Mary Hamilton, a Kentucky farmer’s daughter with over 30 years of freelance telling experience, expects to take delight in pondering, “What happens when a story is told well?” for the rest of her life.

Mary Hamilton tells stories in her straightforward “just talking” style, serving up an eclectic story repertoire featuring generous helpings of Kentucky narrative traditions and world folktales along with a smidgeon of myths, tall tales, legends, fiction, and true stories.  Mary’s tellings have delighted students at hundreds of schools, and all ages at family events and storytelling festivals throughout the United States. Mary teaches the art of storytelling through workshops on telling techniques, classroom applications, and developing audience participation. She also leads individual and small group storytelling coaching sessions.

Awards for her storytelling include a Circle of Excellence ORACLE award from the National Storytelling Network, a Jesse Stuart Award from the Kentucky School Media Association, and a Coleen Salley Award from the University of Southern Mississippi.  Her book, Kentucky Folktales: Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies, published by University Press of Kentucky in 2012, won a Storytelling World Gold in the storytelling collections category and received an Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award Learn more at


Naomi HenkeMary Hamilton