The Secret To Success In Podcasting Isn’t What You Think It Is
June 3, 2023

Stanford Storytelling Project Managing Editor Laura Joyce Davis was featured in this Forbes story by Jia Wertz.

“It’s time we start thinking of podcasting as an art form, not a product to sell,” says Laura Joyce Davis, Lecturer at Stanford, and CEO of Narrative Podcasts.

Bonnie Swift on the Passion that Led to Her Audio Story ‘Tokitae’

The Daily sat down with Stanford alumna Bonnie Swift ’08 to discuss her first long-form audio story published on Audible about captive orca Tokitae, also known as Lolita and Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut, and her decades-long fight to bring the killer whale back to the Salish Sea after more than 50 years of Tokitae living in the Miami Seaquarium.
By Katerina Machetta
The Stanford Daily
Dec. 28, 2021


‘Meeting the Moment’ and inspiring students to thrive and derive meaning amid fear and uncertainty 
By Chris Peacock
The Stanford Report
October 29, 2020

Meeting the Moment, a new series of programs developed by Stanford’s Office for Religious and Spiritual Life for the 2020-2021 academic year, aims to help students and others confront “societal, economic and spiritual upheaval” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.The programming was designed to inspire and to help the campus community find meaning during this unprecedented academic year and is intended for those with varied – or no – spiritual or faith backgrounds…more

Sarah Broom on Writing, Resistance
By Zack Boyd
The Stanford Daily
February 18, 2020

Sarah M. Broom is the author of The Yellow House, winner of the 2019 National Book Award and featured on dozens of 2019 Best Books lists. Through the intimate story of her family’s home, The Yellow House offers a new story about not only New Orleans but about defying the forces of race and class in the American neighborhoods we rarely see.  more

A delightful storytelling evening with Madeline Miller
By Cooper Veit
The Stanford Daily
May 13, 2019

When you think of a mythology book reading on a Tuesday night at Stanford during midterms week, you would be forgiven for imagining that event as a small and geriatric affair — one with criminally low attendance and death-of-the-humanities gravity. The storytelling event put on by the Stanford Storytelling Project on May 7 featured bestselling author Madeline Miller…more

Salt in My Soul: The Memoir of Mallory Smith
by Christy Hartman
SCOPE, Stanford Medicine
May 23, 2019

Cystic fibrosis took Mallory Smith’s life, but her memoir lives on. For more than ten years, Mallory recorded her thoughts and observations about struggles and feelings too personal to share during her life, leaving instructions for her mother to publish her work posthumously. more

Cameron Tenner receives Braden Storytelling Grant
By Regina Ta
The Stanford Daily
November 1, 2018

Tenner will use the grant to explore how the Los Angeles River impacts its history and legacy. more

The Stanford Storytelling Project transitions from radio broadcasting to online podcasts
By Swara Tewari
The Stanford Daily
October 5, 2018

In the past two quarters, the Stanford Storytelling Project (SSP) has started shifting the emphasis of its show “State of the Human” more

Stanford Storytelling Project captures human experience in “State of the Human” podcast
By Kim Ngo
The Stanford Daily
January 18, 2017

“It doesn’t matter what we bury: a body, a feeling, or an object. We expect it to stay buried. We put it aside and bid it farewell… But sometimes the grave is not a final resting place.” — so begins the podcast “State of the Human,” run by the the Stanford Storytelling Project (SSP), an arts program on campus that seeks to promote the art of storytelling within the undergraduate community. more


7 Steps to Telling a Fantastic Story
By Rachael Schultz
Men’s Health 
March 10, 2016

“From Pixar films to high-school plays to magazine features, every good story needs a conflict,” says Jonah Willihnganz, director of the Stanford Storytelling Project at Stanford University. more

Anna Deavere Smith talks about the healing power of stories
By Vanna Tran
The Dish
November 1, 2015

“On Oct. 28, hundreds gathered at Memorial Auditorium for a night of storytelling and conversation with former Stanford faculty member ANNA DEAVERE SMITH, an award-winning pioneer in the field of documentary theater.”more

The Podcast Invasion
By Nick Veronin
July 30, 2015

“… Some of the freshest faces on the podcasting scene are Rosie La Puma and Eileen Williams, undergraduate students working with the Stanford Storytelling Project. The project aims to “promote the transformative nature of traditional and modern oral storytelling” by giving students the skills and tools to create their own audio stories. …” more

Telling True Stories: Braden Grant helps Stanford students broadcast audio documentaries
By Elizabeth Schwyzer
Palo Alto Weekly 
June 25, 2015

“First-hand accounts of American drag queens and gender artists. Stories of children living in orphanages in Ghana. The experience of women after serving prison sentences in California, the beliefs of native healers in Hawaii, and the origins of the American folk song, “We Shall Overcome.” These are among the audio documentaries created by the recipients of the Braden Grant…” more

Stanford undergrads explore the power of storytelling with audio documentaries
By Josh Hoyt
Stanford News
March 1, 2015

“From orphans in Ghana to drag queens in San Francisco — Stanford students in a storytelling program have learned about communities, events, and traditions both foreign and familiar. In April the latest audio documentaries will be aired on campus radio stations KZSU and released online on the Stanford Storytelling website…” more

KZSU and SSP: The Letters of Stanford Radio
By Niuniu Teo
West Magazine
March 1, 2015

“Walking into the KZSU radio station is a bit like entering a time capsule. Concrete steps lead down to the building, featuring carpeted rooms with a formidable number of multi-colored cables, brown filing cabinets stacked on top of each other, and shelves filled with painstakingly categorized and alphabetized LPs, fraying at the edges. The current show plays from speakers located throughout the rooms. A small group of local volunteers, students, and alumni are nestled into different nooks of the building, flipping through music libraries and exchanging familiar banter, the entire station humming with low-budget love. …”more

The eccentric Maria Bamford charms at CEMEX Auditorium
By Ian Anstee
The Stanford Daily
January 29, 2015

“Hilarious, simply hilarious. That’s the aptest description I can give for Maria Bamford’s sidesplitting performance last Monday night. Invited to Stanford as part of The Stanford Storytelling Project series, this rather spindly, 5-foot-6 comedian capitalized on the accessibility of stand-up comedy to recount her life story — namely, her struggles with mental illness and performance. …”more

Cheryl Strayed, Heartbreak Kid
By Justin Beed
The Stanford Arts Review
January 19, 2015

“Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things and Wild are the kind of books that make one cry in public places, like in an aisle seat of an airplane, dried out and manically laughing at the absurdity of yourself and the fullness of life. And when Strayed came to Stanford on January 13th, her often-heartening words elicited a similar kind of reaction in the watery-eyed crowd of CEMEX auditorium. But her work is not altogether sentimental. Not everybody who reads her books is prone to empathetic bouts of sniveling. Besides, her words are far from sappy, they’re strapping, they’re with it, they’re vital, they’re brutal, they’re brave and they’re honest. …”more

Wild author Cheryl Strayed received overflow audience
By Elizabeth Wallace
The Stanford Daily
January 13, 2015

““So many people felt that Wild was a book about them,” Strayed said of the many fans who have spoken and written to her about how similar their stories are of grief and coping with such traumatic experiences. “It is about you,” she assured the audience. Strayed spoke of writing technique at several points throughout her talk and joked to the audience multiple times that she was going to lock the doors and have a writing workshop all night long. …”more

Author of Wild Cheryl Strayed discusses her writing and life at Stanford
By Marty Semilla
The Stanford Daily
January 13, 2015

“After author Cheryl Strayed read an excerpt from her book “Tiny Beautiful Things” — a collection of her “Dear Sugar” advice columns — on Tuesday at Cemex Auditorium, the audience was silent and in tears. “Don’t cry, or else I’ll start crying too,” she exclaimed after she sat down. Despite the size of the crowd — the auditorium was packed full, and hundreds of people were turned away at the door — the intimacy she possesses as a writer and as a speaker drew everybody in. Strayed, perhaps best known for her memoir “Wild,” which was recently turned into a film starring Reese Witherspoon, was speaking at Stanford as part of the Stanford Storytelling Project’s author talks series. …”more

The Minds Behind the Graphic Novel: Marjane Satrapi and Chris Ware Come to Stanford
By Kelsey Dayton
The Stanford Arts Review
November 17, 2014

“For those audience members who had done their unassigned reading, seeing Chris Ware and Marjane Satrapi on the expansive stage at CEMEX Auditorium, mic’d up under the bright theatre lights, was a bit surreal. The two graphic novelists bear an uncanny resemblance to the cartoon protagonists of their respective best-sellers. They sat in those big leather armchairs that Stanford brings out for high-profile speaker events, arranged around a thick Persian rug which had been inexplicably laid out at the center of the stage to make the space a sort of displaced simulacrum of a shady private club sitting room. The whole thing was a cartoon strip brought to life. …”more

Graphic novelists Chris Ware and Marjane Satrapi discuss their work
By Marty Semilla
The Stanford Daily
November 10, 2014

“Last Friday, the Stanford Storytelling Project and the Stanford Speakers Bureau brought graphic novelists Chris Ware (‘Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth’) and Marjane Satrapi (‘Persepolis’) to Cemex auditorium to talk about the nature of the graphic novel, as well as their writing processes.
“Ware and Satrapi have very different on-stage personalities. Ware is self-deprecating, revealing his modesty. He remarked, ‘I’m much more comfortable sitting at a desk and having no external forces exerted upon me at all. The whole idea of doing anything and showing it to anyone conscious is mortifying to me.’ However, Satrapi is brazen, revealing how comfortable she is in her own skin. She openly admitted, ‘It’s really 10 percent of [all] people that I really like.’ …”more

Workshop helps Stanford students hone their storytelling skills
By Joshua Hoyt
Stanford Humanities Center
November 3, 2014

“Now a graduate student in the School of Education, Michaela Karis was a young girl when her family took a road trip through the Arizona desert. It was the family’s first trip with three young kids. The trip was going pretty well until they took a wrong turn down an unmarked desert road and got their car stuck in the sand. The family outing suddenly turned into a life-threatening situation.
“That was the beginning of the story Karis told in front of a group of classmates and professional storytellers at a recent Stanford event. Karis was one of about 30 students to participate in an oral storytelling workshop in which members of The Moth, a nationwide storytelling organization, coached Stanford students in the art of storytelling. …”more

Un-neat and Un-placeable: The Moth Comes to Stanford
By Kelsey Dayton
Stanford Arts Review
October 22, 2014

“I arrived at Dinkelspiel Auditorium on Friday night to a sold out show where people were buying T-shirts and CDs as if at a rock concert. And in some sense of the word, we were at one— the Moth, an organization that specializes in live memoir, had come to Stanford for a special edition of its showcase program, the Moth MainStage. Usually put on only a couple of times a year in just the major cities, the Moth MainStage is the Capital B Big Time, drawing rock stars from all corners of the creative and expressive worlds to do what they love doing in its purest, most primal form: storytelling. …”more

Tig Notaro: Using comedy to deal with cancer was a “godsend”
By Jacqueline Genovese
SCOPE, Stanford Medicine
March 6, 2014

“Stand-up comic Tig Notaro brought her unique brand of comedy to Stanford early this week, and she didn’t disappoint the standing-room-only audience of students, faculty, staff and community members gathered on campus.
Notaro, a fairly successful stand-up comic before 2012, exploded on the national scene when she greeted an audience at the Largo in Los Angeles with the words, ‘Thank you, thank you, I have cancer, thank you, I have cancer, really, thank you’…”more

Tig Notaro entertains in her comedy show
By Irene Hsu
The Stanford Daily
March 5, 2014

“Stand-up comedian Tig Notaro performed last night in Cubberley Auditorium to a full audience. Her show featured audience interaction towards the second half and was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Dan Klein ’91, instructor of improvisation. ‘The show was a huge success,’ said Elizabeth Quinlan ’13, events coordinator for the Storytelling Project. ‘I think there were people laughing out loud every 10 seconds. It was a rare and amazing moment to have someone so well-known to be interacting with the audience’…”more

Julie Snyder, from “This American Life,” shares her story
By Alex Zivkovic
The Stanford Daily
January 23, 2014

“Snyder’s humble beginnings in media began on her college campus as a student at UC-Santa Cruz, where she took a class on radio journalism. Her specific interest and strength in radio stem from her ability to tell a story intuitively.
“I had the understanding of a plot and tension and an idea and a reflection at the end,” she said.
When she first applied for the job at “This American Life,” the show had only been on the air for a year…”more

Lemony Snicket shares inspiration, advice for storytelling
By Josee Smith
The Stanford Daily
October 11, 2013

“’It’s magical to do something when you think no one is going to care.’ That is how Daniel Handler—more commonly known as Lemony Snicket—went into the writing process of his popular children’s series, ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events.’ Through collaboration between the Stanford Storytelling Project and the Stanford Speaker’s Bureau, Handler gave a talk at Cemex Auditorium Wednesday night….”more

12 Storytelling Podcasts That You Need To Be Listening To
September 24, 2013

“WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN: It’s a very well-produced radio podcast featuring handpicked stories from the students of Stanford University. Great presentation with a hint of college enthusiasm. WOO SPRING BREAAAAAAK!”more

Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Announces Recipients of 2013 Annual Awards
Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
Press Release
April 05, 2013

“The General Oliver P. Smith Award: Stanford University journalist graduate student Xandra Clark, Palo Alto, Calif. and San Francisco State University Master of fine arts graduate, Natacha Ruck, San Francisco, Calif., for their production of the Stanford Storytelling radio show “Returning Home,” played on KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM, and KALW San Francisco. The hour long radio documentary tells the story of six Iraq war veterans who are students and recent Stanford University alumni…”more

Blood, sweat (but no tears) in Stanford HumBio Class
By R. F. MacKay
Stanford News
April 30, 2013

“[Anne] Friedlander’s seminar (HumBio135s: Applied Topics in Exercise Physiology and Metabolism) in spring 2012 focused on stress, exercise, fatigue and performance by looking at muscular and cardiovascular responses to exercise…. Friedlander, a consulting professor in the Program in Human Biology, asked students to first write a scientific paper and then create podcasts telling the same story…. Friedlander has always loved science on the radio, so she knows it’s possible to do it well. But she needed help. So she contacted the Stanford Storytelling Project…”more

Stanford Storytelling Project plans for a new audio journal
By Olivia Moore
The Stanford Daily
December 4, 2012

“When Jonah Willihnganz, Braden Lecturer in Narrative Art, conceived the idea of the Stanford Storytelling Project in 2007, he didn’t predict that within five years the project would expand to involve hundreds of students or be ready to launch an audio journal — the first of its kind. The project, which started out as a class taught by Willihnganz, now produces a radio show called ‘State of the Human’ that airs on KZSU, sponsors courses focused on the art of storytelling, hosts events that bring professional storytellers to Stanford and provides grants for undergraduate students to create oral storytelling projects…”more

Oral Fixation: The Stanford Storytelling Project
By Rachel Mewes
The Stanford Daily
November 27, 2012

“On the evening of Veterans’ Day, a room full of people sat facing an empty stage. There was no video footage or theatrical production for them to watch, yet each person stared transfixed, visualizing the nerve-wracking conflict, crippling heat and insidious boredom of deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan as they listened to the recorded voices of Stanford’s veterans…”more

After Veterans’ Day, the stories of student veterans endure (VIDEO)
By Xandra Clark
Peninsula Press
November 13, 2012

“Tomorrow night, The Stanford Storytelling Project will air Returning Home, an hour-long radio documentary that shares the stories of six veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, who returned and became students at Stanford University. In the documentary, they recount their decisions to join, their experiences at boot camp, transitioning to Iraq, serving during the occupation and returning home as very different men and women…”more

Veterans’ Day Vignettes
By Niunio Teo
The Stanford Daily
November 11, 2012

“On Veterans Day, six student veterans joined a panel to discuss their experiences of war. The event, titled ‘Voices from the front: Stanford students returning home from war,’ was hosted by the Stanford Storytelling Project. These are some of their stories. Anne Hsieh: Captain Anne Hsieh M.A. J.D. ’12 serves as a military lawyer. She has completed missions in Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Iraq and Afghanistan…”more

Stanford campus to honor its past and present veterans
By Kathleen J. Sullivan
Stanford Report
November 8, 2012

“On Sunday – Veterans Day – the Stanford Storytelling Project is hosting an evening of personal stories, music, letters and conversation with six Stanford student veterans who recently returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stanford veterans and some of their family members will come together for a single special event, “Voices from the Front: Stanford Students Returning Home from War,” to share what they have experienced and learned, both about war and about the journey home…”more

“This American Life’s” Ira Glass shares storytelling insights
By Robin Wander
Stanford Arts
November 7, 2012

“Most college-age students were just wee toddlers when This American Life was born on the radio in 1995. Thus, many grew up listening as their parents listened to host Ira Glass and his quirky contributors – David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell and David Rakoff, to name a few – delight in the ordinary and find poignancy in the everyday. For many, Glass is an American treasure. On Sunday, Nov. 4, 600 students and fans had the opportunity to see the man behind the voice…”more

Ira Glass on storytelling, humor
By Brendan O’Byrne
The Stanford Daily
November 5, 2012

“‘Radio is your most visual medium,’ radio host Ira Glass told a full CEMEX Auditorium on Sunday afternoon. He paused for several moments as the audience remained quiet. ‘That’s not actually true, but if you say it in a certain tone of voice…’ Glass is the host of ‘This American Life (TAL),’ a critically acclaimed weekly public radio show with around 1.7 million listeners. The show uses the power of storytelling to focus listeners on the emotional moments that traditional reporting often overlooks…”more

Everyone Has A Story; The Stanford Storytelling Project Shares Them
By Kelsey Geiser
Stanford Report
June 1, 2012

“Stanford sophomore Nick Hartley unexpectedly learned that his bone marrow was the perfect match for a patient in need. He knew he was in the position to save a life, and yet he was conflicted about going through with the transplant procedure. Hartley found catharsis in sharing his innermost feelings in a radio broadcast…. The audio recording of Hartley telling his story, along with seven other segments in which Stanford community members recount a personal story, make up the’ ‘How to Give’ episode of the radio show State of the Human…”more

Storytelling key to success, film executive says
By Julia Enthoven
The Stanford Daily
April 18, 2012

“Film executive and bestselling author Peter Guber called storytelling the ‘one-size-fits-all’ secret to success Tuesday night during a talk at CEMEX Auditorium. According to Guber, ‘The ability that you have to tell a purposeful story to move someone to action’ is the shared quality among ‘all great leaders.’ ‘Story, narrative, gives meaning to everything,’ he added. ‘It emotionalizes all the facts…[and] we are emotional creatures first…”more

Spinning Stanford’s Stories
By Erika Alvero Koski
The Stanford Daily
April 4, 2012

“‘He didn’t care that despite the vast amount of evidence he compiled, people could not let go of their fixed world view. He kept going. He was, in a word, resilient.’ A calm, cool voice floats over the air, highly reminiscent of one car drivers might tune in to while trapped in an early morning traffic jam. In this case it is the voice of Jonah Willihnganz, director of the Stanford Storytelling Project, as he opens the project’s latest episode…”more

Once Upon a Time: Radio Revival
By Diane Rogers
Stanford Magazine
May/June 2008

“‘I speak. Pause. We go straight to six. There’s a little bridge. I pause it.’ That’s Bonnie Swift giving Micah Cratty a quick rundown of cues for the upcoming show. The two senior producers of the Stanford Storytelling Project are crammed into Studio A at KZSU, headphones on, as Cratty prepares to adjust the levels on the antiquated soundboard in front of him. It’s 5:45 on a Monday evening, with 15 minutes to go before their weekly radio program launches…”more