What is storytelling?


Possibly the oldest art form, and something we’ve done around campfires for tens of thousands of years, storytelling opens windows into other times and cultures. It can draw us into imaginary worlds and shed insight into our shared human condition. In the last 30 years there has been a renaissance of storytelling. Professional storytellers work in schools, prisons, museums and art centres, while over 70 adult storytelling clubs meet in pubs and cafés around the country.

Storytelling has come to be associated with reading Cinderella from a book to children, but it is much richer than that. For one thing, a storyteller relies on memory and improvisation rather than on the written word. They are always engaged with the audience, making eye contact, taking their listeners on a journey with them. Stories range from gypsy tales, urban legends and African trickster fables, to the Mahabarata, an ancient Indian epic which can take nine days to tell.

See more about what Sarah does, and how you could enjoy the experience of hosting a professional storyteller at your event or workplace.


www.festivalattheedge.org Storytelling festival held every July near Whitchurch in Shropshire.

www.sfs.org.uk The national Society for Storytelling. The ‘Storytelling Diary’ link leads to details of special events and regular clubs throughout the UK.

www.scottishstorytellingcentre.com Based in Edinburgh, it runs excellent events and courses all over Scotland.

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