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Steven James

Trained as a performer with a Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven James began sharing his unique blend of drama, comedy and inspirational storytelling in 1997.


Since then, he has taught writing and storytelling and appeared as a professional storyteller 1800+ times around the world—in addition to writing more than forty books.


As one of the most innovative and versatile storytellers on the speaking circuit, Steven is as comfortable sharing communication insights with corporate executives as he is teaching master level fiction writing at ThrillerFest in New York City, entertaining a school full of children in India, sharing storytelling secrets with pastors in Kazakhstan, or equipping 600 educators in South Africa to teach more creatively.


Best known for his humorous and engaging style and an ability to turn a laugh into a lesson that lasts a lifetime, Steven’s poignant stories and keynote addresses have made him an in-demand speaker year round. He has been called “Mesmerizing,” “Timeless,” and “Masterful.”


     *Side-splitting humor

     *Inspiring messages

     *Interactive seminars


Steven is available to keynote at writing and educational conferences, teach and consult on creative storytelling, speak at writing retreats, visit colleges as a writing instructor, and perform for family events.


Visit us today at www.storytellingkeys.com to book Steven for your next event, or contact us at 800.52.STORY or [email protected]


“Steven James is a master of the writing craft, as well as gifted teacher. He’s both engaging and insightful. It’s no secret that these qualities make him a Writer’s Digest Conference attendee favorite. He knows what he’s talking about and he knows how to effectively share his insights with others. Our post-conference attendee surveys confirm, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is one of the best. Certainly we welcome his return.”

—Phil Sexton, Publisher at Writer’s Digest 


“Steven James is one of our most sought-after teachers and talented speakers.  He presents his extensive knowledge of storytelling in an entertaining and informative manner.  He lives story, and thanks to his sage advice, his students’ stories come alive.”

– Kimberley Howe, Executive Director, ThrillerFest


“Steven is not only a deft craftsman of compelling fiction, but he’s also a gifted communicator audiences love to hear and learn from.”

– Jerry B. Jenkins, novelist & biographer, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild


“Our students at Taylor University benefitted greatly from Steven’s insightful teaching. He motivated them to do their best writing and showed them avenues for publication.”

– Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Professor of Communication, Taylor University


“Steven James’s classes at ITW’s CraftFest and Master CraftFest are always packed and the students invariably come away with an improved grasp of storytelling and the art of story craft.”

– DP Lyle, Award-winning author and ITW Master CraftFest Coordinator


“Entertaining, inspiring, enthusiastic, and challenging are but a few adjectives describing the incomparable Steven James. An expert story-teller and teacher, he practices what he preaches as revealed in his books about writing and his own best-selling novels. He is a favorite conference presenter.”

-Yvonne Lehman, Director Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist  Retreat


“Steven James entertains audiences as a storyteller and educates writers as a bestselling author. We count on Steven to present in a professional and uplifting manner and he has never failed to deliver. His workshops are well-attended (and talked about for a long time after) and his keynote addresses are considered ‘not to be missed.’”

– Eva Marie Everson, Director Florida Christian Writers Conference


“Steven James is more than a gifted writer and story-teller, he’s one of the talented few who can translate what he does and share that knowledge with his students. As an instructor, he entertains, encourages, and educates in ways that equip others to find publishing success. His classes are always filled to over-flowing, making him a valuable addition to any conference.”

– Edie Melson, Director Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference


“Steven James is one of the most talented storytellers and orators I’ve met. I had the privilege of inviting him to train Christian writers in India on multiple occasions. His sessions were a delight and a blessing to many participants, some of whom have gone on to publish their writings successfully. Steven James is an inspiration.”

– Jacob Chinnappa, CEO, Rakshana TV (Christian Satellite TV channel from Hyderabad, India) 


“Steven James has been the keynote speaker at the Breathe Christian Writers’ Conference. His plenary sessions were rich with wisdom and encouragement, and so meaningful to our attendees. He stirred our imaginations with masterful storytelling and a strong sense of humor. I highly recommend Steven James for your writing event.”

– Andy Rogers, Breathe Christian Writers’ Conference


“In a country like South Africa where we have 11 official languages getting your point across cross culturally can be a challenge,  Steven James has on numerous occasions spoken at the Children’s Ministry Conference in South Africa to a diverse group of Sunday school and children’s ministry workers who have been able to easily grasp what he is conveying.  Using props, sound effects and improvisation and many other methods, the teachers learnt how to tell Bible stories in ways they could use in their own classes. His books have been a Godsend with easy to use indices so that they can be used to enrich other curricular.”

– Lisa Ekman, Managing Director iVangeli Curriculum South Africa


“If you want a speaker to delight your attendees, to give them enough information and strategies that keeps them asking for more, and to motivate beginners as well as more experienced writers, then you want Steven James. His knowledge, energy, and expertise never disappoints.”

– Carolyn Miller, co-chair, North Wildwood Beach Writers Conference


“I’ve had the privilege of attending Steven James’ Writer’s Workshop in India. Working in a corporate requires a lot of communication – meetings, emails, conferences, releases at a global level. Steve’s workshops have helped me learn the art of subtly imbibing the art of storytelling in my communication. The adaptability of his coaching techniques make him the Guru of his craft and a potential Corporate speaker.”

– William J. Chinnappa, General Manager at Accenture, Hydrabad, India


“Hold onto your coffee!  Steven James is a world class connoisseur of the finest grounds and in the process of getting caffeinated he will leave people thinking, craving more, perplexed at the complexity, and amazed at the simple details that change the trajectory of a seemingly ordinary story or talk.  As I have worked with him multiple times, across multiple continents, with multiple audiences he has never disappointed and has always left our teams or students wanting more.”

– Mark Reimschisel, Executive Director, Global Signet Group


“Steven James is a multi-dimensional writer, educator, and storyteller. He invites the audience to join him in seeing all sorts of characters and situations; and they follow willingly, knowing that he’ll return them to their chairs, all the better for having traveled with him.”

– Peggy Jones, Retired Educator, Cleveland Tennessee Friends of the Library


“Steven James is the best teacher I’ve ever worked with.”

– Robert Dugoni, New York Times best-selling author of My Sister’s Grave.


“Steven is one of the best writing teachers I know. In 2014, when we started Master CraftFest, which involves a day of extensive training with a small group of students at ThrillerFest each year, Steven was our first choice to be an instructor.”

– Steve Berry, New York Times and #1 internationally best-selling author.


“Steven is both a deep thinker about story and someone who can make amorphous concepts as easy to understand as an Aesop fable.”

– Donald Maass, Literary Agent and best-selling author


“It is a testament to the skill of Steven James that he can write a book on craft that is every bit as much a page-turner as one of his best-selling thrillers. I read this book in a kind of thrall, enjoying the wisdom on every topic it touched upon. Writing is rewriting, as they say, and this eminently useful guide is a tool kit for making that good book better, and making that better book great.”

—David Corbett, Award-winning author of The Art of Character




“Learned more practical, focused teaching in four days than I did in two years of creative writing graduate school. Supportive, accessible faculty who not only have reached the top of their fields but also light the way for others.”

—H.R. Weiner, M.D., M.F.A., Wisconsin



“This intensive exceeded my high expectations. Excellent instruction, collaboration, and intellectual exchange.”

—Dennis Ricci, California


“The openness and commitment to teaching, along with the intensive classes and critiques, has left me with tools that I couldn’t find anywhere else. It is the inciting incident to my writing career!”

—Rita Alterio, British Columbia


“The value and completeness of the information exceeded every desire I had for the weekend.”

—Donna Joppie, Texas


“It was an awesome intensive that leaves me wanting to dig further into my story.”

—Devin Berglund, Minnesota


“Steven James and Robert Dugoni are exceptional writers with the skills and drive necessary to teach writing: humor, tact, knowledge and experience.”

—Charlotte Morganti, British Columbia


“This has been the most beneficial intensive I have ever attended. Training from extremely talented authors Steven James and Robert Dugoni has changed my writing skills for the rest of my career.”

—Donald Brobst, Alabama


Please feel free to contact Steven James using this form with any event booking questions.