StoryTellers of the Great Plains seeks to support the programs and efforts of local groups, while offering a wider venue for collegiality and fellowship among those groups. It is an invitational community rather than a formal membership organization.
Gathering: Enjoying both face time through live social events several times a year and social networking on the organization's social media sites.
Growing: Resourcing each other through educational materials on the organization's social media sites as well as speakers and workshops sponsored throughout the year.
Giving: Sharing of tools of the trade with each other as well as forging new friendships with writing peers.
Guided by a coalition of StoryTellers
Laurie Oswald Robinson
Laurie Oswald Robinson is founder of Tales of the Times, LLC, a communication business based in Newton, Kansas and the StoryTellers of the Great Plains. She is a longtime journalist and an author of several books, including Forever Family. It's the true story of how she and her husband, Al, loved and lost a foster daughter they had hoped to adopt. She serves as a 1-1 writing coach and leads writing workshops, with a particular focus on creative non-fiction, and runs monthly writing sharing groups. She also assists families in shaping their multigenerational memories into legacy books. She is a graduate of Goshen (Ind.) College, where she received a B.A. in Communications, with an English minor. She has earned creative writing credits at the University of Iowa and has attended seminary.
Katherine Burkey Wiens
Kathrine Burkey Wiens lives in Newton. She was an early childhood educator for 28 years, teaching both children and adults. In 2013 her childhood memoir, Bars, Dumps and Other Childhood Hangouts was published. Along with presentations about her book, Kathy also offers workshops to help faith communities value and nurture children. She has just completed a graduate degree in Clinical Counseling from Emporia State University. Writing interests include writing memoir and church dramas. Kathy sees writing as an important tool in the healing journey.
After involvement in college office, church administration, Christian education, fund development and then retiring, Kathy now enjoys a writing effort especially about family history. Coping with breast cancer gave her a new perspective about legacy and where God wants her to invest her time. She asks: "In a troubling environment, how can we use writing gifts to impact others in a fruitful way?"
Barb is a lover of literature and fascinated with the never-ending give and take between our development as a human race, and our ability to dialogue about and share ideas with not only those around us, but with those separated from us by space and time. She loves the history of words themselves, and believe they have stories of their own.
A lifetime writer once dubbed a 'choreographer of words,' Elaine McAllister believes everyone has a story to tell, and loves to help people tell theirs. Her personal writing includes magazine and newspaper articles, academic papers, three self-published compilations, as well as a recently published blog (www.elainemcallister.com). Elaine also added newspaper columnist to her experience and is completing a book about intentional grandparenting, and another - a collection of devotions featuring her original artwork.