Previous recipients of Fellowships through the Storyteller Foundation: From top left and across each row from L to R: Sandi Sonnenfeld, Gabrielle Lennon, Stacey Powells, Joy Ogawa, Steffany Lohn Sommers, Abigail Bates, Julia Bobkoff, Susan Hunter, Rachel Naples, Patricia Horan, Edwina Joe-Kamara, Mary Cryns, Neely Estey, Natalia Alyukova, Mariah Mayhugh, Jocelyn Jones, Annette Maxberry-Carrara, Jane Sibbett, and Ellen Walters.

Plot Twist for 2021 Walk for Story

Event involves cosplay on Saturday Oct 16 & 17

David Paul Kirkpatrick
4 min readOct 8, 2021


Story Summit’s annual Walk For Story supporting fellowships for women has a plot twist. Participants will be walking as their favorite fiction character from literature or screen.

Linda Carillis and Mark Andrew Poe as Jane Eyre and Rochester from Jane Eyre

The idea stemmed from children’s book author Mark Andrew Poe and his friend, school teacher Linda Carillis. Last year in Walk For Story, they strolled through the Chicago Botanical Gardens as Rochester and Jane Eyre, promoting the Storyteller Foundation mission. They raised money for the fellowships.

The Mission of the Storyteller Foundation is to elevate the human experience through stories that inspire and encourage.

The organization’s strategy is to find talented writers who need support in honing their craft as well as gaining access to a wider readership or viewership.

Mariah Mayhugh as Katniess Everdeen fromHunger Games

In the last 18 months, the Storyteller Foundation has helped sponsor over 100 writers. Some receive full or partial scholarships, others get pro bono mentorship. 80% of those writers are women. The 2020 Walk for Story raised almost $40,000 in funds for Fellowships for women writers.

This year’s captain, Mariah Mayhugh, a previous winner of a Fellowship has created 7 different genre teams who are walking for story this year. You can click on any of the seven genres and join a team: action-adventure, comedy, romantic-comedy, science-fiction, fantasy, musical,and Young Adult.

Mariah will be walking as Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games.

She recently wrote this to Story Summit members:

In Jan 2020, I got a call that would change my life forever. It was from David Kirkpatrick himself, telling me that my children’s book had earned me a full ride to the Story Summit the following month.

I had longed for a way to use my voice for positive change, and the Story Summit, over the past year…



David Paul Kirkpatrick

Founder of Story Summit & MIT Center for Future Storytelling, Pres of Paramount Film Group, Production Chief of Disney Studios, optimist, author and teacher.