The Riverwind Whirlwind Weekend




                                                                                          A short history of the Riverwind Whirlwind Weekend.

When Riverwind Storytellers, Co. started meeting in 1982, it wasn't long before they decided to sponsor a weekend with a master storyteller. One Sunday, Donna Meyer, Jean Eilering, Marilyn Kinsella, and Jeanne Rhodes visited Pere Marquette near Grafton, IL, and decided to hold the event at this glorious state park near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. After going to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, they decided to see if Elizabeth Ellis from Dallas, TX, would be willing to come to the area to do a workshop. The group told her that they had $4.32 in the bank. She graciously said that she would come and that the group could pay her for whatever we made and felt comfortable giving after expenses. The group did with the stipulation that Riverwind would try to get her some storytelling jobs in nearby schools. As it turned out, that first weekend was one of the most profitable, and RW secured many jobs for the next week. She left with well over $1000.00 for her trust in a newbie group of tellers.

It was a weekend that has gone done into the Lore of Riverwind. A magical time when a bunch of newbie tellers called themselves...storytellers. It was the weekend that introduced the group to a dulcimer guy named "Mike Anderson." He happened to be at Pere Marquette do some birding and decided to find out what storytelling was all about. Mike is now an accomplished storyteller as well as folk musician. He even came back to be a workshop leader at a later time.

Sidebar: It snowed after the workshop. One of those heavy March snows - 11 inches...that closed the schools for 3 days. Somehow with a lot of re-scheduling Elizabeth made it to all the schools before she left for home.

Since that time, Riverwind has a hosted a multitude of wonderful tellers. Each one bringing something unique to the RW workshop. Here is a list of tellers. Please note that Elizabeth, who has since been designated as the "Riverwind Fairy Godmother" (and later "Goddess of Riverwind"), has been the workshop leader three times. She has also been the guest of Riverwind for various evenings and afternoons, when she was traveling through the St. Louis are

 List of Tellers at the Riverwind Workshops since 1984:

  Pere Marquette State Park

1. 1984 - Elizabeth Ellis    Facing our Fears 

2. 1985 - Carol Birch                                                                                       and Jim May  - Telling Literary Tales

3. 1986 - Milbre Burch - Using One's Body in Story with Mike Anderson

Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL

4. 1987 - Lee Pennington - Writing Personal Stories with Mike Anderson

5. 1988 - Don Davis and the Armstrong Sisters

6. 1989 - Lynn Moroney - Sky Lore

7. 1990 - Barbara McBride Smith and Ron Adams - Mythology

8. 1991 - Michael Parent -  Getting Rid of Performance Anxiety

9. 1992 - David Novak - Creative Storytelling Techniques

10. 1993- Elizabeth Ellis and Mike Anderson

11. 1994 - Heather Forest - Fine Tuning Performance with Dan Keding - ballads

12. 1995 - Bill Harley - Music and telling

13. 1996 - Joe Bruchac - Native American Storytelling and Janet (January) Kiefer

14. 1997 - Mary Hamilton and Cynthia Changaris - Ways to unlock one's creativity

15. 1998 - Len Cabral and Janice Harrington

16. 1999 - Sheila Kay Adams -  Ballads from Appalachia

17. 2000 - Chuck Larkin - Using humor in Storytelling

18. 2001 - Susan Klein - Telling deeply

Todd Hall Retreat Center, near Columbia, IL

19. 2002 - Doug Elliot - Storytelling and Nature with Ron Adams and Stories 'n Stones with the Kinsellas.

Back to Pere Marquette

20. 2003 - Bobby Norfolk - Making Historical Characters Come Alive

21. 2004 - Elizabeth Ellis - (20th anniversary) with Mike Anderson

22. 2005 - Steve Otto - Telling Ghost Stories with Lucy Grondahl

Lewis and Clark Museum, Wood River, IL

23. 2006 - Dianne De Las Casas - Marketing

24. 2007 - Naomi Baltuck - Story Stretchers

   Mississippi Valley District Library, Collinsville, IL

25. 2008 - Barbara Freeman and Connie Regan-Blake  (formerly "The Folktellers) For an article on their performance - Click HERE

26. 2009 - Carol Birch  - Telling with Virtuosity

              Back to Our Lady of the Snows Shrine

27. 2010 - Bil Lepp   - Telling the Tall Tale

28. 2011 - Regina Carpenter - using the classic story structure and stories to provide a deep impact on teller and listener through beautiful and memorable imagery, language choice and l HUMOR!

                                   Hannibal MO

29. 2012  Squeaver StoryFest in Hannibal, Missouri

30. 2013   Milbre Burch

31. 2014   No Workshop

                                        Carlyle Library

32. 2015   Phyllis Hostmeyer - Telling sacred stories including Bible Stories

                                       Trout Lodge, Missouri

33. 2016   Dr. Kevin Cordi  -  Playing with Stories

34. 2017   Judy Sima - Writing and Telling Personal Stories

                                       King's House, Bellville, IL

35. 2018   Elizabeth Ellis

36, 2019   Brian Fox Ellis - Telling in Historical Characters





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