Stories To Free The Spirit Told by WANNA ZINSMASTER

Wanna Zinsmaster is a professional storyteller who tells folktales, myths, historical, original and personal stories.

Wanna grew up on her family farm in San Fernando Valley in California working in the fields, caring for chickens, and selling produce in a roadside stand. After high school graduation, she entered college, but World War II had begun and upon reaching the age of twenty, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy WAVES.

After her discharge from the Navy she completed a BA degree at Occidental College, taking summer sessions in French at both Mills College and McGill University. She later received a Masters Degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in Religious Education. For a short time she was the educational director in a church, a bank teller, part-time museum receptionist and finally an elementary school teacher in Connecticut. While teaching she completed her doctorate degree in education and creative drama at Teachers College, Columbia University. Soon she began her thirty-year career at California State University Los Angeles in the School of Education. Through these years she developed and taught Storytelling courses and developed the Storytelling Certificate Program. She also developed, and taught, a course in Creative Drama for Teachers.

Wanna draws from her life experiences for her personal stories. She also draws upon stories she or other listeners have found to be useful maps and mirrors for living life. Wanna tells stories, gives workshops, and concerts in schools, organizations, churches, national and local conferences, as well as private groups. She also coaches local storytellers, individually and in groups.

Listeners of all ages find that her stories help them become aware of the ways stories may be used as maps for navigating through their life’s challenges. Her stories tell of the significance of our words and our actions. As a result, listeners can find self-acceptance, appreciation for others and of their personal world. While listening to a good storyteller people often discover that their own personal stories can also carry the power of healing and self-expression. As Wanna puts it “My stories are not only for entertainment, but perhaps more importantly, to encourage listeners to live their lives with zest, confidence, understanding and gratitude.”


“A delightfully eccentric and wondrous woman is Wanna Zinsmaster.

“She is a Master Story-Teller & Teacher, clear guide, patient coach and a person that you can trust to give you a different view of your Self, your Story, and your Life.

“She is one of my favorite "Remarkable People" that have come into my life and she brings her own sunshine and unbridled lust for life with her.

“Don't miss the opportunity to learn from this rich resource. Wanna should be listed as a National Treasure. In fact, let me do just that: Wanna Zinsmaster is a National Treasure.”

- Rocannon MacGregor


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“Wanna Zinsmaster offers a rare nurturance of grounded experience, generosity and an uncanny love of living one's story to the fullest.

“She exemplifies what she teaches and builds on her long experience as a university professor, an unceasing personal quest for knowledge and her faith in the power of telling one's own stories in order to become the best of who you are.

“Wanna's workshops are gentle, inspiring and healing.”

- Laura Simms, Storyteller, ALA Notable author.