by Strohmann Breeding

Pictured above: OLLI students and storyteller Faye Fulton at the David Pryor Center, Fayetteville, AR

“Stories are co-created… Stories are much more like movies than reports.”

–OLLI Instructor Faye Fulton






FAYETTEVILLE, ARK-OLLI students were in for a treat last Thursday, October 11, 2018 when Faye Fulton, esteemed Storyteller and Writer taught the lecture “Finding and Crafting Personal stories.” The David Pryor center hosted this class of 14 students who expressed interest in learning how to refine their story-telling skills and writing abilities. Fulton created an environment where they shared their brief anecdotes with partners around the room and ultimately shared a summary of their story with the whole class. Ms. Fulton walked the class through different exercises and even told some of her own personal stories as examples and references for the following workshop.

Fulton offered insight to her own personal journey through storytelling, saying, “Every culture has created stories and they are powerful.” Fulton continued to expand on how storytelling is truly the history of people and mankind and how our roots are not found geographically but in the memories we share and more importantly, how we share them.

Fulton crafted a 3-step process which included

  1. Find your story
  2. Look for details
  3. Craft your story

This process was practiced for quite some time between students and their partners in order to hone in on the story of their choice and sharpen the details for delivery. During this process, students had the opportunity to comment and critique one another privately before sharing with the whole class.

Fulton said that stories play an integral part in our everyday life and that, “I did not become passionate about stories until I met my grandparents.” Fulton went on to stress the importance of details in a story, describing how even something as simple as a smell or a physical feeling can help paint the picture for your audience.

Finally, the students were asked to share what they had come up with and the stories they had chosen to work on. Fulton listened and commented as each student shared a personal experience of life, from picking cotton in the long hot Arkansas summers to befriending a bluebird, these students showed their merit and skills gained in the class.