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StoryTown prepares to launch its first annual magazine


All of the many projects that fall under the “StoryTown” program at the McKinney Center will be showcased in an upcoming magazine-style publication which will be released the week of Oct.13.

A “Virtual Launch Week” event is planned to take place between Oct. 13-16 at 1 p.m. each day, and will feature interviews with representatives from the different facets of the StoryTown Program, including story collectors, writers, actors, interview subjects, film students and more.

The week will begin with an in-depth interview with Jimmy Neil Smith, founder of the National Storytelling Festival and president emeritus of the International Storytelling Center, and Bob Browning, former Jonesborough Town Administrator for over 30 years, who worked closely with Smith to support the long-running festival that brings 10,000 visitors to Jonesborough each year. They will talk about the roots of the storytelling movement in Jonesborough that sparked a revival of the form across the world. 

On Wednesday, Jules Corriere, the outreach program director at the McKinney Center, who directs the StoryTown Program, will offer an online Introduction to Story Collecting workshop through Zoom. Corriere, who is also an ALM Candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at Harvard, has spent more than twenty years collecting community stories, and will share her expertise, best practices, and guidance. The workshop through Zoom has limited space, and registration is required.

Thursday will introduce members of the StoryTown Brigade, who collect stories from individuals from across the Northeast Tennessee region, which are used in the program’s many project, including community plays, radio shows, podcasts, and films. Later that day, members from the Writers Group, as well as young film makers will share their experiences. The day will wrap up with interviews from people whose stories have been used in the annual community plays, including Pastor Vincent Dial and ETSU football star Johnny Russaw.

Friday will present a heartfelt discussion from cast members who have become friends and family (there was even a marriage!) through the StoryTown program’s annual community plays and the long-running StoryTown Radio Show (previously Yarn Exchange Radio Show) and podcast. (   

Issues of the Magazine will be available at the McKinney Center starting Tuesday, Oct. 13. The first requested copy is free of charge. Additional copies will be sold for $5. The magazine will also be available as a downloadable e-book online for $4.

For more information, please contact Jules Corriere at the McKinney Center at (423) 794-6320.