Workshops / Keynotes

To download a printable brochure for colleges, universities, or educational organizations that sponsor conferences, click here.

Beauty & the Beast Storytellers offer a variety of workshops for adults* including:

"In the spring of 2011, Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss presented a professional development workshop to our reading council of K-12 classroom and reading teachers and administrators. Their program was informative, insightful and entertaining. Martha and Mitch are a talented couple who perform, inspire and quickly develop a warm rapport with their audience. Educators, children and parents can benefit from the passion and skill that are inherent in their presentations and authored works. We were fortunate to be the recipients of Mitch and Martha's expertise and enthusiasm and are confident that our body of educators will continue to explore and share the ideas and strategies of their program. We look forward to a future visit by this inspirational duo and heartily recommend them to others."

- Fred Seiden, Reading Specialists Council of Suffolk, Long Island, New York

"Mitch and Martha's keynote presentation at our Learning Network Conference in Denver was full of energy and insight. It sparked many teachers in the audience to understand the value of storytelling and how it can help them meet numerous learning standards. The evaluations were filled with adjectives such as "excellent," "vibrant," "moving," and "outstanding." A typical comment was "I loved this eye-opening presentation! The storytellers' enthusiasm kept me engaged and interested. They convinced me that teaching children the art of storytelling brings joy to the classroom and gives students a lifelong skill that will enable them to be successful in many areas."

- Phyllis Greenspan, Conference Coordinator, The Learning Network

"Colleges are being prodded by our accreditation agencies to ask how a student is different when she walks across the stage four years after coming to us. Can she read, write, think, and talk to an excellent degree? Talk?! Whoops! Oral expression has long been overlooked. And yet people who present themselves poorly - who can't effectively use voice, facial expressions, and gestures to communicate - may have all the talent in the world, but not be able to demonstrate it. Expressing oneself orally can be taught, though - and the oldest and perhaps best way to help people tune their voices, gain power over their body language, learn to speak at length without notes, and connect with an audience - is by teaching storytelling. Teaching this basic skill works wonders with college students; it adds a powerful and vital dimension to their education. I have had the privilege of teaching a popular course on storytelling at my college, and my students have enjoyed serving as coaches to elementary school students who were learning to tell stories themselves.

Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss's book, Children Tell Stories, has been a mainstay in my storytelling and children's literature classes for years. Having them spend an afternoon with us and share their techniques in person was a marvelous event."

- Charles Temple, Ph.D., Chair, Education Department, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York

"On a cold, dark, wet October evening teachers and college students from all over our county came to campus to hear Martha and Mitch present a workshop on storytelling in the classroom. Before long, the rain outside was forgotten and the sounds of excited laughter filled the auditorium. In just two hours Martha and Mitch explained to us why story is such an integral part of education, proved to us that we were all storytellers, and convinced us that the children in our schools could be storytellers, too. What's more, they gave us the tools we needed to get started. Teachers walked away from the workshop saying, 'I can't wait to do this in my classroom!'"

- Tracie L. Coskie, Ph. D., Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington

Mitch Weiss and Martha Hamilton, a.k.a. Beauty and the Beast Storytellers, treated the Tokyo chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators to an evening event, Words Take Wing: Adapting Old Tales for New Audiences, during their 2008 Japan international schools tour. Mitch and Martha told several of their adapted folktales, showed their DVD about storytelling in the classroom (from their book Children Tell Stories) and shared information on researching and adapting folktales. They described folktales as a flowing, changing process and gave sage advice to our Japan-based writers and illustrators working on retelling Japanese tales for publication. Audience members practiced telling stories to the wall in different voices and then were coached on accompanying actions and eye contact. The feedback from the writers, illustrators and educators who attended the lively and highly interactive event was overwhelmingly positive. Several weeks after the event I introduced Mitch and Martha's methods and exercises to my Japanese university students in a three-session unit on storytelling. The results were phenomenal, with even typically shy, reserved students mastering the art of telling stories in English with unexpected confidence and joy."

- Holly Thompson, SCBWI Tokyo Regional Advisor

"Your storytelling was a joy and a vital part of our 'In Celebration of Children's Literature' Conference. The evaluations of your performance and workshop included the words 'wonderful, fantastic, excellent, superb!' many times over. One attendee wrote, 'They were dynamic presenters who kept me wide awake during the last hour of the last afternoon!' Thanks so much for being here."

- Joyce Martin, University of Maine, College of Education


*For children's workshops see School Residencies.