The essence of a story endures long beyond a list of facts, however articulately delivered. Some people are naturally gifted at storytelling, but most of us need support and direction for our story to resonate and meet our goals and ambitions. That’s where we can help you!

Our Process

Submit your story outline

If you have a 6-8 minute true story, from your life on one of our upcoming show themes, please submit an outline. We will review it alongside the other submissions to ensure diversity of content on show night and may connect with you to discuss your story in more detail. If you are a first time storyteller we recommend allowing a minimum of 3 months to prepare for your first show.

2023 Themes

January 19th – Memories
February 16th – Change of heart
March 16th – Lucky
April 20th – Money
May 18th – Moving on
September 21st – Competition
October 19th – UH-OH!
November 16th – Roots

Work with your Story Mentor

If selected for an upcoming show, you will be assigned a Story Mentor to work with you one on one, until show night. Your Story Mentor will also send you the Signup Genius link for our Workshop program.

Sign up for a Workshop

The purpose of the workshops is to help you craft your best story and enable you to deliver it with confidence and poise at the show. ALL our storytellers are invited to attend 1-3 monthly workshops. The connection with other storytellers is so fun and the feedback from the Producers and fellow storytellers is valuable, inciteful and supportive. Please show up with an open mind and a kind heart.

Submit your head-shot, teaser & bio

Your headshot and teaser will be posted on Social Media in the run up to the show. Please be sure to share these posts and links with friends, colleagues, and family so they can buy tickets and support you. You receive 2 complimentary tickets; 1 for you and 1 for a guest.
A headshot. This can be formal or fun but should only feature you. If you have a photo that complements your story, please send that along too!
A teaser (1-2 sentences/an excerpt from your story that makes people want to hear more)
Your Bio – at the show, the host will use this to introduce you, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase what a fun and interesting person you are. It should not read like a resume.
Max. file size: 64 MB.

Show night information

Arrive by 6:30 pm (the show starts at 7:30pm) and we will connect you with our host. They will confirm: your placement in the storyteller line-up, how to correctly pronounce your name, and go over any questions you may have.

Venue: Empire Burgers & Brew, 48 West Chicago, Naperville, 60540 (the entire first floor)

Expectations: Your story will be:
6-8 minutes long
You will not use notes or props
Your story will be respectful and non-discriminatory

FYI: The doors open at 6 pm to our guests. We set aside one table for storytellers, but all other tables are on a first come, first serve basis. We recommend asking someone in your party to arrive early and hold a table to ensure your group can sit together.

"To me, telling a story is all about connection. Without someone to listen you are just talking to yourself."

Sayard Bass - Storyteller

"The People Tree is a gathering place that nourishes authentic community….we all have lives worthy of recounting, and nothing brings people together more powerfully than shared narrative. Also beer."

Mike Rossi - Storyteller

"Being a storyteller with the people tree provides many amazing outlets for me. I love to make people laugh and when I share funny stories I love seeing people enjoy the absurdity of my life as much as I do. 

When I share an emotional or heartfelt story, I find a connection with people we never knew we had. Simply by opening myself and sharing my experiences, audience members recognize that they have felt the same way, they have shared the same sadness or hope, they are going through a similar journey. 

I know from experience that there are people who feel peace recognizing that I share a bit of their path, and because of that, they don’t feel alone. I feel it as a teller and as a listener, and it’s a connection that is one of the most rewarding of my life.

As a seasoned storyteller, I participate in workshops as much as possible, because: 

1) practice makes perfect, 

2) some of my best lines were inspired by feedback during workshops; but also workshops help my stage presence, confidence, ideas, and the impact my stories will likely have on the audience. 

In return, I try to provide feedback and ideas to newer tellers. Taking the time to listen to others’ writing and provide encouragement only improves my skills overall. It is truly time well served.

Tips for being performance ready: relax, have only one glass of wine, and try to have fun. It might seem scary, but it’s not life or death. It’s just entertainment."

Clare Clayton - Storyteller

"The workshops help you practice your storytelling with the group and great constructive critique from all the producers."

Mini Dalawari - Storyteller

"My mentor helped me realize that I have stories within my story that are all beautiful and worthy to be told. 

The workshops helped immensely with fine tuning and positive feedback. It’s also wonderful to be a part of the process for other speakers. "

Meg Dagnino - Storyteller