Lily Be Workshop Encourages Student Storytelling

Musician calls students to explore their storytelling capabilities.


Storyteller Series presenter Lily Be hosted a workshop for students in the Idea Center 6th hour today. The workshop focused on a variety of life and literature themes, including love, hate, war, success and mystery. According to Lily Be, students in attendance were encouraged to discover the story that needs to be told.

“One story can be a million stories, a million stories can be one,” Lily Be said.

Students were encouraged to look beyond the basic storytelling. Rather than writing a story about love that consists of I fell in love or my heart was broken, Lily Be called students to find a story on a spectrum rather than focusing on the black and white. To look beyond the basic through different “lenses” to find a more interesting angle.

Following this, students created their own five word stories through these lenses. There were a range of responses from “I was happy for her,” to “Death brought value to life.” No story was rejected, as long as they were five words long.

Following this exercise, a five word story was chosen and the student who wrote it made their story into a three to five minute speech for the group. Following the conclusion of their speech, Lily Be provided feedback and encouraged further growth of the story.

While directing student story growth, Lily Be introduced students to her “beats” of developing stories and writing. These beats help writers direct the focus of their narrative.

  1. First Beat: Where are you? Focus on time, space and emotion.
  2. Second Beat: Why are you here? What is important in this moment?
  3. Third Beat: And then something happens. What was the turning point in the story?
  4. Fourth Beat: Until this other thing happens which changes something else.
  5. Fifth Beat: Where do you want to leave the reader?

“Get in [the story],” Lily Be said. “I tell people, first beat.”

This workshop left students with strong impressions from both the teacher and the stories of students around them.

“It helped me realize I’m not as alone in the world as I thought I was,” freshman Joaquin Barba said.