Josh Pitzalis

This is a collection of my favorite books, article, courses, podcasts, and videos about telling better stories.

These are the top resources I’ve found so far. I’ll continue to update this page as I go deeper.

  1. Obviously Awesome - A big problem I’ve always had with business storytelling in the past is that it often feels like putting lipstick on a pig. April Dunford’s book was the first time someone helped me put the pieces together behind the scene. It’s not so much about storytelling as much as getting your story straight. Having the elements of a story in place and figuring out what you’re even talking about is an important prerequisite to the story-making process. Here’s a quick summary of what I got out of the book.

  2. The Storytelling Sprint- This 2-week course by Will Storr was incredibly helpful at laying down the foundations for telling a decent story and connecting the dots on how to do that in a business context. The most useful thing I got out of this was the idea that when you’re telling stories as a business you are never the hero, the person you are trying to reach is the hero and you are their guide through the wilderness.

  3. Story by McKee - This is a book about the principles of screenwriting. However, it remains the most interesting book about storytelling that I have ever read. McKee is a bot of a wizard and he weaves ideas and truth in bewildering ways. Whenever watch a shitty storytelling course or read a crap book I go back to McKee to restore the balance.

  4. Foster is this incredible community where you can submit drafts of your writing and people actually read it and give you feedback. Some feedback is better than others but it’s a great space to get a sense of which bits of a story resonate and which bits are still foggy before you share it more widely.

  5. The Ultimate Guide to Writing Online is a beautiful long-form piece by David Perell on the many upsides of internet writing, no matter where you are or where you are trying to get to in life.

  6. The Story Grid – Shawn Coyne’s story grid is an editor’s wet dream. He outlines an incredibly meticulous process for breaking down each component of a story and examining it to make sure your story holds as much water as it can. He has a book, which is excellent, but you can also just sign up for the free 5-day email course on the landing page and he summarizes everything in a series of youtube videos over the course of a week.

Please let me know if you know any other resources you think should be on the list.

  • User retention reading list – I used to get asked how to learn more about user retention and what resources are available. So I put together a reading list around user retention
  • Growing Tiny Businesses – This is a collection of different posts about the various aspect of growing small businesses I’ve written over the last few years.