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Storied Careers: 40+ Story Practitioners Talk About Applied Storytelling

Imagine an international conversation about many applications of storytelling. That’s what this book aspires to. “Applied storytelling” covers a wide range of disciplines, such as organizational storytelling, storytelling for marketing and branding, storytelling for job search and career advancement personal storytelling/lifewriting/memoir writing, digital/video storytelling, and more. Representatives of those storytelling genres and more speak their minds in this book.

The book is an outgrowth of the series of Q&A interviews I’ve conducted with story practitioners since Sept. 2, 2008, on my blog, A Storied Career. In turn, that series of Q&As was inspired by a longrunning and popular series of Q&As with career professionals on the parent site of A Storied Career, Quintessential Careers. The book encompasses 43 practitioners from the United States, the UK, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, and France.

I love the play of words of this book’s title: Storied Careers. Because I have a Google alert set up for the phrase “storied career,” I see almost daily articles that use the phrase “a storied career” to describe the professional sagas of people in the news. Thus, I view the 43 practitioners in this book as having had “storied careers” because they are all noteworthy professionals. But unlike all the folks in my Google alerts described as having had “storied careers,” the practitioners in this book have had careers that have focused to varying extents on story and storytelling – so they are truly storied careers.

In the book, you’ll find 20 chapters that spin off the questions and topical areas of the Q&As in which these practitioners participated. In the back of the book (page 81), you’ll find a complete directory of all 43 practitioners, with minibios, Web and blog addresses, e-mail addresses, Twitter IDs, and photos. Note that I arranged the directory in reverse alphabetical order; I grew up with a last name toward the end of the alphabet, and I know how demoralizing it can be to always be near the bottom of a list. I knew I had made the right decision when contributor Mike Wittenstein told me this was the first time in his life he’d ever been first on a list.

– Katharine (Kathy) Hansen, PhD
September 2009

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