No, YOU Tell It! Donate to this artist

Who are we?

No, YOU Tell It! is a nonfiction reading series that advocates for authentic personal stories by having storytellers speak each other’s words aloud, empowering their voices on the page and stage. Our collaborative workshop process equips writers of all levels with literary tools to elevate the impact of their words. Switching stories to embody each other’s experience in a live performance creates stronger empathetic connections for both the storytellers and audience members.

We value:

  • Diversity of storytellers and storytelling styles
  • Cooperation over competition
  • Generating stories from the inside out to move beyond a prescriptive formula

What do we do?

For each show, the NYTI team — Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons, Mike Dressel, and Erika Iverson — lead four storytellers through two writing workshop sessions to tell their true-life tale on the page. Then about a week before the show, we pair up our storytellers and ask them to trade scripts. When one of our storytellers speaks their partner’s piece aloud, it does two important things: One, it gives that storyteller a chance to step into another person’s shoes. Two, the writer hears their own story in a different voice. Everyone gains new insight into their writing and storytelling as they share these true-life tales with our live audience and podcast listeners.

Watch the video below for a glimpse into our process.

Why donate?

On May 8, 2012, four storytellers gathered for the very first No, YOU Tell It! show. While the idea of trading tales and performing each other's story began as a one-time experiment, the audience was so enthusiastic that we turned NYTI into a series and podcast. Since then, everyone involved has largely volunteered their time and talents in support of our mission to empower voices on the page and stage.

Last year, we received our first grant from the Queens Council on the Arts and took our initial steps toward developing the series into a full-fledged arts organization. Thanks to generous donations by people like yourself, we met our 2019 fundraising goal of $5000 raised and were able to compensate our artists, improve our podcast, and create more opportunities for people to experience each other's stories.

Your check or credit card donation to The Field, our fiscal sponsor, will be transferred to No, YOU Tell It! to help us continue to grow in 2020! We’re grateful for your support. Any size donation you are able to make is welcome and needed. Plus, your donation is tax-deductible (see bottom of the page for more info). 

Thanks again for helping us reach out to new storytellers and say, “No, YOU Tell It!”