Message from the President

Libby Tipton, 2018 President

Hello and welcome to the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild!  We are so glad you have chosen to visit our website.  In 1994, a small group of local individuals answered an advertisement in the newspaper to come together and tell stories.  Since that time, the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild (JSG) has been performing stories almost every week somewhere in downtown Jonesborough.   Today, we are pleased to be performing at the International Storytelling Center right on Main Street.  Our Tuesday night, Stories ‘n More is a popular place for people to come and hear a variety of wonderful stories suitable for the whole family, all at a reasonable cost.  You may even want to take some of our CDs home with you.  Be sure to ask how at one of our events.

JSG also hosts other storytelling concerts throughout the year at various venues including Discovery Park, the Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, Graveyard Tales (at beautiful Rocky Mount Museum) and the Christopher Taylor Cabin (sponsored by the Heritage Alliance), as well as our Tellabration event in November.  In addition, we are partners with Ballad Health, a generous donor to JSG, in a pilot program at Franklin Woods Community Hospital to bring storytelling as a healing art to patients and their families while they are in the hospital.  Feel free to peruse our website and learn more about the Guild including our performing members section which lists performer’s individual contact information and provides more about their specialty.  Perhaps you need a storyteller for an upcoming event.  Perhaps you have always wanted to tell stories from a stage.  Or maybe you just love stories and want to participate in an organization that promotes storytelling.  If so, JSG is just the right place so please contact us.  We would love to chat with you.  Again, thank you for taking the time to visit and we hope to see you soon!

-Libby Tipton, 2018 President


Jeff Stratton, 2016 President

Jeff Stratton 2Welcome to Tennessee’s longest, continually running guild of storytellers. We are a diversified association of persons having a commonly shared interest, that of connecting with our community by sharing our experiences, through humanity’s oldest form of communication, the telling of a story.

The JSG has been storytelling nearly every Tuesday night since 1994, additionally we hold various events such as Graveyard Tales, Tellebration and we host the Swapping Grounds at the National Storytelling Festival here in Jonesborough every October.  We’ve also performed at festivals, schools, community events, churches, senior centers and hospitals.

Our performing members, apprentices and supporting members are quite proud of what we do and how we connect with our audiences through our craft. Our stories range from legends, poems, fables, Jack Tales, stories of Appalachia, personal stories, children’s stories, songs, and tall tales to western, creative, religious, inspirational, historical, humorous, family, scary and creative tales.

As many of our storytellers also perform on an individual basis outside of the guild, please refer to our list of performing members for contact information.

The JSG and I invite you to treat yourself to the oldest form of human interaction, come join us and make it a part of your storytelling journey too.

—- Jeff Stratton, Jonesborough Storytellers Guild, 2016 President


Leon Overbay, 2015 President, in memoriam

Leon Overbay 1-cThe Jonesborough Storytellers Guild is stepping into its 21st year, and I am excited. It seems like just yesterday when David Joe Miller addressed the group that showed up that first night proclaiming,

“I would like to form a storytellers guild.” And Bob Phillips responded, “What’s a storytellers guild?” We’ve been defining that term ever since.

A weekly venue was begun at Cornbreads, and the adventure began. In addition, with the January telling at Crumley House, we will have completed five years of monthly telling to our friends with traumatic brain injury. I reckon with special programs, we’ve performed over 1,000 times and shared over 4,000 stories. We still have some of the original cast, but the reason we’ve thrived is that each year we have been blessed with new tellers and new listeners who by their participation have added so richly to our experience.

What will the New Year bring? I can’t wait to see. Let the storytelling begin.

—- Leon Overbay, Jonesborough Storytellers Guild 2015 President