Margot Leitman is the author of the best-selling book Long Story Short: the Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need and Gawky, Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase. She has written for Dreamworks TV, the Hallmark Channel, the Pixl Network and NBC. She is the founder of the storytelling program at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre and is a five-time winner of the Moth Storyslam and a winner of the Moth Grandslam. She travels all over the world teaching people to tell their stories.
In this conversation, Margot discusses her book, Long Story Short: the Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need.
Geetesh: Margot, please introduce us to your book, Long Story Short. What motivated you to write this book, and what in your opinion, is the most significant takeaway for readers?
Margot: Hi Geetesh. I was motivated to write this book because I was seeing major results in my storytelling students. They were winning at the Moth consistently, getting memoir deals, having successful storytelling shows of their own, even having major life breakthroughs after learning to tell their story.
I thought about how I can only reach a select few people when teaching in person and that putting my lesson plans into a book could reach a wide audience and teach the masses how to tell their stories. The most significant takeaway for readers is up to interpretation by the reader. However, I hope that the reader will feel like telling their story is something that they can and should do after reading this book. It should feel like an achievable goal using the tools from Long Story Short. Also, I really hope people finish the book feeling like their story matters, it deserves to be told, and people will listen.
Geetesh: In your book, you speak about storytelling. But you also speak about storytelling that led you to be honest about yourself, and about sincere relationships that developed as a result. How are all these aspects related?
Margot: In the past, I often would not pursue a relationship with someone (both romantic or a friendship) if I didn’t feel like that person could be sincere. Eventually, I also had to assess that quality in myself. I’ve found cutting right to the chase with people forms instant bonds. From those bonds you can make a quick decision if you want to work with/date/befriend a person.
Successful relationships build a career as well. So it’s all a web of clear communication which breeds connection which breeds upward mobility in all aspects of life.