World’s 10 Best Storytellers of All Times

fairytale storytellers world famous
Written by Madhu Bairy

Storytelling has always been an effective and a powerful tool of communication. From something small, such as making friends to something big, like bringing a social change, storytelling has been instrumental in bridging the gaps between people and generations.
It is as important to listen to a story to be able to tell one. An effective storyteller successfully transports the audience/readers to different realms, enabling them to experience rich and life-changing experiences. The activity of storytelling is now seen in a fresh perspective. It is not just an entertaining medium; today it pervades classrooms, presentations, even boardroom discussions to enable sealing an effective bond with the clients.

The literary world would remain indebted forever to the creator of the greatest epics, Iliad and Odyssey, which even to this day are regarded as the central works of the Greek culture. Both these works recount the lives and adventures of many Greek heroes and speak of wars and the tragedies that followed.
Many modern works of literature, art, music and visual arts have been inspired by Homer’s epics and have contributed immensely to the world’s literary heritage by establishing a tangible connectivity between nature and humans, applicable to all ages.

William Shakespeare
The world-renowned poet, playwright and actor is undoubtedly the greatest ever storyteller of all times. His initial works were mainly historical stories and comedies, and he later gained worldwide popularity for a string of tragedies that included the ever-acclaimed Macbeth, Othello and King Lear.
His works have been adapted time and again, rediscovering the many facets of the works by the maestro. They have become the subject of perpetual studies and constant reinterpretations across the world.

Charles Dickens
Regarded as one of the greatest writers of the Victorian Era, Charles John Huffam Dickens is known for creating some of the most famous fictional characters.
Acclaimed for his works that contain humor, satire and a profound insight into human behavior and society, his works inspired many classes of readers. Elements such as realism, social criticism and dark humor have been praised by his fellow writers for the impact he created in social change.
In spite of multitudes of critics, his works continue to be classic English literature.

Rabindranath Tagore
Known for his short stories, Rabindranath Tagore infuses life into his characters and explores the subtle bond between humans like none other. His collection of work can best be termed as a celebration of life and its transition through generations.
One of his most famous and notable stories – Kabuliwala records the warm and unique bond between two people, despite the fact that they are generations apart. It is the essence of such stories by Tagore, that reflect the core values and ethics prevalent during that era.

Anton Chekov
Considered to be one of the foremost writers of short fictions, Anton Chekov was instrumental in enriching Russian literature through his classics. Also a noteworthy playwright, his plays were rich with the essence of storytelling.
He was responsible for introducing a revolutionary change in modern short stories. Though they challenged the understanding of the readers, they were well received and are still considered to be classics.

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Walt Disney
Who could forget the creator of adorable Mickey Mouse, his friends and so many other adorable characters? Be it his animated movies or fantasy theme parks across the world, Walter Elias Disney brought smiles and happy memories to generations. He gave importance to the minutest details to create an overall enriching storytelling experience, suitable to the audiences of all age groups.
His creations have stood the test of time, offering fun-filled, learning experiences, unforgettable memories and reminiscence of the ‘good old days’.

Stephen King
Probably the best of the best-selling authors, Stephen Edwin King is a popular writer across many genres. His books sold many million copies and some of them adapted to movies, television series and comic books.
He emphasizes about the importance of reading to be a good writer and a storyteller. He emphasizes his passion towards writing as something that he cannot imagine doing anything else.
Amidst many appreciations and criticisms, Stephen King acknowledges the various influences he had in life that shaped him as one of the finest storytellers of modern literature.

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Gail Winfrey, the popular talk show host, philanthropist and media proprietor, believes strongly in the power of stories and the art of storytelling, helping many people tell their stories. As she puts it in her own words, “There is power and meaning in everybody’s story”.
Credited as the most intimate confessional form of media communication, her ever popular tabloid show on television became more of an educational platform, featuring book clubs, interviews and philanthropic events.
The talk show witnessed people from various social and professional domains recounting their life stories and has been influential as a discussion platform for various social issues and causes.

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Virginia Woolf
An English writer known for revolutionizing modern fiction and a major twentieth-century novelist, Virginia Woolf was one of the foremost modernists. She believed that the stories of the nineteenth century were no longer suitable to the twentieth century due to changes in society. Her novel – Mrs. Dalloway – was a turning point in Virginia’s career. It was the first time where she used her whole female experience, without any kind of inferiority complex to portray the innermost feelings of her characters. Her stories hold top ranks in feminist literature.  

Richard Branson
A man with many faces, Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is one of the most powerful and richest men in the world. But, he never misses an opportunity to narrate stories related to some of the most important moments of his life and the lives of others. Having experienced life in multiple domains, like business, media, politics and various humanitarian activities, his stories have been an inspiration to many. He is constantly on the lookout for untold stories in people through his foundations.

Disclaimer: This list is based on the opinions of the writer. In case you disagree or would like to provide feedback, please write in to us at 

About the author

Madhu Bairy

I am a resident of Bangalore and a native of Kundapur. A self-confessed book worm, I always found any activity that involved reading and writing interesting apart from my academics. Reading is something that came quite naturally since my schooling days and that continued to grow over the years.
Writing to me is not a hobby, but something that I pursue passionately. A graduate in Textile Technology and a designer by profession, I find writing as an effective medium to convey my thoughts and opinions on anything and everything.

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