Press Kit


Faye Wooden, a native Appalachian, transports listeners of all ages into worlds and times shaped by the power of imagination. “Storytelling is an ancient art,” she says, “that awakens our senses and carries us into new worlds. When I tell a story I want listeners to be totally involved, to enjoy the trip.”

Drawing on her own life experiences — banker, bear trapper, herbalist; author, teacher, public speaker — Wooden touches the fabric of people’s lives with her hypnotic voice, a wide range of tales, and haunting tunes from traditional mountain instruments (bowed psaltery, lap dulcimer, and autoharp, native flute), as she strives to preserve the spirit of her native Appalachia. She has established herself as one of the region’s premiere storytellers.

Entertainment is only one goal for this Maryville-based artist. Into every tale she weaves her theme of connectedness — Laughter, Legends, Lessons, and Life. Humorous stories unite her listeners in laughter; ancient legends connect them with the past; and valuable lessons from yesteryear offer them guidance in seeking the right paths in life today. Her poignant stories of American veterans honor them by awakening her audiences to the spirit and values that sustain our armed forces.

Education is another goal. Previously trained in comedic and dramatic performance techniques, Wooden earned a master’s degree in Story Arts from East Tennessee State University. She develops and directs oral-history projects for organizations, communities, and schools; and conducts popular storytelling classes for schools, festivals, the University of Tennessee, and the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina.

An active member of the Tennessee Storytelling Association, and the National Storytelling Network (NSN), Wooden has appeared in Jonesborough, Tennessee (where the storytelling revival began in 1972) — at NSN’s National Story Night and at the International Storytelling Center. She is a performing member of the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild and has been featured in several prestigious storytelling festivals in recent years.

Wooden serves as liaison for the National Park Service staff, school teachers, professional tellers, and technicians who participate in the weeklong, annual story festival, Haunting in the Hills, at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area north of Knoxville. One of the largest, free, storytelling events in the country, it draws up to 12,000 students (pre-K to 12) from 25 area schools to an educational outreach program comprising 60 assembly programs on the weekdays. The Saturday concerts draw as many as 4000 more of all ages.

She performs at schools, churches, civic events, summer camps, bookstores, and coffee houses; and is available for family gatherings, corporate meetings, picnics, and children’s parties.