Women’s Storytelling Festival to be both live and virtual this year

'This festival specifically celebrates female voices, putting our creativity and visions front and center.'

Better Said Than Done will host the 2022 Women’s Storytelling Festival from March 18 to 20 both in-person and online. Now in its third year, the festival will showcase 22 female storytellers in a wide range of styles and themes featuring diverse experiences and cultures.

Storyteller Bonnie Gardner (Vienna, VA) has this to say about the festival weekend: “Live, in-person storytelling is all about connection — the storyteller with the audience, the audience with the story — and after two years of COVID living, we’re all a little starved for connection. The festival is a great opportunity for all of us, whether on the stage, in the room, or watching remotely, to refill our tanks.”

Noa Baum (Silver Spring, MD) adds, “I’m so excited to BE with others, and especially other women! I look forward to learning and growing as an artist with this opportunity to share the stage with so many amazing women artists — some I know and have long admired, some I’ve only heard about and am excited to finally meet.”

About the festival being a hybrid event, festival producer Jessica Robinson (Fairfax, VA) has this to say: “Because we were forced to present the festival virtually last year, our entirely virtual audience joined us from all over the world. Though we are excited to be able to perform in person this year, we wanted to allow our new fans to experience this year’s festival as well. We decided to live-stream it, so all ticket holders could watch during the festival weekend, no matter where they live, and also to give everyone who has a ticket the ability to watch the festival videos over the course of a month. If anyone misses any part of the live events, or just wants to enjoy again, they have a month to watch.”

The 2022 Women’s Storytelling Festival, hosted by Better Said Than Done, kicks off Friday, March 18, 2022, at 7:00 PM EDT, and finishes Sunday, March 20, at 6:00 PM, in-person at The Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax, VA. At the same time the festival will also be live-streamed. All ticket holders, whether in-person or virtual, will be able to watch the festival videos for one month after the festival concludes.

For schedules and other details, visit bettersaidthandone.com/womens-festival/. Festival tickets ($55 in person, $40 virtual) are on sale now at bettersaidthandone.com/womens-festival/. The live performances will include a Story Swap, which is an open-mic storytelling event open to all in-person ticket holders. Stories in the festival stories are intended for a mature audience, and people of all gender identities are welcome to attend.

COVID Safety: To keep storytellers and listeners safe, attendees must show proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test taken within 24 hours to enter the Old Town Hall. All attendees are required to remain masked while inside at the event.

The finale of the all-virtual 2021 Women’s Storytelling Festival.

“I come from a long line of incredibly strong women,” says Susanne Schmidt (Burlington, VT). “Some came to this country in search of a better life, some came to escape horrible situations, and others came at the will of someone more powerful. They all had one thing in common, a story that has outlived them.” Denise Page (Madison, CT) adds, “In most cultures, women are the keepers of generational transfer of information. Herstory is often not found in history. Spotlighting women gives a platform and a practice which allows the perspective and journey of womanism to be heard.”

Lyn Ford (Columbus, OH) continues, “I learned the art and craft of storytelling from elders in my family. I’m proud to carry on their traditions in my own way. Their storytelling has given me a foundation in my Affrilachian heritage, creative tools in communication, and an appreciation of the importance of really hearing others.”

Andrea Young (Baltimore, MD) continues on the theme: “In today’s world of information overload, storytelling is a way to capture attention, connect with others through emotion, and remind us that humanity exists through stories we tell, hear, and remember.”

Of the festival’s importance as a space for women artists, Linda Schuyler Ford (Tallahassee, FL) adds, “There is an exponential richness that happens among women who share their art, and little opportunity for that unique sharing to happen. Though female storytellers outnumber their male counterparts, men are given more opportunities.” Kim Weitkamp (Mount Vernon, OH) expounds, “This event is a shining beacon. Sharing, listening, telling — knee to knee. Keeping it true and real and letting each other know you are not alone, things aren’t perfect, there is power in the coming together.”

“Women are often stereotyped in the storytelling world as telling entirely to children, typically as teachers and librarians. The WSF highlights the range of women’s stories,” says Miriam Nadel (Vienna, VA). Carol Moore (Herndon, VA) adds, “This festival specifically celebrates female voices, putting our creativity and visions front and center. We’ve also become this sisterhood of storytellers, creating a network that spans far beyond a festival. All of our styles are also so different and diverse, which makes the festival as a whole exciting.”

Of joining the festival lineup, Vijai Nathan (Alexandria, VA) exclaims, “I’m thrilled to be a part of this amazing community of powerful women who are revolutionizing the world of storytelling.” Diana Veiga (Washington, DC) concurs: “I’m so honored and excited that this is my third time being able to share a story at the Women’s Festival! The festival is empowering and a wonderful opportunity for folks to hear stories from women of all cultures and walks of life.”

Better Said Than Done founder Jessica Piscitelli Robinson at the 2020 Women’s Storytelling Festival.

Of producing the festival, Jessica Robinson concludes, “I founded Better Said Than Done in 2011 to share the art of storytelling with a wider audience. Since 2011, I’ve realized that part of what we’re accomplishing as an organization is entertaining audiences, and part of what we’re doing is giving storytellers a space. Some of the storytellers who have joined us on stage over the years had never performed before. Some had performed a little but not nearly as much as they wanted to. As with our monthly shows, the festival will entertain audiences and also give storytellers — in this case, women storytellers — a platform, a stage that wasn’t there before.”

Better Said Than Done is grateful for the continued support of its sponsors: Fairfax City, Capture Video, Financial Advantage Associates, and Transformational Storytelling.

Better Said Than Done defines storytelling as the art of performing a true, personal story in front of a live audience. Storytelling is a performance, an art, a form of entertainment, and, from our mouths, a reality the audience will not forget. Better Said Than Done, Inc., was launched in May 2011 by Jessica Piscitelli Robinson to bring the art of storytelling to Northern Virginia. For more information on upcoming shows, storytellers, or workshops, visit bettersaidthandone.com.


The 22 storytellers in the 2022 Women’s Storytelling Festival are from Chicago, NYC, Washington, DC, Florida, and many states in between. They will be sharing personal stories, folk tales, stories of history, and stories of adventure. Some of them are new-ish to storytelling and some have been performing for over 30 years. Among the festival performers, we have authors of books, creators of CDs, stars of TV shows, podcasters, and contributors to the Washington Post, Risk, Snap Judgment, and The Moth. Check out all of the storytellers’ bios here.

No mansplaining in this all-women’s storytelling show (David Siegel’s interview with Jessica Robinson prior to 2021 all-virtual Women’s Storytelling Festival)


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