Calling Crane Publishing is the collective works of Joe and Paula McHugh. We are dedicated to nourishing the imagination, provoking meaningful dialogue about the complex and often daunting issues of our times, and engendering a spirit of hope and cooperation.


Joe McHugh is a storyteller in the tradition of Mark Twain and Will Rogers. He is also a public radio journalist/producer and a cultural historian with more than thirty-five years of experience helping organizations and communities discover and more effectively tell their own authentic stories. He has authored three collection of folktales and humor from the mountains of Appalachia, produced multicultrual festivals, founded a museum, designed a literature camp for children, pioneered the use of radio dramas in the classroom, and produced and hosted programs for public television and radio. He has presented at numerous national and regional conferences and served as a project consultant for the California Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges, National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, and other organizations. He is the author of Kilowatt, a novel about the energy industry and the nature of time, Coins in the Ashes, a Family Story of Grief, Gratitude, and Grace, that chronicles his twelve-year quest to find the family of an African-American woman named Helen, and Slaying the Gorgon, the Rise of the Storytelling Industrial Complex. He was host and producer for the radio series The Telling Takes Us Home. He is curerently working on Rosin the Bow, a public podcast series and oral history project for the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History exploring the many roles the violin family of instruments play in the world today.

Paula McHugh is an artist and musician she has illustrated and design several books, installed numerous stained and etched glass windows, and is currently working on series of oil, watercolor and egg tempera paintings inspired by the titles of American and Celtic fiddle tunes and folk songs. She has worked together with Joe on numerous projects from music, summer camps, storytelling performances, audio projects, book publishing, and radio drama in the classroom over the years. Her latest artistic work can be seen

A Celebration of American Family Stories

Stage Performance The Time Travelers tell American History

through Storytelling, Music, and Art



information on Joe's keynotes and workshops

A Podcast Journey Through the World of the Violin Family

Art inspired by the titles of Fiddle Tunes and Folksongs


Calling Crane Publishing

Joe or Paula McHugh