baird and Amanda Jacklin, who wrote the stories “Animal Rescue” and “Journey to the Top” respectively. Below you can listen as they perform one another’s pieces.

Of the workshop experience, here’s what Amanda had to say:

I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work with talented writing instructors and classmates, and feel that my writing improved as a result.  I also had a blast doing the reading – it was more fun than I ever would have expected!

Echoing those sentiments, Steve said that “NYTI was a fun, enjoyable process with a very supportive group of directors and writers. As a first-time story writer (and teller) I learned a lot.”

If you’re interested in taking part in an upcoming workshop, or bringing one to your school or business, get in touch with us!

Storytelling Workshop in Astoria

We had such a terrific time with our Alumni reading at the Astoria Bookshop that we’ve gone ahead and planned a storytelling workshop in our favorite neighborhood. Maybe that’s something you’d be interested in attending? Sessions will be held on Sunday afternoons beginning September 7th, and the five-week workshop includes a public reading at the bookstore. We are finalizing our participants but still have space if you want to take part. Further details, including times, fees, and all the fine print, can be found here on Facebook or by emailing us

Looking ahead, our next proper storytelling show, Wild Card, will take place on September 17th. More info to come.