A special thank you to the Storytellers of New Mexico for your help and support of our event.

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The 2017 Tellers

Sam Payne

Sam Payne Sam Payne

Sam's fill-the-room stage presence, craftsmanship, and his soaring tenor voice have established him as a favorite with audiences and critics alike. Payne has brought his stories and songs to halls in Canada, Bulgaria, Tokyo, and from coast to coast in the United States, including the Will Rogers Auditorium in Dallas, Texas and the Kennedy Center in the nation's capitol. A regular performer at the Weber Storytelling Festival, he's been featured at other festivals large and small, including the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and on the Exchange Place stage at the National Storytelling Festival.

He's shared stages with rock legends Foreigner and Toto, and with pop superstars Air Supply and Marie Osmond. Sam has authored publications for children, with a regular readership of more than a million elementary school students. He co-directed the "Soundcheck Series," an artist development program for independent songwriters, and currently hosts "The Apple Seed: Tellers and Stories," a national radio show on the art of storytelling, broadcasting daily on BYU Radio.

Watch Sam telling "Pencil Neck"

Kim Weitkamp

Kim Weitkamp As the redheaded child of exhausted parents, Kim grew up enjoying the role of the middle child. Allowed to roam free in the heart of Amish Country, her imagination was ripened by a life lived outdoors. Now she enjoys the role of being one of the most sought after storytellers and speakers in the country.

In her work as a humorist, storyteller, singer and songwriter, she has taken home a full armload of awards and recognitions. She has worked on and created successful peace projects including the Peace by Piece Project in collaboration with the Taubman Museum of Fine Arts

Watch Kim telling "The Lap"

Doug Elliott

Doug ElliotDoug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher, and harmonica wizard. For many years made his living as a traveling herbalist, gathering and selling herbs, teas, and remedies. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to the natural world. In recent years he has performed and presented programs at festivals, museums, botanical gardens, nature centers and schools from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival.

Watch Doug's promotional video

Lyn Ford

Lyn FordLyn Ford is a fourth-generation, award-winning Affrilachian storyteller, a nationally recognized workshop facilitator, and a published author. Lyn is also a Thurber House mentor to young authors, a teaching artist with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) and the Ohio State-Based Collaborative Initiative of the Kennedy Center (OSBCI), and a grandmother of ten. Lyn’s 2015 book, Hot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories for Strong Hearts is also a creative-writing resource; Lyn’s fourth book (written with storytelling friend, Sherry Norfolk), Boo-Tickle Tales: Not-So-Scary Stories for Kids, was published and nominated for an Anne Izard Award in the spring of 2017.

Watch Lyn performing at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival


Michael Reno Harrell

Michael Reno HarrellIt was just natural that Michael Reno Harrell would become a storyteller, because it just comes so naturally to him. His style has been described as being “like a breakfast of butter and molasses on a warm biscuit… Southern, easy and sweet.” It’s Southern alright. It couldn’t be anything else considering Michael’s Southern Appalachian roots. But, his stories reflect events and histories common to all. And “easy” is as good an adjective to describe Michael’s style as any. His personal experience based stories certainly are easy to listen to. And easy depicts his style of telling as well. He gives his audience space to absorb and to savor… and to laugh!

Watch Michael Reno Harrell performing "Remind Me Why I Came Into This Room"