Source: Working with Stories
Stories are like seeds. They condense complex understandings and perspectives into packages that can be transmitted and stored, then retrieved from storage, planted, and germinated again in the fertile soil of receptive minds. Stories can be studied and supported to help societies become more resilient in times of crisis.The abstract of a conversational story is a prelude in which the storyteller asks the audience for permission to tell a story. Statements of evaluation are direct lines of communication from storyteller to audience. In a story’s coda, the storyteller closes the circle of narrated events and ends the narrative event.
“I wanted to say thanks for making Working with Stories available. It’s an amazing piece of work, so simple (not the ideas, but the presentation) and unintimidating.”
“Your detailed description of [the sensemaking] process is so useful and helpful. It makes seasoned facilitators like me yearn to try out the ideas.”
“Over the past few months I have been reading, reflecting, and feasting on your experiences working with stories. I am really excited to have found Working With Stories because it seems like a rich set of options for our needs.”
“Your terminology and explanation of participatory narrative inquiry have helped me greatly in understanding what I want from my practice and what I might be capable of achieving in social change.”
“I have been returning to Working With Stories time and again over the past six months to help support a community project, and my printed copy is underlined, noted and dog-eared.”
Kurtz, C. 2014. Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization: Participatory Narrative Inquiry. Third Edition. New York: Kurtz-Fernhout Publishing.
NarraFirma is companion software to Working with Stories. The book describes the use of NarraCat, but I’ve since moved on to develop something even better. Many of the questions and recommendations you can find in NarraFirma come straight out of Working with Stories. So if you’re looking for practical help carrying out Participatory Narrative Inquiry projects, look no further.
Cynthia Kurtz wrote the first edition of Working with Stories in 2008 and the second edition in 2009. She finished the greatly expanded third edition in 2014. She estimates that she put about 2.5 person-years into all three editions of the book. Crazy? Maybe.
Cynthia is a researcher, consultant, writer, and software developer. She has been helping communities and organizations work with their stories since 1999. She has consulted on more than eighty narrative projects for a variety of government agencies and for-profit and non-profit corporations. Working with a series of collaborators, Cynthia developed participatory narrative inquiry, an approach to story work that helps communities and organizations make better, more grounded decisions by making sense of their own stories.
You can read more about Cynthia’s professional history on her web site at cfkurtz.com. (Click on “Bio” in the menu for the full story.)
Source: Working with Stories