“A Day in The Life” with writer and storyteller, Doreen Vanderstoop

Doreen Vanderstoop spends half her days writing stories about imaginary people as real to her as you and me. You may be familiar with a few of these people yourself if you’ve read her book Watershed, published by Freehand Books in 2020. Some appear in her short stories, published by Loft on Eighth, Prairie Fire and Alexandra Writers Centre Society, among others.

Doreen spends the other half of her days TELLING stories about imaginary people—and some real—in her oral storytelling programs. She often adds a bit of fun to these offerings by singing and playing guitar. As the Project Manager for Storytelling Alberta’s StoryShare Project, she has a very special place in her heart for senior audiences and loves hearing elders’ stories. Doreen gets very excited about leading storytelling workshops as she loves it when people find their voice through the oral storytelling tradition. She truly thinks stories—written and told—will save the world if we can only stop long enough to listen to each other.

Doreen is the mother of two grown sons and lives with her husband in Calgary.

Written by Mike Walsh – husband and best friend

Doreen Vanderstoop
Mike Walsh is Doreen’s favourite hiking companion and the most supportive husband imaginable
Doreen Vanderstoop
Doreen atop Mount Bourgeau – when she’s not writing or telling stories, you’ll find her on the hiking trails
Doreen loves to work in her cozy corner office
Doreen leads a storytelling session for people with dementia at Revera Scenic Grande
In addition to performing, Doreen co-directed and emceed Storytelling Alberta’s extravaganza to celebrate Canada 150 in 2017
Doreen performs as Emily Ferguson Murphy, leader of the Famous Five, in many venues in 2019 for the 90th Anniversary of the Person Case (joined by fellow Famous Five performers Betty Hersberger, Donna Barnfield, Karen Gummo and Mary Hays)
Doreen Vanderstoop
Doreen performs a special program of songs and stories for children at Clearwater Academy in honour of Remembrance Day
Doreen Vanderstoop
Copies of Doreen’s debut novel Watershed arrive in April 2020; because of the pandemic, Doreen’s book launch was held online

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Which ’hood are you in?

I live in Scenic Acres.

What do you do?

I write fiction as well as perform oral stories and music for audiences of all ages. I am also the Project Manager of Storytelling Alberta’s StoryShare Project, which is all about encouraging our elders to engage in the oral storytelling art form.

What are you currently working on?

My work as a performer and as the Project Manager of StoryShare is ongoing. My current writing project-in-progress is a historical fiction novel that takes place in Calgary and Banff during World War II and beyond.

Where can we find your work?

You can buy my novel Watershed through your local bookstore or online at Freehand Books.

You can view samples of my storytelling/musical performances on my YouTube channel.