Call for Proposals

The Power of Words Conference is now accepting proposals for the 2018 Power of Words Conference! All you need to do is:

  1. Read the information below carefully
  2. Use the following form to submit your proposal by March 15, 2018
  3. Email your CV/resume to the

DEADLINE for submission: March 15, 2018

The 15th Annual Power of Words Conference will be held October 12-14th, 2018 at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, and we are seeking your session proposals!

This powerful conference brings together writers, storytellers, performers, musicians, educators, activists, healers, health professionals, community leaders, and more. Together we explore the written, spoken, and sung word, seeking to find how it can bring liberation, celebration, and transformation to individuals and communities.

We invite your proposals for experiential, didactic, and/or performance-based sessions that focus on writing, storytelling, drama, film, songwriting, and other forms of Transformative Language Arts (TLA).

We encourage proposals from people of color, low-income people, people with disabilities, queer-identified people, and people of transgender and/or gender-non-conforming experience.

Submit you proposal here

What Can Storytelling Teach Us About Creating Connection? with Doug Lipman

Can storytelling help us be open and empathetic? Can it be an avenue to rapport? If so, how? Doug Lipman reveals three connection-building strategies hidden in storytelling—and simple ways to unlock each of them.

About Doug Lipman: In 1970, Doug Lipman was a discouraged teacher of highly resistant adolescents. One day he happened to tell them a story, and for the first time they softened. Since then, he has spent his life using storytelling for transformation—and helping others use storytelling’s connective power in any walk of life. Lipman literally wrote the book on coaching storytellers: “The Storytelling Coach.” He has coached executives, professionals and performing artists in Asia, Europe, Canada and the US, including at the World Bank, Microsoft, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, and the United Way. In 2017 Lipman was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for “sustained and exemplary contributions to storytelling in North America.”

“Good” and “bad” are incomplete stories we tell ourselves with Heather Lanier

Heather Lanier’s daughter Fiona has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic condition that results in developmental delays — but that doesn’t make her tragic, angelic or any of the other stereotypes about kids like her. In this talk about the beautiful, complicated, joyful and hard journey of raising a rare girl, Lanier questions our assumptions about what makes a life “good” or “bad,” challenging us to stop fixating on solutions for whatever we deem not normal, and instead to take life as it comes.


You’re Already a Successful Grant Writer

by Diane Silver

Editor’s note: Diane will be teaching her online class, Funding Transformation: Grant Writing for Storytellers, Writers, Artists, Educators & Activists beginning February 21st! Here is a wonderful blog post she has written about grant writing! 

“I don’t know about you, but the thought of writing a grant proposal, especially to fund my own work, makes my stomach knot. My first thoughts are of my inadequacies: I haven’t done enough, accomplished enough, won enough awards, or even been creative enough. And yet, the most surprising thing I learned when I unexpectedly got a job in philanthropy was that we creative folk already possess all the skills we need to win grants.

My sojourn into the world of philanthropy occurred quite by accident more than 20 years ago. My spouse died of cancer, and I suddenly had to raise our 7-year-old son on nothing more than a freelance writer’s income. With my son’s security at stake, I sought a job, any job, and found myself taking a position at a $1 billion foundation. Through the next 13 years I learned far more than I ever imagined about how fundraising works. At times I felt like a spy—not many writers get to hobnob with millionaires and philanthropists. I learned how they think, and what they seek. After my son graduated and launched himself into life, I went back to freelance writing, only now I included grant writing in my toolbox.

Through all of this I learned that the skills of a great grant writer are the same as the skills that all creative folk, independent educators, and activists must acquire to succeed. To both create and sell our work we must:

  • Be Thorough.
  • Be Aware.
  • Be Persistent.

You can’t create without being thorough. Learning and honing your craft requires an attention to detail that is every bit as exacting as an engineer’s. Creating an effective story, a novel, a poem, a workshop, or even a political campaign requires intensity. The same is true of writing a successful grant. You have to focus intently on what funders want, and you have to follow every one of their picky rules.

Awareness is also important for creative sorts and grant writers. To succeed as artists we must pay attention to our audience. We can’t reach the folks we want to reach unless we know who they are and how they perceive the world. The same is true in grant writing. You have to pay attention to your audience, which in this case is the foundation or governmental agency that is awarding the grant you want. Luckily, we creative sorts already have a well-honed knack for paying attention to our audience.

Even more important than thoroughness or awareness is persistence. There isn’t a single creative soul on this planet who has succeeded without being persistent. It takes persistence to learn our craft. It takes persistence to sell our work and make even a few dollars. Taking “no” for an answer is simply not an option in our line of work. The same is true in grant writing. If one funder rejects you, try another. If a funder turned you down for a particular grant, try again for the same grant program if the funder allows it, or apply for another kind of grant the funder offers. In grant writing as in creative work, the persistent succeed.

I am so thrilled to be teaching a grant writing class for the Transformative Language Arts Network. Funding Transformation: Grant Writing for Storytellers, Writers, Educators, and Activists begins February 21. Join us!”

Learn more about Diane here