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Michael Burns is an author, university teacher, writing coach, film maker, editor, and storyteller. He has a B.A. from Georgetown  University, an M.S. from UMass Amherst, and holds a Ph.D. in non-fiction film history from the University of Birmingham in the UK.


His introduction to story design came from his visual work. He has directed five films for international television and his documentary work on warfare, democratic processes, and PTSD treatment has been seen in over twenty countries.


He is also the founder, director, and curator of Tall Tales, India’s longest-running, true storytelling event series. In doing this work, he's coached hundreds of storytellers and edited thousands of story submissions.


In 2008, Michael developed his first story workshop, a class that continued to evolve and expand, starting as one afternoon, moving to a full day, then to two days, later a weekend retreat, and now a week-long, international experience where writers of all levels can discover the author inside of them. His approach is highly inclusive and based on the heartfelt passion he has for stories, social justice, and the importance of fun and play in the creative process.

Find out more about Michael and his writing and coaching at and

Read an interview with Michael about The Story Retreat here.

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