If you love stories and you haven’t heard of Story Corps, you must be living under a rock. Their mobile recording studio in an airstream trailer was in Tucson at the Joel D. Valdez library a few years ago and I had the privilege of adding my story to their archives housed somewhere in the Smithsonian Museum. You can sign up for their weekly newsletter (firstname.lastname@example.org) that includes a video story or listen to some of the stories they have collected here.
You can also get podcasts from the mother of personal storytelling, The Moth, whose tagline is “true stories told live.”
At Short Story Radio you can hear original stories read by professional readers in a classy English accent. Ian Skillicorn began this website in 2006 in order to “promote the short story form and short story writers, and to broadcast quality recordings of short stories via the website and podcast.” They state that their stories are listened to “by tens of thousands of people a month, from all over the world.”
What about kids? Just like storytime at the library, your child can hear a free story at Storynory. You can listen to it on the website or download it to hear later. They offer original stories, fairy tales and classics which includes Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde.
If you’re not sure how to be a good listener, it’s all spelled our for you at Story Arts where they say “enthusiastic listeners create great storytellers” and have designed a listening skills rubric
Observable Traits of an Enthusiastic Listener: An alert, enthusiastic listener apparently focuses attention on the speaker, and responds appropriately to dramatic or comedic moments in the communication with silence, laughter, and body language. This type of active listening encourages the communicator.
The website lays out a chart to evaluate someone’s listening skills ranked from beginner to accomplished.
If a storyteller told a story in a forest and there was no one there to hear it, is it a story?