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The Unknown Storyteller Course
The next live course starts on
Saturday 17 June 2023

5-6 pm BST (UK)
9-10 am PDT/PST
12-1 pm EDT/EST

The course runs weekly for ten
1-hour sessions
to Saturday 19 August 2023 inclusive
About the course
What makes story 'story'?
What's the hidden code that makes stories work?
This course provides a clear answer to these questions.
Based on the methodology outlined in Leon Conrad's award-winning book, Story and Structure: A complete guide, it covers six key story structures in detail and gives an overview of a further fourteen structures identified to date.
The course is aimed at adults with an interest in narrative - If you are a storyteller, writer, narratologist, literary theorist, systems theorist, political analyst, historian, narrative therapist, or just have an interest in how stories work, this course is for you.

Course outline
Taught interactively via Zoom and Nearpod.
Course details will be shared on registration.
Week 1
Week 1
Introduction, Structure 1: Transformation, Structure 2: Quest
Week 2
Week 2
Structure 3: Trickster, Structure 4: Revelation, Linear and Dynamic structures
Week 3
Week 3
Structure 5: Call and Response, Structure 6: Chinese Circular Structure
Week 4
Week 4
Plot patterns, the narrator, descriptions, transitions
Week 5
Week 5
Open-ended and closed structures
Week 6
Week 6
The unfolding of story structures
Week 7
Week 7
Mapping the dynamic Chinese Circular Structure to the linear structures covered
Week 8
Week 8
The story structure of sentences, the quality of sentence types
Week 9
Week 9
The story structure of poetic forms
Week 10
Week 10
Left open-ended for student requests or content which emerges from engagement with the course
Homework will be set for most sessions and participants will have the opportunity to share work in and between sessions.
If you are unable to attend a course, but would like to book a 1:1 story structure consultancy session, you can do so easily here.
What you will get after the course
Certificate of completion
Course materials for reference and personal use
Discounts and special offers on future courses
Ground-breaking content
The result of a 10-year research project sheds new light on story and how it works despite the fact that we've been telling stories for literally thousands of years, this course, and the methodology it is based on are your invitation to rethink your idea of the familiar stranger that is story.
Flexible, supportive, creative approach
While the course content is set, the delivery is open-ended - the live course is flexible and can be tailored to individual learners' needs. We use an interactive platform (Nearpod) and students are invited to share work with individual and group email support throughout the course.
Endorsements for Story and Structure
With a breathtakingly simple and yet profound handful of symbols, Conrad has created a flexible and precise system for analyzing the inner structure of stories. With this lens he lays bare the absolute essence of all the imaginable story forms, from fairy tales and quest stories to tragedies, riddles and koans. It's a powerful tool for storytellers and scholars and will change forever how you view the simple but profound act of saying “Once upon a time..”
Christopher Vogler, author of The Writer's Journey

“A scholarly and intricately detailed analysis of the writing process.”
Joan Singleton, screenwriter/producer

Winner of a Firebird Award for New Nonfiction 2022

Shortlisted for The People's Book Prize 2022
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