2024 Women’s Storytelling Festival to feature 21 performers

Better Said Than Done will host the spoken word festival from March 14 to 17 both in-person in Fairfax, VA, and streaming online.

The Women’s Storytelling Festival (WSF), hosted by Better Said Than Done, will take place March 14 – 17, 2024, in Fairfax, VA, as well as streaming online. Showcasing a wide range of storytelling styles, the 2024 festival features 21 storytellers who will be performing spoken word stories, intended for a mature audience. Ticket holders, whether in-person or virtual, will be able to watch the festival videos for one month after the festival concludes. In-person performances will take place at The Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, from Friday March 15 – Sunday March 17, with a special virtual-only showcase premiering on March 14.

For schedules, other details, and tickets, visit

2024 Festival Storytellers: Sheila Arnold, Michele Carlo, Rosemary Cipriano, Fanny Crawford, Carmen Deedy, Jane Dorfman, Bonnie Gardner, Edith Gonzalez, Claire Hennessy, Megan Hicks, Andrea Kamens, Ronna Levy, Roopa Mohan, Stacy Ann Parish, Anne Rutherford, Robin Schulte, Laura Simms, Aimee Snow, Penelope Whitney, Linda Yemoto, and Andrea Young.

The 21 storytellers in the 2024 Women’s Storytelling Festival are coming from California, Oregon, Virginia, and many states in between. They will be sharing personal stories, folk tales, and stories of adventure. While some tellers are newer to storytelling, some have been performing for more than 30 years.

Fairfax City Cultural Arts Manager Megan DuBois (Fairfax, VA) describes the Women’s Storytelling Festival as “One of the warmest events I’ve ever been to. You enter as strangers but leave as friends. From historic stories, to fantasy adventures, to personal tales, you can find something that makes you go ‘YES! That happened to me too!’” Returning storyteller Bonnie Gardner (Vienna, VA) adds, “I’ve always been amazed at the sheer amount of talent the WSF brings together in one room. From nationally known legends of storytelling to emerging artists, the tellers are all performing at the top of their game. The WSF curates an incredible cast.”

“When I watched the video of the first festival during the pandemic, I thought it was awesome to have a festival of ALL women storytellers,” says storyteller Ronna J. Levy (Brooklyn, NY). “I am honored to be part of this festival and to be telling stories alongside some amazing women storytellers.”

“It’s a magical arena and I couldn’t be prouder to be a featured teller this year,” says Storyteller Stacy Ann Parish (Appleton, WI). “The WSF is literally the first festival I ever attended and it’s where I discovered that this community is my family. The women who attend and tell at this festival are changing the world one story at a time. What an honor to be among them!”

Storyteller Andrea Kamens (Boston, MA) says, “I’m excited about gathering together in the same physical (and virtual) spaces as tellers whom I follow, admire, and enjoy so much, and those who are new to me and whose work I am just discovering. It is at once humbling and empowering.” Storyteller Fanny Crawford (Hagerstown, MD) adds, “Gathering to listen to stories told by a score of talented and interesting storytellers, with a variety of lives, backgrounds, passions, and points of view is a unique way to get to know a representative sample of humanity – and yourself.”

About the evolution of the festival, producer Jessica Robinson has this to say, “2024 will be our 5th event. The festival debuted in March of 2020, days before Virginia shut down due to the pandemic. 2021 was entirely virtual, and, in 2022, we returned to in-person but kept the virtual option for the many people who chose to watch from home. In 2023, we happily returned to performing in-person in Fairfax City, in addition to offering the live-stream, recordings for one month after, and a virtual-only showcase so that we can include more storytellers from across the country. In 2024, we’re excited to provide both the in-person and streaming options again, premiering the virtual-only showcase one day before in-person performances begin.”

When asked what people should know about attending the festival, storyteller Claire Hennessy (Novato, CA) says, “With a festival, you can fully immerse yourself in storytelling. There is something [about] watching a full day or two of storytelling that creeps in and makes you identify more with the stories and the storytellers.”

“A storytelling festival is unique because one moment you’re laughing at something wild that happened to someone, and the next you’re getting misty eyed as someone describes an experience that touches you,” says storyteller Rosemary Cipriano (New York, NY). “Stories have a way of bringing people together and reminding us just how similar we all are as we walk through life.”

Storyteller Penelope Whitney (Nevada City, CA) adds, “A good storyteller actually changes your own life for a moment as you follow along: your heart beats faster, you catch yourself holding your breath, and your own heart hopes, breaks open, and is healed.”

“Storytelling in all its forms, from wide-ranging tellers (both men and women), is important,” says storyteller Robin Schulte (Oviedo, FL). “But, as a woman, I love hearing from other women about their experiences and seeing life through their perspectives. I feel enlightened, seen, understood… There is a nurturing, a celebration, a sisterhood. It’s a beautiful thing to be around female artists.”

“This is live, up close, personal,” says storyteller Megan Hicks (Media, PA). “I loved listening to my favorite musicians on the radio and on my stereo when I was a kid; but when I got to see them live … I was transported, and from my seat in the audience, it appeared that the performers had come to life in ways not possible in a recording studio. Storytelling is like that, only more so.”

Festival tickets are on sale now at https://www.bettersaidthandone.com/womens-festival/.  The stories are intended for a mature audience; people of all gender identities are welcome to attend.

“It’s a gift to have this caliber of a festival in our own backyard here in Northern Virginia,” says storyteller Bonnie Gardner (Vienna, VA). “You’ll hear true, personal stories; traditional stories; fairy tales, maybe including fractured or retold fairy tales; historical stories; poignant stories; side-splitting stories; and on and on… The festival is full of so many amazing women tellers, and you’ll leave thinking about the stories for days to come.”

Storyteller Roopa Mohan (Walnut Creek, CA) encourages listeners to “come and soak in the company of strong, resilient, funny and unique women! Explore the feminine side of you and delve into the mystery of woman power!”

Of producing the festival Jessica Robinson concludes, “I’ve been a storyteller for 17 years, and storytelling show producer for 12. I can honestly say, the Women’s Storytelling Festival is what I am most proud of creating and, as a fan of storytelling, some of the best damn storytelling I have ever seen. 2024 is going to be another amazing weekend of stories, and I cannot wait to watch and enjoy.”

Veteran storyteller Jane Ogburn Dorfman (Bethesda, MD) agrees: “The level of talent is top notch. You’ll be sorry if you miss it.”

The Women’s Storytelling Festival kicks off Thursday, March 14, 2024, at 8 pm ET, with a virtual showcase, and the in-person and live-streaming storytelling begins on Friday, March 15, 2024 at 7 pm ET. Live storytelling will take place at The Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030. The festival concludes Sunday, March 17, 2024, at 6 pm. [Performer bios here.] The price of a virtual-only ticket is $45, and an in-person full festival ticket is $65. If not sold-out in advance, there will be one-day, in-person only passes available at the door for $35 per day. Purchase advance tickets online here.


Better Said Than Done defines storytelling as the art of performing a 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. In 2023 Better Said Than Done was granted 501(c)(3) status as a public charity. For more information on upcoming shows or workshops, please visit https://bettersaidthandone.com.


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