What's Your Story? Workshop for Stanford Medical Students

Stanford Medicine and the Muse Program

with generous support from the Drs. Ben and A. Jess Shenson Funds and The Marmor Foundation.

11:00 AM September 16 to 12:00pm Sept 17, 2017

Soul Food Farm
6046 Pleasant Valley Road, Vacaville CA 95688
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Everyone has a story. Or ten. Do you know what yours are?

Now more than ever, there are opportunities for physicians and physicians-in-training to make their voices heard--whether that's live onstage, creating a stories for popular podcasts, writing an opinion piece for a major national newspaper, giving a TED talk, publishing an article, writing a novel or sharing a work of creative nonfiction. At Medicine & The Muse Storytelling Workshop students will get an intensive in the art and craft of storytelling for a variety of media--from radio to short story, creative nonfiction to live storytelling. New York Times bestselling authors and a few surprise guests at the top of their fields will help you find your voice, learn how to use it, and share the stories that matter most.


  • tips and tricks for being your most creative self and capturing your best ideas
  • how to identify the elements of incredible stories and their structure
  • the difference between a story and merely an interesting topic
  • how feel more creative in your daily life and learn how to make time in medical school
  • what agents, editors and producers are looking for and how to pitch your ideas


Plan to arrive by 11am on Saturday the 16th. We will set up our tents in the olive orchard and then have a picnic lunch on the farm. We will spend the rest of the afternoon in both big and small working groups, until we break for dinner. Alexis, the owner/founder of Soul Food Farm will be cooking for us, using last-of-the-season produce from their gardens. 

After dinner there will be more stories and impromptu music making--so bring your instruments and your voices. (Sorry no campfire this year because of fire regulations! Don't worry though we will still figure out a way to eat s'mores.)

Sunday morning breakfast (coffee, tea, local pastries, honey from the farm, yogurt, granola) will be served in the garden and we will have writing time and one last storytelling session following the meal.

The workshop will be over by 12pm on Sunday but feel free to stay at the farm and hang out with animals or in the gardens until 3pm. 

About Your Teachers

This is an opportunity for you to hang out with some of the top science and medicine communicators working today. Workshop leaders have been selected for their know-how and experience as well as their generosity, kindness and interest in supporting student work.

Lineup of guest teachers can be found here! You will be spending time with fantastic producers, editors, writers and filmmakers who work with or for The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Pop Up Magazine, Voice of Witness and more.

Last year's guest instructors were Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (now an HBO movie starring Oprah Winfrey), Jordan Bass, executive editor of McSweeney's Publishing, Annie Brown, journalist and podcaster at the New York Times and David Prete, actor, director, author and public speaking coach.


The workshop is now full. But don't despair, there's a waitlist.

Get on it here!




We will be camping in the olive orchards at Soul Food Farm. There is a lovely bathroom with hot water and an outdoor shower so you can shower under the stars. We will provide tents, but let us know if you prefer to use your own. We will be outside for most of the workshop so make sure to dress accordingly. And if you need help getting your hands on anything on the below list, let us know.


  • A meaningful object--can be as big or small as you'd like provided it fits in your car
  • Notebook and pen/pencils AND/OR your laptop to write on. Note: there will not be an opportunity to charge your devices, so come fully charged and if your battery dies, be ready to write on actual paper.
  • Sleeping bag/sleeping pad (available for rent from the Stanford Outdoor Center)
  • Headlamp
  • Comfortable shoes to walk in outdoors over rough terrain
  • Warm layers because it can get cool at night
  • Warm hat and socks
  • Water bottle
  • Towel
  • Musical instruments if you play them. Because, campfire!
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhat
  • Dark glasses

NOt necessary but nice to have

  • Crazy Creek or other form of camp chair
  • Picnic blanket (or extra towel or old sheet you can put on the ground to sit or lay on)
  • Insulated mug for hot beverages
  • Yoga mat if you'd like to take part in Sunday morning yoga





How to Get There

Soul Food Farm is located at:
6046 Pleasants Valley Road, Vacaville CA 95688
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The farm is a roughly 1.5 hour drive from Stanford. There will be options to carpool with others. Please let us know if you want help coordinating a ride or if you have extra room in your car for others! 




in case you're wondering about anything else...

Feel free to email Laurel Braitman lbrait@stanford.edu with any questions, big or little, that you have about the workshop.