At the Story Festival and More there are new ways to experience stories this year with a musical, writer’s forum and history tour. Each story form is a different instrument, a different resonance and quality. Each connect with people differently. It is the uniqueness of people that created these different forms. Our festival not only celebrates spoken storytelling, but all forms of storytelling.


The festival, of course, begins with Dessert and a Story at the Story Theater at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are in limited supply and are only $10. Three excellent tellers will grace the stage: Eric Hanson, Darrin Crow, and Tom Milligan as Ding Darling. Each have unique and important stories to tell so make sure you stick around to the end!


For the musically inclined, Friday night will hold a musical performed by the Judge Story theatrical group called “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” The Bee will be held in Grand Viking Hall at 7 p.m. and admission is $15. For those not familiar with the musical, it is a comedy surrounding six quirky competitors and three adults just as quirky running the Bee.


Saturday, our featured teller, Darrin Crow, will be giving a workshop at 9:30 a.m. at the Bertha Bartlett Library. Admission is $15. In it, he will focus on teaching attendees how to make a story their own. They will learn to translate a story from the page to an oral story that is unique to each individual.


At 11:30 that day, a Writer’s Forum will be held in the library. The event is free and will have multiple Iowa authors who will share their experiences in publishing. Marj Charlier, a native of Story City, who lives in Palm Springs, Calif., will join the forum via Skype. She will talk about how she created her publishing company, and any individuals interested may talk with her about their projects at the end. After the program, authors will have books available to sell.


Learn more about Story City’s history from 1-3 p.m. downtown to meet some historical figures from the city’s past. Reenactors will be out on Broad Street telling the stories of former business people in Story City, including a postmaster, railroad station master’s wife, a milliner, harness shop owner, and the husband and wife owners of Moulin’s variety store.


To close out the weekend, Scary Stories is back at the Fairview Lodge from 7-9 p.m., the first half being child friendly and the second half being more for the adults. Basements hold luring monsters, vampires are everywhere yet nowhere, a child’s fears are not always false, and the ghosts of war do not rest in peace. Our own Molly Nagel will perform two stories as will our featured storyteller, Darrin Crow.


Some stories are vehicles of entertainment and comedy, some pass on the wisdom of older generations or show the mistakes of the past, others inspire and bring people together. This weekend, think about the knowledge and camaraderie you can share with your friends, family, relatives, neighbors and strangers. Listen to them tell stories about themselves and tell a few yourself.