Donald Davis Workshop returns for eighth year

Published 8:45 am Friday, July 14, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

For eight years, storytellers far and wide have had the opportunity to share personal stories and tips at the Donald Davis Workshop, hosted by Azalea Storytelling Festival and Davis. 

From tales of a beloved baby doll to a childhood fascination with Daniel Boone and a lesson about the impact a person can make on someone else, the workshop had a little something everyone could relate to.

The storytelling session held in the LaGrange College chapel on Wednesday featured humorous and meaningful storytelling by Connie Askew, Don Davis, and Randy Nix, who were also attendees of the Davis Storytelling Workshop.

Askew and Don said there were some nerves getting started but once the words started to come out, all the nerves melted away.

“Usually, once I get up and get started, I’m good, but the weight of the anticipation is what gets me,” Askew said.

“This is my first time being here and feel like I have learned so much. He (Davis) brings a whole lot to the table. He makes you think differently — especially about the order of your stories and all the different little scraps that you put together to make a good story and what a good story consists of. Donald makes you really think about it and pulls things out of you that you didn’t know was were in you.”

Don is a longtime attendee of the Donald Davis Workshop. This year makes his seventh year attending.

“I’ve been to five here in LaGrange and one Ocracoke Island in North Carolina where Donald lives, but Connie is exactly right, Donald has a way of pulling things out of you,” Don said.

“While you’re sitting, listening to other people talk and hearing their stories you’ll get triggered and remember a time when this happened or I remember this person who was influential in my life. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing that I have grown to love doing whether I’m telling or listening.”

Nix said it was his first time attending the workshop and his experience has been fantastic.

“Getting a chance to sit and think about these stories and look back inside your own life about things you haven’t thought about in a long time and being able to communicate them to other people has been a lot of fun,” Nix said.

Azalea Storytelling Director Kirsten Dunn said the event went beautifully.

“We had such a good turnout. This was my first time coming to the LaGrange College chapel, and it is very beautiful. It was the perfect setting to spend an afternoon with our talented storytellers,” Dunn said.

She said this is the biggest class the workshop has ever had.

“There are 19 workshop attendees plus Donald Davis and his wife, Trish. Trish is also in the workshop which totals out to 21. Half of the attendees are repeat attendees, but the other half are new and coming from different states,” Dunn said. “We had one csome so far as California just to be here just for this. Donald Davis does six-week-long workshops across the country, and we are his last stop before he starts his festival tours. So, we’re very excited to be a part of that.”

If you missed the session at LaGrange College, the storytellers will be at the Pecan Grove at Hills and Dales from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.