The Story Festival Committee in Story City is trying some new things this year with the festival, and the Bertha Bartlett Public Library is taking on a new event as one of the partners in this venture. With the opening event on Thursday evening involving three different types of storytelling: one who broadcasts news stories on television, one who tells stories in person that are tailored to the moment, the crowd and the environment, and one who immerses himself into the character of one of Iowa’s beloved Pulitzer Prize winners, editorial cartoonist, Ding (J.N.) Darling, it reminds us that there are many ways to tell our stories.


Story City’s own, Eric Hansen, of KCCI, will open the Thursday evening event, “Dessert & a Story,” followed by Storyteller Darrin Crow, and concluding with actor Tom Milligan. Milligan will take on the persona of Ding Darling to tell the story of his impact through the World War I editorial cartoons published, that earned him two Pulitzer Prizes (1924 and 1943). A copy of his original publication of editorial cartoons, published in 1918, will be given away to a lucky person who has purchases a ticket for that drawing. Those are available at the same locations as tickets for the Storytelling events: the Greater Chamber Connection office at 524 Broad St., the Bertha Bartlett Public Library at 503 Broad St., and the Story City Historical Society at 619 Grand Ave., all in Story City.


The library will be hosting two events on Saturday morning. The first is a workshop at 9:30 a.m. with storyteller Darrin Crow presenting “From the Page to the Heart: Making A Story Into Your Story.” The cost to attend this workshop is only $15. At 11:30 a.m., a Writers’ Forum will be held, free to the public, with several Iowa authors invited to share their thoughts on publishing, and several will have books available for purchase.


In addition, author and publisher, Marj Charlier, a native of Story City, who now lives in Palm Springs, Calif., will join us via Skype to talk about her experiences as an author and her publishing company. In addition to the one-hour program, there will be an opportunity for individuals who are trying to publish books to talk with her individually about their projects, and discuss the different approaches to publishing their work.


The Writers’ Forum is free and we invite all ages who are interested in learning more about the experiences and books that have been published within our community. The format will include a panel of authors who will each have about five minutes to talk about their projects, and then Marj Charlier will be able to talk at length about her experiences. After the program is over, those authors with books available for purchase will be able to sell copies to the public.


Tickets are available at all three locations for all events, and the drawing for the Ding Darling editorial cartoon book. The drawing will be held at the final event at Fairview Lodge on Saturday evening.