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The Unknown Storyteller Project
To learn more about my research and keep informed about forthcoming publications, please sign up to my mailing list via the link at the top of this page and/or join my Unknown Storyteller Facebook page and group. I currently offer courses in the methodology on line and on request - please contact me for more information or click below.
Reception for Story and Structure: A complete guide
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: Mythic Structure for Writers
Winner Book of the Year Award Informational Nonfiction Award Winner
Leon Conrad takes readers around the world to look at eighteen distinct story structures – from Quest to Tricksters, from Rags-to-Riches to Death-and-Rebirth. The idea that stories can be mapped using six symbols is fascinating. Yes, there are rules and laws that govern every story that’s ever been told. Anyone who loves to read stories – or loves to write them – will find much to learn and amuse in STORY AND STRUCTURE
Lisa See, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
Photo: Asís G. Ayerbe - Wikimedia Commons
Firebird Book Award Winner 2022
New Nonfiction Category
A scholarly and intricately detailed analysis of the writing process
2022 Independent Author Network (IAN) Book of the Year Awards Finalist
Conrad spent years doing the heavy lifting of studying classic texts from around the world and pulling out the narrative and structural rules that any writer needs to know. Buy this book, read it, study it and write better stories inspired by the classic themes and structures.
extraordinary book ... twenty-two detailed chapters ... a simple and easy-to-understand visualization of story structures Leon Conrad is passionate about stories ... He effortlessly depicts the link between stories and life. His dedication ... is evident. Nobody can deny that the book is well-researched. The way Conrad uses story structures to analyze poetic forms ... is admirable. One of my favorite chapters in this book would be the one on tragedy ... Conrad includes three original stories in this section. Though short, the stories rang a bell for me. This is a testament to Conrad’s talent as an author. I would love to read some of his fiction stories. ... an enlightening read ... bound to teach you a lot about stories and life. The thought-provoking illustrations by Jason Chuang add a special edge to this special book. I highly recommend Leon Conrad’s book to writers and academics. Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Faced with stories of magical bears that transform into wisps of smoke that make fascinating patterns on the walls of a wigwam, or talking fish that grant any wish we want, who'd want to go beyond that magical world to look at the patterns, or structures, of the stories in which these magical and mysterious characters appear?
Beyond that magical world, there's a brand-new world full of new information about story that awaits us! This is the world of the Unknown Storyteller
There are so many new things we can learn about story - even though we've been telling stories for literally thousands of years. Most importantly, we can discover new things about story structures that will prove useful to writers, narrative therapists, creative writing teachers, storytellers, story lovers and inquisitive, curious human beings. These things will inspire us, help us engage more authentically in what we love doing, and have the story we want to see unfold in our lives manifest itself through the way we live our lives.
My research centres on using George Spencer-Brown's Calculus of Indications (CoI), as outlined in his book, Laws of Form, to analyse story structure. It's a powerful tool which reveals a surprising amount of new information about story and how it works. I was fortunate enough to become George Spencer-Brown's last student. I got to know him in the last three years of his life. At first, he mentored me weekly, taking me through Laws of Form, following which we developed a meaningful friendship which lasted until his death.
Find out more in the introductory video below.
An introduction to
Laws of Form
Since its first publication in 1969, the book has become something of a cult classic. It outlines a powerful content-free calculus based on a single act of making a distinction. From there, Spencer-Brown traces the path the universe takes to come into being, in and of itself, in order (as he argues) to know itself.
The free 15-part on-line course presents a close reading of the main body of the book and goes through it chapter by chapter, theorem by theorem, consequence by consequence, looking at the proofs step by step, expanding and explaining the shorthand references Spencer-Brown presents in the elegant but minimalistic main body of his work.
The 2022 Laws of Form conference (LoF22) took place on Thursday 4th, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th, August 2022 in The Old Library at the University of Liverpool, 23 Abercromby Square, Liverpool L69 7ZN.
This is the same venue in which LoF50 took place in August 2019.
The conference was organised in cooperation with West Den Haag, an international platform for contemporary art.www.westdenhaag.nl
Details of how to submit papers for publication related to George Spencer-Brown's work will follow shortly.
We warmly invite you to connect.
With best wishes,
Florian, Graham, Leon and Randy. LoF22 Organising Committee
Story and Structure Signed Ltd Edn Hardback
One of a Special Numbered Edition limited to only 450 copies. Harness the power of story to access more flow in your life. Select the appropriate postage and packing charge at checkout.
Story and Structure Paperback
Harness the power of story to access more flow in your life. Using just six primary symbols, Story and Structure tells the untold story of how story works. It outlines eighteen story structures and shows how they all contain optimal solutions to the different kinds of problems which give rise to each of them. The book reveals hitherto unfathomed depths to narrative, demonstrates a much wider application of storytelling than is generally perceived and presents story as a dynamic force of life. Select the appropriate postage and packing charge at checkout.
Aesop the Storyteller Book and Audio CD
Twelve versified Aesopic fables laid out to encourage vibrancy in reading aloud. The fables are perfectly complemented by Alessandro Scafi's charming illustrations and Leon's virtuosic audio recordings of the poems. Select the appropriate postage and packing charge at checkout.
How well do you know your history? Pit your wits against this collection of 30 cultural riddles featuring popular historical stories and legends. How many riddles will you be able to solve? Engage with these riddles out of sheer fun and curiosity as a reader, or use them when facilitating an Odyssey Dynamic Learning System journey (Liberalis Books, 2015). You'll find they intrigue, tease, inform, educate, enlighten, and entertain. Still guessing? There are clues to help you. Think you've cracked them? Check out the background information for the answers and for suggestions on exploring topics further. Enjoy stories? Enjoy history? You'll love this book! Select the appropriate postage and packing charge at checkout.
Odyssey: Dynamic Learning Journey
Imagine you're in a room, looking at a colourful grid of many different shapes spread out on a wall. There's something intriguing about it—something almost magical. There are triangles, circles, squares, stars. Each has something on it—a word or diagram. There's one shape of each colour … placed in a strange formation … what could the underlying pattern be? It's as if each shape is a door or window to another world; the whole display a chocolate box for the mind—a magical carriage to take you on a journey through your imagination. Get ready to embark on your very own Odyssey journey—a unique journey unlike any you've ever gone on before. Select the appropriate postage and packing charge at checkout.