About Yvonne Young

Yvonne Young, Teller of Truth Tales, is an eclectic educator and storyteller extraordinaire who invites audiences into her stories using audience participation techniques. Yvonne believes any story, even the wildest tall tale contains elements of truth. She tells stories from her heart, evoking personal connections and memories, and empowering listeners to see each story in their own mind's eye. Her storytelling assemblies and residencies instill love of language, stimulate imagination, inventive thinking, and emotional development, develop listening skills and promote awareness and appreciation of the similarities of all peoples. Yvonne offers storytelling workshops for teachers, children, and other adults, as well as staff development for medical professional groups, including hospice and nurses staff development. She serves as Oregon State Liaison to the National Storytelling Network, and is a member of The Healing Story Alliance. In 1997 Yvonne participated as a storytelling delegate from NSN on the People to People tour to Gencun Village in China. Yvonne performs at schools, community events, libraries, and festivals. She is author of the ABC of Storytelling,惻published by The National Storytelling Press in A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling.

Why tell stories

Why you tell stories

Storytelling found me in the early 1980s when Cynthia Orr did a storytelling residency at the elementary school where I was teaching. I took a class from her, which led to numerous other storytelling classes and workshops until I was attending the National Storytelling Conference each summer, and began teaching storytelling myself. Through telling and working with stories, I found myself, and my own voice. When I tell stories, I am offering myself as well as the stories I tell to my listeners, providing them the opportunity to connect with the story through the filter of their own experience and imagination.

Experience as a teller

  • Thirty years elementary school teaching
  • Teaching Storytelling for Teachers through University of Oregon Continuation Center
  • Performing artist and teller in residence for Youth Arts, Lane County, OR and Salem Arts, serving three other Oregon counties.
  • Stories for thematic library programs
  • National Storytelling Network and Healing Story Alliance member
  • Oregon State Liaison to NSN 1995 to present
  • Served as host and coordinator for the Wishing Well, a locally produced storytelling television program
  • Storyteller for Hospice bereavement groups and Hospice training programs
  • Facilitator of Eugene Storytellers
  • TELLABRATION producer
  • Board member for the Multicultural Storytelling Festival, 1990 to present


Yvonne has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Colorado, and an M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Oregon. The focus and emphasis of the degree, combining Folklore, Curriculum and Instruction, and Music classes, was storytelling. Her master thesis is entitled The Effects of Storytelling on Children Listening Skills. When Yvonne retired from thirty years teaching elementary school in Novato, California and Eugene, Oregon, she substitute taught for three years, offering teachers the option of Storytelling Immersion Days for planned absences.

Awards Won

  • NSN ORACLE AWARD for Service and Leadership in the Pacific Region, 2004
  • HEART OF THE ARTS, SUPER VOLUNTEER AWARD from Lane Arts Council, 2000


I facilitated the quieter, gentler class The ABC of Storytelling taught by Yvonne Young at the 2005 NSN Conference. This great lady of skill, talent, and wisdom was a great teacher for the many beginners and some old hands that filled her class. She taught by example, and then challenged us all to learn a new story according to her method of instruction. It worked! I came away from that class ready to share a story I had once told long ago, but hadn't been able to remember since.

Mel Davenport
Workshop Facilitator
Storyteller and Librarian
Cedar Hill, Texas

Your telling of Sadako and the Thousand Cranes was so animated, so moving, everyone present that evening will remember it, and be able to pass it on.

Karla Cohen
Justice Not War Coalition
Eugene, Oregon