The National Storytelling Network is a membership organization made up of individuals and organizations involved in storytelling. Its mission is to advance all forms of storytelling within the community through promotion, advocacy, and education.


A world in which all people value the power of storytelling and its ability to connect, inspire, and instill respect within our hearts and communities.


Responsive Innovation: Continuous adaptation of our work in response to changing and community needs.

Cultural Awareness and Engagement: Sensitivity and respect for diverse individuals and communities
Inclusion: Advancement of equity by elevating underrepresented voices.

Collaboration: Employing the power of storytelling as a way to support the missions of our partnering organizations.

Integrity: Acting with transparency, honesty, and sincerity.

Our History

On a crisp October day in 1975, in a small town in Tennessee, people gathered to hear and to tell stories and took them back to their own communities. Kathryn Windham, a journalist, and storyteller slapped down $5 and said, “We need a membership organization, and I’m the first member.”

Initially named the National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling, the early focus centered on producing that annual festival in Jonesborough. But, as membership expanded they created festivals and events all over the country. Storytelling spread to schools, libraries, national and state parks, corporations and non-profits, churches and places of physical and psychic healing, coffee shops and nightspots.

Renamed in 1998 the National Storytelling Network is an international community of storytellers. Today, 1,600 individuals and affiliated organizations comprise the National Storytelling Network with our offices located in Kansas City, Missouri in partnership with the award-winning Mid-Continent Public Library System, and its Woodneath Library Story Center.

NSN continues to support individuals, organizations, and communities that foster the growth of storytelling in education, arts performance, organizational communications, healing arts, and beyond. Our creative and innovative members are the bedrock of our organization, sharing wisdom and expertise, encouraging excellence, and exploring new paths in storytelling. We believe in the transformative power of story. We value diversity. We are the National Storytelling Network: We grow storytellers.

Holiday Closings

The NSN office is closed in observance of the holidays listed below.

New Year’s DayFriday, January 1Saturday, January 1
(Observed Friday, December 31, 2021)
Sunday, January 1
(Observed Monday, January 2, 2023)
Martin Luther
King Jr. Day
Monday, January 18Monday, January 17Monday, January 16
Presidents’ DayMonday, February 15Monday, February 21Monday, February 20
Good FridayFriday, April 2Friday, April 15Friday, April 7
Patriots’ DayMonday, April 19Monday, April 18Monday, April 17
Memorial DayMonday, May 31Monday, May 30Monday, May 29
Juneteenth Independence DaySaturday, June 19
(Observed Friday,
June 18)
Sunday, June 19
(Observed Monday,
June 20)
Monday, June 19
Independence DayMonday, July 5Monday, July 4Tuesday, July 4
Labor DayMonday, September 6Monday, September 5Monday, September 4
Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Columbus Day)Monday, October 11Monday, October 10Monday, October 9
Veterans DayThursday, November 11Friday, November 11 Saturday, November 11
(Observed Friday, November 10)
Thanksgiving BreakWednesday, November 24 – Friday, November 26Wednesday, November 23 – Friday, November 25Wednesday, November 22 – Friday, November 24
Year’s Break
Thursday, December 23 – Monday, January 3, 2022Friday, December 23 – Tuesday, January 3, 2023 Friday, December 22 – Monday, January 2, 2024
Holidays observed by the National Storytelling Network and the date of observation are subject to change.

Inclement Weather Closings

Inclement weather closings are decided upon to ensure the safety of our staff. In the event of an office closure due to inclement weather, we will post announcements via the NSN website and social media channels.

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