"You DO Have a Story to Tell" Storytelling Class

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Note: This is a multi-session event series. By purchasing the event package, you acknowledge that you can attend all event dates included below.
Event Overview

Note: By registering, you acknowledge that you can attend all class dates Wednesdays 5:30pm-8:30pm CDT Class #1: July 1 through Class #8: August 19th, that you’ll have access to the materials listed below, and that you agree to participate via video to make conversation more conversation’y.



An empowering, writing and sharing-intensive, intimate class for those with "no stories" or "uninteresting" stories, or for those who simply want space for community, words, and self.



"I've always loved stories but have never devoted much time to writing my own. This class forced that to happen and it was beautiful. Magic happens as you become vulnerable, heed your classmate's suggestions (sometimes!), and edit, edit, and edit some more. It's remarkable how much better a story can become with a little work and how fun it can be to do that work. I think I might have a new hobby. Saya created a warm, welcoming environment for us to learn and grown. It was the highlight of my week. Truly.”


“Thanks so much for the assignments and the way you designed the class. I especially enjoyed the notes you wrote on my stories. You have a knack for critique. And I take your words as valuable because they are. Also enjoyed my classmates mucho…and their stories…also mucho. And being in M&C good vibes and comfortable. I learned A LOT; more than I expected.”



The best communicators are conversational. The best leaders are the ones that compel and inspire, achieved through fostering trust and connecting with others on an emotional level. Data, facts, and stats are easily forgotten; the key to being memorable is emotion. Enter the sticky tool of storytelling — what you hear sticks with you (and those with whom you inevitably share the story).


If you answer yes to one, some, all of below, this class is for you --

Do you have no stories?

Do you feel you’ve lead an uninteresting life?

Do you have nothing to say?

Do you have tons to say but don’t know where to start or how to say it?

Do you want to be a better writer? A better speaker?

Have you always wanted to write but _____ forever gets in the way?

Do you want to carve out time to do something for yourself?

Do you say yes to everyone but yourself?

Do you have a “thing” you want to work through, get over, learn from?

Do you have a “thing” you want to transform from negative to positive?

Do you want to (re)discover your voice?

Do you want to challenge yourself?

Does public speaking terrify you? Excite you?

Does sharing personal stories terrify you? Excite you?

Do you want your thoughts and your experience to help others?

Do you want to meet friendly strangers?

Do you want to be around positive people from all walks of life?

Have you been disappointed in classes due to the teacher, the structure (or lack thereof), or the relationships formed (or not formed)?


This is a non-fiction class where you are the inspiration for what you pen and the meat of class material is what you pen. Don’t worry if you think there’s nothing within you from which to be inspired. There is. You’ll be led through brainstorming activities, you’ll read and critique the stories of your classmates, and you’ll write and share your own narrative. Class is intimate and workshop’y to allow for a high-level of participation and attention. We'll also spend time on the art of performance storytelling -- what to do when you're on stage and in the spotlight.


At the end of our time together, we’ll have a showcase where everyone will share a story.



☆ Required Materials: analog or digital note-taking materials, a device with a camera (laptop, desktop, tablet, phone), a quiet space

☆ Other Requirements: consistent attendance, focused time outside of class to write and read, ability to critique and be critiqued, a willingness to be open, vulnerable, and supportive

☆ Timeframe: we will meet once a week, same day of the week, for three hours. Our showcase will be within a few weeks of our last class -- we'll pick a date that works for all

☆ Food/drink welcome during class



When Saya used to try to fit in -- which as an amazonian biracial Black Jew with a single mom, homemade clothes, and bike for a car was difficult -- she was miserable. Since learning the power of voice and vulnerability, she is a master at getting others to push themselves and "Me too!”, and now embraces her literal and figurative stretch marks. Often through the spoken and written word.


A proud Boston College English and Sociology major, Saya loves to combine her superpowers of storytelling and an ability to connect people and get them to see the goodness within. She’s keynoted conferences, shared a TEDx talk, and participated in various performances from the Chicago Women's Funny Festival to Listen To Your Mother to Fear Experiment℠. For years, she’s guided people in personal journeys to increased self-confidence and personal fulfillment. And taking that journey through writing and storytelling? The best.



She's run her business, Mac & Cheese Productions℠, since 2004. Mac & Cheese creates virtual and in-person spaces that build connection: to others, to opportunities, to self. A space for those without a space. A space for those who want to renovate their space. A space for those who want to share their space. Mac & Cheese inspires groups and individuals to learn, grow, and become better versions of themselves and you to take charge of your life.

What to Bring

analog or digital note-taking materials, a device with a camera (laptop, desktop, tablet, phone), a quiet space

Cancellation Policy

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Saya Hillman

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A TEDx speaker and one of Brazen Careerist' s Top Twenty Young Professionals to Watch, Saya has discovered how to turn her love of creating community, challenging herself and those around her, and enjoying life to its fullest into her “job.” Via her company Mac & Cheese Productions℠, she helps others (and herself) live a Life of Yes℠. Saya is from Evanston, went to Boston College, and resides in Chicago.

5 Have Dabbled

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