Kendall Haven

Story Consultant / Author / Master Storyteller

BIO & AWARDS

The only West Point graduate to ever become a professional storyteller, Haven also holds a graduate degree in Oceanography (Oregon State University) 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."

With 30 years experience as a performing storyteller, and after two decades leading the research effort for the National Storytelling Association and the International Storytelling Center, Haven has emerged as a Master Storyteller and as the nation’s leading Subject Matter Expert on the neuro- and cognitive science of story, on story structure, and on story architectural design. This effort has culminated in his two seminal books that have revolutionized our understanding of the relationship between the human mind/​brain and the elements of effective story structure: STORY PROOF: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story and STORY SMART: Using the Science of Story to Persuade, Inspire, Influence, and Teach.

Haven regularly serves as a story consultant to departments in various governmental science agencies from the Navy to EPA, to NASA, NOAA, and NPS (the National Park Service) and to organizations and corporations from The World Bank, Boeing, and ARAMCO to United Way America and the Climate Protection Campaign. He was also selected as the only storyteller to participate in the 2012-2014 Department of Defense (DARPA) Narrative Networks Research Program.

Haven was selected as a Featured Presenter at the 2013 and at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Fest. In addition, he has been a featured presenter and performer at over 150 Industry and Science conferences, corporate and professional conferences, Government Conferences, Education Conferences, School and Public Library Conferences, and Storytelling Conferences and Festivals; has performed for audiences of over 6 million in 44 states and four foreign countries; and has won numerous awards both for his story-writing and for his story-telling.

Haven has published five audio tapes, and 35 books including ten collections of original historically themed stories, one children’s novel, one picture book, four classroom story/​activity books, and six award-winning instructional books on the process and use of story. For the International Storytelling Center (ISC) and for the National Storytelling Association (NSA) Haven led a series of multi-year studies into the effective use of storytelling and into current storytelling Best Practices.

He also wrote two scripts for an animated Education Channel program 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. He created a book of 50 science stories, Marvels of Science, to make the history and process of science fascinating and compelling, and, more recently a book of forty stories illuminating the fascinating and little known women’s share of American history, Amazing American Women. His most recent story releases include Close Encounters with Deadly Dangers: Stories of Major Natural Predators, That’s Weird! Awesome Science Mysteries, Voices of the American Revolution, Voices of the American Civil War, and Women on the Edge of Discovery.

Haven is the 2012 winner of the Leo Politi Golden Author Award, a nine-time winner of the Storytelling World Silver Award for best Story Anthology, 3-time 2009 Telly and Communicator Silver Award Winner, and has won 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. He 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 has used his writing talent to create stories for many non-profit organizations, including The American Cancer Society, International Storytelling Center, United Way America, the Institute for Mental Health Initiatives, the Climate Protection Campaign, several Crisis Centers, the Children's Television Resource and Education Center, one regional hospital, and the Child Abuse Prevention Training Center of California.

Haven served on the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Association, was chair of the Educational Advisory Committee for the National Storytelling Association, and was the founder and Chair of the International Whole Language Umbrella Storytelling Interest Group. He has served as a co-director of the Sonoma Storytelling Festival, past four-year Chair of the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, was a former advisor to the Mariposa Storytelling Festival, and founder of Storytelling Festivals in Las Vegas, NV, and Boise, ID.

• Featured Presenter
at both the 2013 and 2014 Aspen Ideas Fest

• Winner:
of the 2012 Leo Politi Golden Author Award by California Readers Assn.

• Selected
as the only storyteller and story writer to participate in the 2012-2014 Department of Defense Narrative Networks research program.

• 3-Time Winner:
2009 Telly Gold Award (NASA educational programming)

• 2-Time Winner:
2009 Communicator Silver Award (NASA educational programming)

• Selected
as a 2003 Teller in Residence at the International Storytelling Center.

• Chosen
as “Featured Selections” for 2002 through 2013 California Reader’s Collection

• Nine-Time Winner:
Storytelling World Silver and Gold Award

• 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

• Two Writing Books Selected
for translation into Chinese for use in Taiwan and Mainland China.

• Nonfiction Books Translated
into 6 foreign languages.

• Winner:
1993 International Festival Association Silver Award for Best Educational Program

• Two Audio Tapes Selected
for the Twentieth Edition Elementary School Library Collection.

• Listed with Two Entries
in the American Library Association's premier, comprehensive, five year literature review, "The Best of the Best for Children."

• Two-Time
American Library Association Notable Recording Artist.

• Winner:
1994 Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Public Radio Silver Program Award.

• Finalist:
1994 NY Int. Radio Festival. For the National Public Radio broadcast radio drama, "The Adventures of Christina Valentine."

• Winner:
1989 California Special Recognition Award for "Frog Pond Blues," an anti-smoking story created and recorded for the California Division of the American Cancer Society.

• Winner:
Western regional (1986) and national (1989) storytelling competitions sponsored by the National Library Association

• Winner:
as both author and performer, of the 1987 IMHI prestigious award for "demonstrated excellence in mental health education programming" for the stories "Voices" and "Bully" by the California Conference of Local Mental Health Directors.

• Selected:
Western Regional Teller for the 1986 National Storytelling Festival.

• Winner:
1987 National Storytelling Competition sponsored by the General Mills Corp.