Join Me at a New, Vibrant Storytelling Festival This Weekend in Madison, NJ

I am so thrilled to be participating in this new event spearheaded by local business folks and artists who deeply understand the value of storytelling!

About the Madison Storytellers Festival

Madison Storytellers Festival will be held on Saturday, June 11th, in downtown Madison, NJ. Modern Heirloom Books will have a space showcasing some of our books, framed life vignettes, and special offers.

The event will be staged at Madison’s ‘Culture Corner,’ with a main stage under the railroad trestle on Green Village Road (closed off between Main Street and Kings Road from 10am – 4pm) and additional stages at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Short Stories Bookshop and Arts Hub, and Drip Coffee. Free and open to the public, the event will be held Saturday, June 11, 10 – 4pm, followed by evening music at Short Stories Bookshop and Arts Hub at 23 Main Street, from 4-6 PM.

Fully planned and staffed by volunteers, stages will feature:

  • opening remarks by Madison Mayor Honorable Robert H. Conley, who will share highlights of his own oral history of growing up in Madison
  • contributors to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It
  • New York Times bestselling novelist Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, on the heels of the May 31st release of her new novel JUNE
  • special interviews led by Bonnie Monte of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and John Pietrowski of Writer’s Theatre of New Jersey

...and so much more.

The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts lawn and Green Village Road itself will feature special crafts and interactive arts events as well as vendor tables available for literary and arts organizations and businesses, including Modern Heirloom Books. Arts activity stations and three ‘stages’ of interviews, music, poetry, literary readings, dance, oral history, visual arts—from celebrity to professional to amateur to interactive/education workshops—will showcase diversity of offerings and experiences.

The Appeal of Madison, an Arts-Loving Community

If you’ve spent any amount of time in Madison, NJ, on the train line to New York City’s Penn Station, you know its unique distinction as an arts and culture destination. Named a top school district for music education and proud home of the critically acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, the town has somehow preserved not only its stunning historic architecture, but also the vibrant offerings of an arts and crafts history museum, a top 50 jazz club, a rare and used bookshop, and three universities, while also yielding a new indie bookshop and arts hub, literary presses, a hat shop, a knitting shop, a comic book shop, and numerous arts and dance studios.

Yet the real treasure is in Madison’s community of talent—the students, families, educators, and people across interests and industries who share a passion for—or, in many cases, hold notable careers in—writing, publishing, film, television, photography, music—and are drawn to the town’s unique environment of creativity and expression. The festival plans to showcase that talent as well.

“Storytelling is the expression of who we are, who we were, and who we hope to be. It is both experience and identity, and is what brings us together as a culture,”

said Dan Blank, owner of WeGrowMedia and a founding member of the festival Steering Committee. Editor and publisher of Atticus Press Dan Cafaro added,

“It’s critical that each of us is empowered to tell our stories—to express our vision of who we are as individuals, and how we fit together as a whole.”

Special Discount on New Product Offering, "Little Life Story"

In the spirit of sharing our stories, we are launching a new product offering at the festival.

While we specialize in creating legacy and other heirloom books that showcase your stories, many people are not yet ready to dive into such a big project. Others may not think their stories are worth telling—or that they can present them in a way that’s appealing, memorable, evocative.

First: Your story is worth telling.

I repeat: You have a story that’s your alone, and your story is worth sharing.

Second: It's our job to help you best relate your story! We thought, why not create a product that allows individuals to get a taste for the process—and to see how easy (and fulfilling) it can be to create a lasting heirloom that records one of your stories beautifully? So, presenting a Madison Storytellers Festival Special:

“Little Life Story”

Got one hour? That’s all it takes (well, that and a little fond reminiscing!) to create a short life vignette tied to a favorite old photograph, family recipe, or other memento. Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose a photo, recipe, memento, or other physical item that sparks a special memory for you.*
  2. We work together to give voice and form to your story.
  3. We scan and optimize your image.
  4. You get a frame-worthy page to display!

Madison Storytellers Special: You pay $150 for the approximately one-hour session (where we discuss and refine your memories, identify and distill the story) and the resulting life vignette.

This would normally be part of a full book-making process, but we want to introduce you to the joys of finding—and sharing—your own stories! So, our gift to you includes a one-page design that incorporates your photograph and story, typeset and designed in a way that begs to be framed and displayed (we will have samples on hand the day of the festival). It will be printed on archival art paper or, if you prefer, on high-quality glossy photo paper.

You’ll also receive a bonus digital version for you to share with friends and family on social media or via email.

If you decide to try our “Little Life Story” package, you’ll get a taste of what our process is like—and who knows, it just may be the first step on your journey towards your very own book!

Come on out this Saturday to say hi, see some sample books, and see what Modern Heirloom Books is all about. We look forward to meeting you—and to hearing YOUR stories!


*Your privacy and your precious photos and memorabilia are respected and safeguarded at every step of the process.