What We Do and What We've Done (Our Mission and Our Story)
If you look for an official description, you might find this:
Say what? All that means just this: we help kids age 9-12 learn to create and tell stories! With fun activities, easy crafts, sample stories, and helpful advice, our sponsor, Storycraft Publishing, makes storytelling easy to learn and enjoy. And The Kids’ Storytelling Club is how we reach kids all over the world, who want instant helpful advice online.
So, why don't we just say that instead? Exactly! We show you how to turn boring, dry answers or explanations into interesting stories. We help you discover how your everyday life is full of stories you can tell. Like we can tell this one:
The Story of Storycraft and The Kids' Storytelling Club
Storycraft Publishing was “born” in Masonville, Colorado, way back on July 15, 1993, as registered in the state of Colorado, but the story actually starts more than a year earlier (it takes awhile for a storytelling company to grow and be born). In 1992, Vivian Dubrovin was telling stories at a storytelling conference in Denver. During lunch break she looked at all the storytelling help available there—videos, books, training classes, and more—and noticed there was nothing for kids. It was all for adults. Vivian was the mother of five grown kids, author of twelve books for children, and a Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), so she had a life-long habit of looking for stuff for kids. She found none that day, or during the next few weeks of searching everywhere and talking to librarians, teachers, and others who would know. There was help for children to learn other things, but nothing for kids interested in storytelling.
Well, with her degree in journalism and her past work experiences as a staff writer for a financial journal, an editor of a corporation newsletter, and an editor at a publishing company, Vivian knew that she could run a small press company. She could provide the help young tellers needed. So she read books, did research, and went to conferences of independent publishing to discover what she needed to do. With the help of a consultant she met at a conference, she made a plan and defined the company, filled out the forms (and mailed them! very little was online back then), and created the first small press dedicated to helping young storytellers: Storycraft Publishing.
Of course, at first there were baby steps. Then, in 1994, the first book, Storytelling for the Fun of It, by Vivian Dubrovin, was published. It won an award in 1995 from Colorado Independent Publisher Association (CIPA). That encouraged Vivian that she really was providing help that was needed and appreciated. So Storycraft went on to publish more books, all receiving awards or positive reviews, and a quarterly periodical (Junior Storyteller), a favorite subscription of teachers, librarians, and kids all the years it was published from 1994-2010.
In 1996, a website (The Kids' Storytelling Club—us!) was started. Along the way, guest artists and authors, professional layout designers, printers, and website administrators all contributed to the Storycraft efforts. And as technology advanced, so did Storycraft, creating online editions of Junior Storyteller, and then new ebooks in several formats. Except while moving in 2014 to a new home in Loveland, Colorado, Storycraft has published new help for young storytellers almost every year since 1994! And the joy is, helping young storytellers for more than a generation, we can recognize activities kids learned years ago now on parents' and teachers' websites and blogs. The timeless advice is still helpful to new young storytellers.
So now, there’s no longer an empty spot for kids’ storytelling help; if you search you’ll find websites, books, clubs and more. But among all that, Storycraft is still a respected source, still providing award-winning help for kids. And Vivian is still finding fun and effective new ways to help young storytellers.
Technology has advanced, so have we. The Kids’ Storytelling Club was originally made to provide quick inspiration for kids, teachers, librarians, and parents, who would then turn to print books for more help. But now the website can have more content online, and be available to any device, anytime, anywhere. So all that storytelling help that is still useful and popular from that long history of successfully helping kids, can now be made available, along with new storytelling help that could not be done before. So now, here at The Kids’ Storytelling Club Vivian can finally fully realize her dream of helping kids everywhere learn to create and tell stories.
So that’s our story. What’s yours? Have you ever seen where something was missing or needed, and knew you could help? How did you solve that problem, what did you do? Can you tell about it as a story? Where would you tell it, to whom? Would having something in your hands to show as you tell help you tell it? Look on all the Club pages, maybe one of the activities, crafts, or sample stories will help you remember a story that you could tell about your experiences.