BIO & AWARDS
Only West Point graduate to ever become a professional storyteller, Haven also holds a Masters Degree in Oceanography and spent eight years as a Senior Research Scientist for the Department of Energy before finding his true passion for storytelling and a very different kind of “truth.”
A master storyteller, having performed for total audiences of over 5 million in 42 states and four foreign countries over almost 30 years of professional telling, Haven discovered the first-ever scientific proof that story is a communications powerhouse evolutionarily hardwired into human brains. Now a leading expert and story consultant, Haven advises organizations and schools on the structure, use and development of story to better inform, inspire, motivate, teach and to lead.
Haven has won numerous awards both for his story-writing and story-telling and has conducted highly acclaimed workshops and lead writing programs for 40,000 teachers and 270,000 students in over 1,000 schools on his powerful, break-through strategies for teaching both creative and expository writing. He is a nationally recognized expert on the use of story and story structure in education, and has performed at over 20 national conferences and festivals, 100 state and regional events, and 50 professional conferences.
Haven’s research uncovered the compelling proof that humans are hardwired to think, to create meaning, to understand, and to remember in and through story structure. Haven has brought science to story, and story-science to the art of communication to guide dozens of organizations, agencies, and corporations to widen and deepen the impact of their outreach communications. In addition to his consulting work, Haven has created stories for many nonprofit organizations, including The American Cancer Society, the Institute for Mental Health Initiatives, several California Crisis Centers, the Children’s Television Resource and Education Center, a Marin County regional hospital, and the Child Abuse Prevention Training Center of California.
Haven has authored 27 books and dozens of articles with over 1,000,000 words in print. His recent major work, STORY PROOF: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story, has unleashed a revolution in understanding the role of story in human communications and joins his previous quartet of award-winning breakthrough practical guides to using, writing, teaching, and telling—all using the power inherent in the structure of effective stories.
Haven has also written 18 collections of original, themed, historically and factually accurate stories. These collections use the power of story to bring science (science mysteries, science discoveries and inventions, earth science, ocean science, ecosystems, etc.) and history (Revolutionary War, Civil War, Women in American history, etc.) to vivid and compelling life for young readers. Haven has also published five audio storytelling tapes and created a three-hour high adventure radio drama style mini-series for National Public Radio on the effects of watching television that has won five major national awards.
Haven’s recent awards include the only nine-time winner of the Storytelling World Silver Award for best Story Anthology, the 1993 International Festival Association Silver Award for best Educational Program at a Major National Festival, the 1992 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award for best Children’s Public Radio Production, and the 1991 Award for Excellence in California Education. Haven has twice been designated an American Library Association “Notable Recording Artist,” and is the only storyteller in America with three entries in the American Library Association’s "Best of the Best for Children."
Haven is a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Storytelling Association, is a member of the Educational Advisory Committee of the National Storytelling Association, and was the founder and Chair of the International Whole Language Umbrella Storytelling Interest Group. He served as a co-director of the Sonoma Storytelling Festival, past four-year Chair of the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, and founder of Storytelling Festivals in Las Vegas, NV, and Boise, ID.
• Listed In Current editions of:
-Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors and Poets, American Biographical Institute
-Contemporary Authors Gale Research
-International Contemporary Authors, Institute for International Research, London
-Contemporary American Authors, Gale Research
for inclusion in each years California Collection of honor books by California Readers beginning in 2003.
as a 2003 Teller-in-Residence by the International Storytelling Center.
to record a five-part video series of his acclaimed Write Right! student writing workshop for the Sonoma County Office of Education, Northern California, 2001.
• 9-Time Winner
Storytelling World Silver Award for Storytelling Anthology.
• Script Writer
for 1998 award-winning children's program, Bingo & Mollie, The Learning Channel.
• Two Audio Tapes Selected
Twentieth Edition Elementary School Library Collection (1997).
• Listed With Three Entries
1996 American Library Association’s premier, comprehensive five year literature review, “Best of the Best for Children.”
Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Association (1993-98).
1993 Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Public Radio Silver Program Award. Finalist 1993 NY Int. Radio Festival. Both for the National Public Radio broadcast radio drama, “The Adventures of Christina Valentine.”
1993 International Festival Association Silver Award for best educational event (Boise student storyteller program).
• Notable Recording Artist
American Library Association 1992 & 1989.
• 1989 American Cancer Society's Special Recognition Award for “Frog Pond Blues,” a grade school anti-smoking story created and recorded for the California Division of the American Cancer Society.
both author and performer, of the 1987 prestigious award for “demonstrated excellence in mental health education programming” for “Voices” and “Bully” by the California Conference of Local Mental Health Directors.
major Western Regional storytelling competitions (1986 and 1989) cosponsored by the American Library Association.
1987 National Storytelling Competition sponsored by General Mills.
• Selected Western Regional Teller
1986 National Storytelling Festival.