John B. Jamison

“A Master Storyteller!”

Programs for:

Organizations.

Keynotes.

Libraries.

Book Clubs.

Schools.

John Jamison is a life-long believer in the power of stories. First as a pastor, then education, the creator of Centers of Innovation at multiple universities, the director of a national Game and Simulation academic degree program, the creator of ImagiLearning, Inc., and now an author and speaker, stories have played a central role in his work and have remained a passion throughout his life.

Whether you are looking for an informal conversation with your writer’s group, book club, or students, an after-dinner message of inspiration or just good fun and laughter, or a formal keynote for your organization’s event, John has spent more than 40 years as a storyteller for groups of all interests and sizes, and will work with you to create a story-based experience that will be remembered. See the list of topics below, and speak with John about how he can customize a session to meet the specific goals for your event.

Ask about John’s programs for schools! From encouraging young storytellers and writers, to simply enjoying the magic and inspiration of good stories, John’s experiences as storyteller and educator give him a unique approach to getting excited about writing and learning!

For those in faith communities, John can bring a unique, story-driven message that presents the old stories of faith in ways that give them new meaning. John uses his years of studying the Bible, it’s languages and it’s culture, coupled with his travels in the land where the scriptures originated, to help the message of the stories be heard in fresh and authentic ways.

John is now scheduling events for Summer and Fall for locations in Central Illinois. If you are interested in possibly having John share his stories with your group you can contact him directly.

Email: john@imagilearning.com

Topics for Keynotes, After Dinner, Group Events and Organizations.

Family Stories: Why My Left Eye Twitches!

Entertainment and Humor for General Audiences.

John describes his childhood in a small Illinois river-town in Illinois as “Tom Sawyer-ish with a blend of Wizard of Oz.” He explains, “I grew up in a family of storytellers and liars, and spent most of my time trying to figure out which was which.” Through this humorous introduction to some of the more “interesting” members of his family, John reminds us of the magic of story, and the real power of our own Family Stories.

It’s All About Choices.

Entertainment and Humor for General Audiences.

Have you ever been told, “You don’t have a choice?”, or have you ever been in a situation you did not like, but believed you had no other choice? John shares often humorous stories from his experiences in his life and career as he explains his belief that we always have choices. “We don’t always have a choice about the things that come to us, but we always have the choice about how we respond to those things that come.” John did not choose to be diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than a decade to live, but he made the choice about how he would respond. Now, twenty-six years after that diagnosis, John shares his belief that “We ALWAYS have a choice!”

Making Change!

Entertainment and Humor for General Audiences.

Since taking his first professional role at age 18, John has been in positions responsible for bringing about change in organizations. John shares some of the stories of his experiences, the good, the bad, and the absolutely ridiculous things that make change such a challenging thing to “manage”.

For anyone involved in leading, or attempting to survive, changes wherever they might take place.

I Was Talking With Death The Other Day…

General Adult Audiences.

There is nothing in this presentation that is profane or obscene, but it deals with the topic of death which may be uncomfortable for younger audiences.

From his first encounter with death around age ten, through more than twenty years as a minister sometimes jokingly called “The Pastor of the Dead”, to the day he heard the diagnosis from the doctor saying that he had less than a decade to live, John talks about how his lifetime of talking with death has caused him to more fully celebrate and enjoy life! While talking about death can sometimes be difficult, John’s personal stories and use of humor make it possible to think about death in a new way. “I’m not saying that I’m looking forward to it,” John says, “but I’m not going to sit around worrying and waiting for death to show-up. If it wants me, it’s going to have to come and find me! And, I intend to make him work at it.”

Topics for Writing and Storytelling.

These topics can be experienced either as presentations or hands-on workshops.

OBTUA! The Secret to Writing Stories!

School groups and young authors.

Children are natural-born storytellers…ask any parent. But, as the long list of “life’s rules” are being learned, those kids sometimes forget out to use the free-flowing imagination that helped them create those amazing stories. This fast-paced presentation is designed to help early to mid elementary students find that creative process once again. Using stories and group participation, John presents the “Magic word for creating stories!” as a key to unlocking the stories that are waiting to come out. This presentation can focus just on the process of creating stories, or for older students, can also include information about the process of turning those stories into books and other written formats.

How I Write: It’s about the experience! (not mine)

For writer’s groups, book clubs, teens and older.

This is not another presentation about “The Secrets for Writing!” or “The Top Ten Rules for Writing!”. John believes that every writer is different, has different goals, different experiences, and different abilities, and there are few universal “rules”. In this presentation, John gives his answer to what he says is the most important question: “Why am I writing?” He then talks about how the writing experience works for him, as well as what has not worked for him, and why.  John explains how his process works when writing his novels, his children’s stories, his faith-based books, and his non-fiction educational materials. His goal is not to present rules or secrets to follow, but to help remove some of the things that sometimes get in the way of allowing our stories to get written. When the size of the group allows, John likes to have open discussion about those things that get in the way, and talk about how to remove them.

Creating Suspense!

For writer’s groups, book clubs, teens and older.

The last time John counted, he found over two thousand books available describing how to write suspense. John says, “While many of those books are really good, the risk is that we’ll end up spending all of our time reading about how to create suspense, and never actually create any.” In this presentation talks about how he approaches creating suspense in his novels, and in his children’s stories. John also leads the group in several activities that demonstrate just how his approach works, without having memorize another list of rules or steps. This presentation can be a stand-alone session, or part of a workshop series with the group doing more activities.

Writing Dialogue!

For writer’s groups, book clubs, teens and older.

In this session, John asks the question, “Why is it that we all talk most everyday, with lots of different people, about lots of different things, in lots of different places, but when we sit down and write dialogue it ends up sounding like something written instead of something anyone might actually say?” He then describes his approach to dialogue, how he developed it, and how you might use pieces of it to create more authentic character interactions. John also leads the group through activities to help them experience the approach themselves. This presentation can be a stand-alone session, or part of a workshop series with the group doing more activities.

Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing – My Experience.

For writer’s groups, book clubs, teens and older.

The idea of self-publishing used to be seen as a bad idea, the act of someone who “could not get really published”. Today, that view has changed, and self-publishing is a major market populated with highly respected authors. In this presentation John talks about his past and current experiences as a traditionally published writer, and why he made the decision to self-publish his novels and children’s books. The goal of this session is not to make one approach the “good” and the other the “bad”, but to describe how the experiences he has had using both approaches. Based on his personal experiences, John describes what he sees as the strengths and weaknesses of traditional and self-publishing, and some of the things to expect when you choose each path. This presentation can be a stand-alone session, or part of a workshop series with the group doing more activities.

Self-publishing and Marketing.

Oh, You Wanted to Actual Have People Buy Your Books?

 

For writer’s groups, book clubs, teens and older.

In this presentation about marketing self-published books, John talks about what he believes is the number one, most important question for self-published authors: “Why are you writing?” Beginning there, John talks about his career-experiences in marketing and how he has had to re-learn everything as he has worked to market his books. He describes his initial efforts to do it all himself, his experiences of signing with a high-profile book marketing firm, and his current activities in marketing his books. The goal of this session is not to present “The Solution”, but to describe his experiences that have led him to believe there is no one “Solution” or “Package” that fits all writers. Instead, John believes that the self-published author has a unique opportunity (and challenge) to create the “Myth” that serves as their “Brand”. John also talks about the fact that, if we are serious about marketing our books, even though we writers sometimes don’t like words like “Brand”, and we sometimes believe that talking about ourselves is just “Bragging”, we just need to “get over it”. This presentation can be a stand-alone session, or part of a workshop series with the group doing more activities.

I Always Wanted To Write, But…

 

For general audiences, writer’s groups, book clubs, teens and older.

In this presentation, John talks about the number of times someone has approached him with the opening line, “I always wanted to write, but…” The goal of this presentation is to explain why John believes that “Anyone can write a story!” John says, “Maybe we can’t write a story Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, but I’m betting  Stephen King can’t write a book like J. K. Rowling either. But I can write a book like “I” write a book. And that just might be pretty darned good.” John talks about the things that might keep us from writing and gives some ideas about what we can do about those things. Instead of just asking why someone believes they can’t write, John talks about the more important question of why they want to write in the first place. John says, “When we know the answer to that question, most of the other problems just kind of go away.” This presentation can be a stand-alone session, or part of a workshop series with the group doing more activities.

 

Faith-based Topics

These topics can be experienced either as presentations or group classes and discussions.

Please Contact us for details.

John is now scheduling events for Summer and Fall for locations in Central Illinois. If you are interested in possibly having John share his stories with your group you can contact him directly.

Email: john@imagilearning.com

Jamison Books
J. B. Jamison
Pops Jamison