West Virginia Storytelling Guild

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Susanna "Granny Sue" Holstein


Susanna “Granny Sue” Holstein develops her stories from folklore, history, and personal narratives. Performances of Appalachian stories include background information and artifacts to enrich the educational content so that audiences develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of West Virginia’s unique culture and heritage while being entertained with lively tales and ballads. West Virginia Ghost Stories is one of her most requested programs.


Although her focus is on Appalachian culture, Granny Sue’s repertoire includes original versions of world folktales, family stories and participation stories. Her adult and family programs often include British and Appalachian ballads sung in the traditional unaccompanied style and opportunities for audience sing-along.  Performances for children are highly interactive and frequently include the use of puppets, props, movement activities and songs.


Storytelling and writing workshops can be tailored to meet specific objectives. Recent workshops have included Introduction to Ballads, Blogging for Storytellers, Creative Writing for Children, and puppet-making workshops for library summer reading programs.


A member of the National Storytelling Network, the West Virginia Storytelling Guild and several regional storytelling and writing organizations, Granny Sue is also a published writer. She has conducted writing workshops at Moundsville Public Library and for the Mercer County High School Writing Camp, and is frequently invited to speak to book groups and other organizations about her writing and storytelling interests. She maintains an active daily blog and is a frequent contributor to BlogHer and other online sites.


Publications include:


Self-Rising Flowers and Zinnia Tales, published by Mountain Girl Press. Each volume includes a story or two from Granny Sue in collections that focus on strong Appalachian women stories. Each title is $12.95, and can be purchased by contacting Granny Sue at susannaholstein@yahoo.com



Lives, Unheralded, 2007. Poems about people I’ve met and admired over the years.

Mountain Story, Mountain Song (CD); 2004. A collection of Appalachian stories and ballads.

Tell It Together: Participation Stories for Family Audiences, 2003. Stories to tell with children and family audiences.

Homeplace: Poems from the Mountains, 2004

Granny’s Ghost Stories, 2004. A collection of folktales, local lore and original stories.

Skull Run Stories (one of 6 editors), 2006.

Granny Sue’s News and Reviews, online journal published daily at www,grannysu.blogspot.com



Articles, stories and poems:

         Granny’s Front Porch: monthly article for the regional newspaper Two-Lane Livin’.

        Storytelling with Puppets. Telling Stories to Children. NSN Press, 2005.

         Young Writers Group. More Teen Programs that Work. Honnold, Rosemary. Neal-Schuman, 2005.

         Simplicity. Gambit Literary Magazine, 2006 edition, WVUP.

         The Way It Was. Appalachian Journal, 2005.

         Brown Paper Lunch Bag. Museletter, WV Writers, Inc. 2005.

         Telling Stories in the Parks. Storytelling Magazine, 2005.

         Filling the House: a retelling of an old folktale. Storyteller.net, 2004

         Various stories and poems, MountainEchoes.com, 2003-2004


         National Storytelling Conference, 2000: Featured Regional Teller

         WV Storytelling Conference, 2001: McWhorter Award for service to storytelling in West Virginia

         WV Writers Conference Writing Contest 2004:2nd Place and Honorable Mention (2)

         Allegheny Echoes Creative Writing Workshops Scholarship, 2005

         Author Enablers Creative Writing Contest, 2nd place, 2005      

         WV Writers Conference Annual Writing Contest: multiple winning entries in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009.

         WV Poetry Society 2006 Poetry Competition: 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, 1st and 2nd  Honorable Mention



Contact Granny Sue:

Granny Sue
Stories from the Mountains and Beyond

R2 Box 110
Sandyville WV 25275
toll-free telephone: 1- 866- 643-1353



Susanna "Granny Sue" Holstein also has an online blog.  Check out her thoughts at: Granny Sue's Blog.