How Much for that Taleypo???


                             (good through 2013)

As any storyteller can tell you, we love to tell stories because, well, we love to tell stories. Unfortunately, that does not put salt in the puddin', There are so many variables that go into pricing. I have always hesitated to put it on my website. What seems high in one area...seems low in another. I travel a lot with my storytelling and I know that Southern Illinois does not pay as much as Chicagoland, and I want to be paid commiserate with what you are paying the solo performers in your area. Then, there are other factors:  how far I travel, the price of gas, lodging, per diem, the length of the performance, how many times, coordinating  with others to get a price break, etc. So, I have tried to give you a "general idea" of how much I charge. And, since storytelling has high and low never hurts to ask. Just tell me how much money you can afford, and I'll decide whether or not I can come for that amount. The following are prices through the year - 2013:

How to Save Money

bulletBook more than one performance in a day at a nearby school or library
bulletBook a series of performances for two or more days
bulletNot-for-profits can apply with the Illinois Arts Council's ArtsTour (minimum 8 weeks notice) for at least 1/3 of the cost covered by a mini-grant. Click Artstour | Illinois Arts Council for guidelines. Click Marilyn A. Kinsella | Illinois Arts Council for my information.

Where to Get Money

bulletPTAs and other service organizations will often pay a portion of the fees.
bulletSponsors from surrounding businesses
bulletSell the tellers' CDs/books and take a percentage
bulletAsk the local arts council for a mini-grant to cover a series of events...including storytelling
bulletWrite a literacy grant and include storytelling
bulletIn some schools, each child is asked to voluntarily bring in a dollar to help cover the cost

Gas Money or Mileage

bulletNo charge for gas for my hometown of Fairview Heights and surrounding cities.
bulletI charge $25.00 gas money for a performance within a 50 mile radius of the St. Louis area.
bulletI change the state mandated mileage fee for any miles over that amount.


I don't mind staying at someone's home. I am not a smoker, and I'm not allergic to smoke nor pets either. If the budget allows, I will stay at any reasonable and clean motel or bed and breakfast.

Food or Per Diem

I appreciate the host offering to take me out for lunch or dinner, when I have to travel, but I consider that a nicety.


My mainstay is schools during the school year. I prefer to tell with a max of around 200 students per 45 min. program. If the school is small, you can put grades together. A good, arbitrary break is            K-3;    4-6;     7-8.

These prices do not include travel beyond 50 miles of Fairview Heights, IL nor accommodations, if necessary:

bulletFull day including an evening performance is $650.00 (Four day and one evening performance)
bulletSchool day - $500.00 (Four 45-minute performances)
bulletHalf day - $300.00 (Two 45-minute performances)
bulletEvening performance - $200.00 (for one performance)


During the summers I offer special programming for libraries to follow the state or national summer reading program themes. The programs differ in length and preparation time:

bulletStories 'n Stones with archaeologist Larry Kinsella - $450.00 first program, $300.00 each for two programs.
bulletTaleypo Tales - Storytelling program  - $300.00 first program; $250.00 each for two programs; $200.00 each for three programs or more.


This can be real tricky. I feel like part of me wants to give my storytelling freely to many fine organizations. So, I've selected a few (women's clubs, church groups, and charitable organizations) that my price covers my gas. Otherwise, the price starts at $150.00 - $400.00 depending on a multitude of factors.

Special Events

I like to be paid whatever the highest-rated, solo performer is being paid. When you have a special event, all performers should be paid the same.


For a list of my workshops, click HERE

All day - $600.00

Half day - $400.00

One hour - $250.00


bulletI do most of my own bookings, and I have a contract that I will send electronically, if you can accept a Word doc..  If not, I'll send a personalized contract US mail or you can copy the sample contract by clicking HERE. However, for the majority of my "close at home" jobs, I consider our emails to be our contract. You can email me at or calling 618/397-1377


bulletI also book through Elsenpeter productions. His prices differ from those quoted above. If you saw me at an Elsenpeter showcase, previously booked me thru Elsenpeter, or found me in his brochure, you can book me through him by calling 217/335-3338    Elsenpeter Productions