Symphony Space Success

No, YOU Tell It! is a treasure of a show. You have to witness it to really get how special it is. Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons assembled a team that puts so much heart and soul into guiding storytellers of different ages, races, genders, and backgrounds to swap stories, so that the performers are in each other’s shoes, as the saying goes. The result is hilarious and heartwarming, but also, such a profound experiment in fostering empathy. Everyone in the room, storytellers, show producers, and audience members, have an unforgettably moving evening of entertainment together, and that special sort of connecting of people going on in the show really is something to be cherished.

Kevin Allison, RISK!
Story partners Kevin Allison and Najah Imani Muhammad. 
Photo credit: Russ Rowland

What an incredible night at Symphony Space last week! We’re still on Cloud 9 and couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who made the night a success by attending in person, via the livestream, and/or donating. Check out more “College Try” photos on Facebook or Instagram.

Hey, while you’re there, why not LIKE or FOLLOW?

Special shout out to all who helped us provide free student tickets to high school juniors. We had a wonderful pre-show college essay jumpstart workshop, and the students loved the show!! 

Plus, we raised $500 during our story trivia in support of Bottom Line.

Want to help No, YOU Tell It! provide more opportunities for future storytellers and students? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.

What’s next? I’m so glad you asked. SAVE THE DATES:

I can’t think of a better way to kick off our 11th year!

Thank you again from myself and the NYTI Creative Team.

Pre-Show College Essay Workshop Available!

Have or know students starting the college application process? Entertainers and educators trading true tales is an excellent way to encourage students to think about the story they want to tell with their college essays.

Students attending our “College Try” show at Symphony Space can sign up for a pre-show workshop to jumpstart ideas for a college essay that opens a window into their unique character for admissions officers.

Contact for more info and to register. Ask me about our discount code for student tickets!

Corona Chronicle Available

Honored to have my essay “My Timeline Stops March 10, 2020” in The Corona Chronicle, a charitable anthology capturing insights, emotions, and observations of real New Yorkers during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

Limited to 150 copies, the first edition is available for pre-order here, and 50% of all proceeds benefit the Food Bank For New York City, provider of 121 million free meals per year to New Yorkers in need.

Black book cover with silver imprint of The Statue of Liberty

The anthology is a result of Ellipsis Rare Books 2020 essay contest. The top 10 entries selected are presented in a thematic order aimed to reflect a unique and ephemeral time in New York City’s history and include original writing from Hannah Berger, Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons, Gulshan Ashaque, Brahna Yassky, Robert Salzman, Tim Eberle, Seema Bajaria, Megan McNeary, Zoe Valery, and Alexander Cavaluzzo.

Limited to 150 copies, each first edition of The Corona Chronicle anthology is hand numbered by project editor and Ellipsis Rare Books proprietor, Andrew Lenoir, who also offers a short contextual forward. The book was also designed by and features original artwork from Charlotte Anderson.

College Essay Workshop at Symphony Space!

I’m proud to share our storytellers for next month’s No, YOU Tell It! “College Try” show at Symphony Space. Great for educators and students!

I’m also teaching a pre-show college essay jumpstart workshop open to any student attending the show, and we might have a discount code … email for more.

Interested in having me come to your school for a talkback session or college essay workshops after the show? I’d love to set up a time to chat.

The night features Kevin Allison (RISK!), Brett Felder (College Board), Dion Flynn (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon), and Najah Imani Muhammad (Leaders by Choice).

Entertainers and educators have developed true tales inspired by the theme “College Try” on the page. Watch as they swap stories to embody each other’s culture, identity, and life experience on stage. This illustration of the power of personal narrative is a marvelous way to get high school students thinking about the story they want to tell with their college application essays.

Plus, students can sign up for a pre-show workshop with producers and college essay writing instructors Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and Tim Lindner to jumpstart a college essay that will wow admissions officers. Space is limited! Contact for more info and to register. 

Follow @noyoutellit on Instagram for updates and to learn more about our storytellers and creative team.

What a year!

Happy 2022!

Get your copy at The Astoria Bookshop or Amazon.

What an amazing year! We celebrated the 10-year anniversary of No, YOU Tell It! with three stellar shows you can still WATCH online.

  • WATCH No, YOU Tell It! “Anniversary Apart” – Kicking off our anniversary season in January, watch storytellers Chris Crowthers, Gaby Martineau, and Jenna Struble swap tales from our virtual show, “Anniversary Apart”
  • WATCH No, YOU Tell It! “What I Know”  – In celebration of March being women’s history month, storytellers developed true tales inspired by the theme “What I Know” on the page. Watch them step into each other’s life experiences on stage. Featuring: Michele Carlo, Julia Granacki, Hannah Leland, and Sheria Mattis
  • WATCH No, YOU Tell It! “Punch Up” – For our September Brooklyn Book Festival Book End Event, storytellers who write for the page and the stage developed true stories inspired by the theme “Punch Up.” Featuring: Jenn Wehrung, Aida Zilelian, Matt Storrs, and Maria Rubio. Plus, guest host Ellie Dvorkin Dunn

In November, we also launched the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology 2022 with the first in-person event at The Astoria Bookshop since March 2020.

If you haven’t purchased your copy, the anthology is not just a powerhouse collection but provides behind-the-scenes insights into starting and growing a literary series over a decade.

Available at The Astoria Bookshop and Amazon. The eBook has links to listen to the live performances of all the stories via the No, YOU Tell It! podcast. Buy a copy and spread the word to support ten more years!

2022 also marked the return to my memoir-writing residency with the seventh graders in New Jersey.

Plus, new in-person creative writing workshops at Sunnyside Arts

More news on 2023 soon! Click here to subscribe to my weekly newsletter.

All my best this holiday season,
Kelly Jean

Please consider No, YOU Tell It! in your end-of-year giving

Click here to support 10 more years!

By making a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor, The Field.

Astoria Bookshop Anthology Event!

Join us tonight, 11/10 from 7-8 pm, at The Astoria Bookshop for a special IN-STORE, masked event celebrating the No, YOU Tell It! anthology with ME, and Queens contributors Ellie Dvorkin Dunn, and Jeff Wills. Plus, the chance to trade your own tiny true tale. 

NYTI AB_n.jpg

Tickets are limited as the bookshop keeps their in-person events super small. Click here for more information and to grab your $5 ticket (redeemable for $5 off any book in the store) to SAVE YOUR SPOT!

Can’t make it out tonight? Click here to grab a copy of the anthology from our friends at The Astoria Bookshop.  You can also purchase online from Palm Circle Press.

No, YOU Tell It! “Punch Up” and anthology release!

Celebrate the culmination of a decade of helping people share in each other’s stories at No, YOU Tell It! “Punch Up” TONIGHT!! Click here for the show program.

Join us in person at Culture Lab, LIC or view the live stream here.

Plus, a chance to win the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology 2022, now available in paperback and eBook (with links to listen to live performances of the stories through the No, YOU Tell It! podcast).


This show is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.