How To Get Started in Storytelling

The following lists will provide excellent storytelling resources for beginner as well as advanced storytellers.
(Story Sources Compiled By Ada Forney)

You can find other excellent resources at your local Public Libraries, Historical Society Libraries, Book Stores, Online, and from Family Records.

Florida Sand by Will McLean Published by the Will McLean Foundation. A collection of original Florida stories, songs and poetry by Florida’s black hat troubadour.

Akerman, Joe A., Jr. Florida Cowman, A History of Florida Cattle Raising. Kissimmee, Florida: Florida Cattlemen’s Assoc., 1976.

Bigham, Julia Scribner, ed. The Marjorie Rawlings Reader. A reprint. Jacksonvile, Florida: San Marco Bookstore, 1988 (orig. 1956).

Bloodworth, Bertha E., and Alton C. Morris. Places in the Sun: The History and Romance of Florida Place Names. Gainesville, Florida: U. Press of Florida, 1978.

Brevard, Caroline Mays. A History of Florida from the Treaty of 1763 to our Own Times. Two Vols. Deland: Florida State Historical Society, 1924.

Bruce, Annette J. Tellable Cracker Tales. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1996. [Includes “Bear Hunting – Cracker-Style,” “Ole One-Eye,” “The Boot,” and “’Bone’ Mizel.”]

Bucuvales, Tina, Peggy A. Bulger, and Stetson Kennedy, eds. South Florida Folklife. Jackson: U. of Mississippi Press, 1994. [In four parts: 1 – The Everglades, 2 – Miami, 3 – Key West and the Keys, 4 – Tourism. Includes index and ten-page bibliography.]

Burnett, Gene M. Florida’s Past: People and Events The Shaped the State. Three Vols. Sarasota: Pineapple Press, 1987; 1988; 1991 [Many short topics, most of which originally appeared in “Florida Trends,” a Times publication.]

Cohen, Isidor. Historical Sketches and Sidelights of Miami, Florida. “Privately Printed” at Cambridge, Mass., University Press, 1925. [This is a hardback copy. It contains a “firsthand record” of the pioneer men and women who shaped the early history of Miami.]

Coker, William S., and Jerrell H. Shofner. Florida From the Beginning to 1992: A Columbus Jubilee Commemorative. Houston: Pioneer Publications, n.d.

Crow, Myrtle Hilliard. Old Tales and Trials of Florida. St. Petersburg: Byron Kennedy & Co., 1987.

Denham, James M., and Canter Brown, Jr., eds. Cracker Times and Pioneer Lives: Florida Reminiscences of George Gillett Keen and Sarah Pamela Williams. Columbia, SC: U. of South Carolina Press, 2000.

Douglas, Marjory Stoneman. The Everglades: River of Grass. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1997 (orig. 1947).[50th Anniversary Edition. An influential book. Bibl. P. 456-463, Index p. 464-478]

Eriksen, John M. Brevard County: A History to 1955. Tampa, Florida: Florida Historical Society Press, 1994.

Fernand, Edward A., and Elizabeth D. Purdum. Atlas of Florida. Gainesville, Florida: U. Press of Florida, 1992.[Chapters: Natural Environment, History and Culture, Population, Economy, Recreation and Tourism, Infrastructure and Planning. See Origins of Place Names p. 264-267.]

Field, A. Clyde, Ada Parrish, and George “Speedy” Harrell. Central Brevard County, Florida. Charleston, SC: Arcadia “Images of America,” 1998. [Old photos with some commentary.]

Gannon, Michael, ed. The New History of Florida. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1996.

Glisson, J.T. The Creek. Gainesville, Florida: U. Press of Florida, 1993. [Entertaining memoir of growing up in backwoods Florida – near a famous “writer from up north.”]

Henderson, Ann, and Gary Mormino, eds. Spanish Pathways in Florida: 1492-1992. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1991. [A bilingual history text.]

Hopwood, Fred A. Melbourne Postal History 1880-1980. Melbourne, Florida: South Brevard Historical Society, Inc., 1981.
[Very interesting angle from which to view the growth of Melbourne area.]

Housewright, Wiley L., comp. and ed. An Anthology of Music in Early Florida. Gainesvile, Florida: U. Press of Florida, 1999. [Seminole; Spanish, French, British; Military and Patriotic; Religious; Folk Music; Music for Social Functions; Civil War Songs.]

Housewright, Wiley L. A History of Music and Dance in Florida 1565-1865. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: U. of Alabama Press, 1991. [Comprehensive scholarly historical text with illustrations.]

Hurston, Zora Neale. Go Gator and Muddy the Water: Writings by Zora Neale Hurston from the Federal Writers’ Project. NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 1999. [Includes biographical essay by Pamela Bordelon in Part I. Part II : Readings – Folklore, Florida Images, Race, and Performance Pieces.]

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. NY: Harper & Row/Perennial Library, 1990. [Originally published in 1937, a classic of Black literature set in Eatonvile, Florida.]

Jones, Maxine D., and Kevin M. McCarthy. African Americans in Florida. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1993. [This book “…highlights the lives of over 50 notable African Americans and traces the history of African Americans in Florida….” Includes “Discussion Topics,” vocabulary words, and references for “Further Reading.” Many illustrations.]

Kjerulff, Georgiana Greene. Tales of Old Brevard. 2nd edition. Melbourne: Excel Printing, 1990 (orig. 1972). [An informal history as remembered by the early settlers. Primary sources were interviews, old letters, journals, and unpublished manuscripts. Includes index p. 127-29 and bibliography p. 130-134. Illustrated by old photos, maps and drawings.]

Kleinberg, Eliot. War in Paradise: Stories of World War II in Florida. Florida Historical Society Press, Melbourne, FL, 1999. [This book is about “what happened right here in Florida” during WWII. About the “common people who committed acts of uncommon valor.” There were more than 9,000 POWs in 22 camps in Florida. Ch. 1 – Three Florida Boys at Pearl, Ch. 2 – The War Offshore, Ch. 3 – Bread Wrappers and Theater Tickets, Ch. 4 – The Invasion of Florida, Ch. 5 – The Military Bases, Ch. 6 – The Medal Bill Murden Never Got, Ch. 7 – A Little Corner of England in the Florida Scrub, Ch. 8 – “An Abominable Situation:” Black Exploitation in the War Effort, Ch. 9 – How Did My Brother Die? Ch. 10 - Shooting Stars and Friendly Fire, Ch. 11 – The Day They Bombed Frostproof, Ch. 12 – A Meeting at Cap’s Place, Ch. 13 - A Little Too Close to Home, Ch. 14 – Another Lost Soul on Enemy Soil.]

Lyons, Ernest. The Last Cracker Barrel. Newspaper Enterprise Association, NY, no date (but later than 1968). [Fifty-nine short anecdotes and incidents set in rural Florida. The author also wrote the book My Florida.]

May, Judge E.C. ‘Gators, Skeeters and Malary: Recollections of a Pioneer Florida Judge. Vantage Press, Inc.: NY, 1953. [The author came to Florida in 1890 against all the good advice he had received about the “bad men” that might kill him, the “‘gators” that might eat him, and the “skeeters” that’ll give him malaria and that’ll kill him. In Florida he was “successfully, a common laborer, merchant, judge, lawyer, member of the Florida House of Representatives, State Attorney, and, again, county judge of Citrus County….” After retiring he went into the insurance business, then sold that business and became a writer. This book contains his very memorable memoirs and a lot of Florida history from a first-hand point of view.]

McCarthy, Kevin M. Christmas in Florida. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 2000.[Christmas Celebrations in Florida by different people over the years.]

McCarthy, Kevin, ed. Florida Stories. Gainesville: U. of Florida Press,1989.[Contains literary short stories set in Florida by 17 authors, including Ernest Hemingway, John D. MacDonald, Zora Neale Hurston, Steven Crane, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Gore Vidal.]

McCarthy, Kevin M. Twenty Florida Pirates. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1994. [Contents include famous pirates from the 16th Century –Sir Francis Drake (1586—the Spanish called him a pirate) as well as St. Augustine Pirates of 1683, Blackbeard in 1718, Pirates in The Florida Keys in 1819, Slave Traders (1860), The Liquor Pirate (1929), Drug Smugglers (1977), and Yachtjackers (1993). “Further Readings” section at the end of each section. Illustrated by full color paintings by W. L. Trotter. Index p. 95-96.]

McPhee, John A. Oranges. 8th printing. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1980 (orig. 1966).

McWhiney, Grady. Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: U. of Alabama, 1988. [See Index for Florida references.]

Milanich, Jerald T., and Charles H. Fairbanks. Florida Archeology. New York, Academic Press, 1980. [This is a textbook. Refs. p. 263-274. Index p. 275-290.]

Oppel, Frank, and Tony Meisel, eds. Tales of Old Florida. Secaucus, NJ: Castle, 1987. [Forty stories and early articles from Florida dating from 1870 to 1911. Illustrated with rare photos, drawings and engravings.]

O’Sullivan, Jr., Maurice, and Jack C. Lane, eds. The Florida Reader: Visions of Paradise from 1530 to the Present. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc., 1991. [A history in documents, journals and letters. Part I - The Spanish and French, Part II – The British; Part IIl – Republican Paradise (Emerson, Audubon, et al., journals and letters). Part IV ”Strangers in Paradise: Indians and Blacks,” (Includes Seminole songs and stories, p. 122-127.]

Perry, John and Joan Perry. The Nature of Florida: An Introduction to Familiar Plants and Animals and Natural Attractions. Helena, Montana: Waterford, 1997.

Platt, Lester “Judge,” with Debra Wynne and Carolynn A. Washbon. Judge Platt: Tales from a Florida Cattleman. U. of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 1998. [Both useful and entertaining.]

Ranson, Robert. East Coast Florida Memoirs, 1837 to 1886. Port Salerno, Florida, Florida Classic Library, 1989. [This small paperback is a reprint of “A Memoir of Captain Mills Olcott Burnham, A Florida Pioneer.” Appendix I includes comments on the life of Capt. Henry Wilson, Capt. Burnham’s son-in-law and partner for over thirty years.]

Rinhart, Floyd and Marion. Victorian Florida: America’s Last Frontier. Atlanta, Georgia: Peachtree Publications, Ltd., 1986.[See especially Chap. 11 “Indian River Country” and Chap. 7 “The Orange Belt” on Kissimmee and Orlando.]

Rivers, Larry Eugene. Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation. Gainesville, Florida: U. Press of Florida, 2000.
[“This illustrated social history of slavery tells what life was like for bond servants in Florida from 1821 to 1865….”]

Shofner, Jerrell H. History of Brevard County. Two vols. Stuart, Florida: Brevard County Historical Commission, 1995.

Smith, Patrick D. A Land Remembered. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1996 (orig. 1984) [This novel by a well-known Florida author is set in early Florida.]

Stone, Elaine Murray. Brevard County – from Cape of Canes to Space Coast. Northridge, California: Winsor Publications, Inc., 1988. [Chap. 1 and part of Chap. 2 are prior to 1900. The rest is in the 20th century.

Taylor, Thomas W., ed. The Florida Lighthouse Trail. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 2001.

Thomas. Frank J. Melbourne Beach and Indialantic. Charleston, SC: Arcadia “Images of America,” 1999.] [Old photos with some commentary.]

Tucker, Gilbert A. Before the Timber Was Cut: Life and Memories of a Florida Cracker. [This is the proud family history of a cattleman born in Christmas, Florida. There is no information or evidence of an editor, publisher or a date of publication. Date must have been after February, 1999, since that date is included in a personal epilogue, and before October 1999, since that was its date of purchase. Author was 82 or 83 at the printing. The author says in the Acknowledgment: “This book has been written with the help of family and friends…for my family and friends. Hopefully other folks will read it also.”]

Will, Lawrence. Cracker history of Okeechobee: “Custard Apple, Moonvine, Catfish and Moonshine.” First edition. 4th printing. St. Petersburg, Florida: Great Outdoors Association, 1964.

Work Progress Administration of the State of Florida, Federal Writers’ Project. The WPA Guide to Florida. A reprint. NY: Pantheon Books, 1984 (orig 1939). [This is the Federal Writer’s Project Guide to 1930s Florida. See especially Part I Florida’s Background. See “Folklore” p. 128-135. Includes bibl. and index.]

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