Working with Stories, together with its companion volume More Work with Stories, is a self-guided textbook for people who want to use Participatory Narrative Inquiry (PNI).

PNI is a process in which groups of people gather and work with raw, real stories of personal experience to do useful things in their communities or organizations.

Useful things like:

  • finding things out
  • catching emerging trends
  • making better decisions
  • getting new ideas
  • resolving conflicts
  • connecting people
  • helping people learn
  • enlightening people

I've been working in this area since 1999, and I've been working on this book project since 2008. As of December 2013, writing on the first book is finally complete. For Working with Stories, all that remains is to format the book and prepare it for print publication. More Work with Stories still needs a few more sections to be written, but it should be ready for publication soon, possibly in the spring.

Sounds great! How do I get the books?

Click on the image of either book's cover to download it, or click here:

It's two books? I thought it was one book.

Yeah, um, so it got really long. I decided to break it up into two books. Working with Stories is now just the first three parts of what I had before, and More Work with Stories is all of what was in the "advanced topics" and "PNI stories" parts. Otherwise it's the same.

Can I order a paper copy of these books?

Not yet, but soon! I'm counting on at least a few people doing exactly that. I plan to sell the books on when they are finished. But they will always be available on this web site regardless.

Working with Stories should be available in print early in 2014. More Work with Stories should be available a few months after that.

So these books are free?

Yes and no. They are free to download and redistribute under the terms of the Creative Commons license (Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported). However, the books are not free of obligation.

If you read these books and find them useful, I ask you to either:

  • buy a paper or Kindle copy of one or both when they become available (check back here), or ...
  • "pay it forward" by doing what the first book's title says: working with stories in your own community or organization.
I will consider either option a satisfactory fulfillment of that obligation.

Who are you?

I'm Cynthia Kurtz, just somebody who has been working in this area long enough to think she can write a useful book (or books) about it. ;) Check out my web site and blog for more information.

Can I help you finish the book's third edition?

You certainly can, and thanks for asking! What I need most at this point is feedback. Please read the book, er, books, and tell me how they could be better.

Where's the old web site?

I've hidden it away because it's far out of date. You can still get to it here.