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Whit is storytellin?

Image of Storyteller at Scottish International Storytelling Festival.

Storytellin is yin o oor auldest artfoarms. It brings words an the warld tae life thegither, kinnles the furfancie, an builds a notion o community atween tellers an listeners.

But stories are no only the tradeetional tales we are yaised tae finndin in bairn's books. Stories are aw aroond uz - in newspapers, novels, oan the telly an the Web. They are pairt o the wey that we lairn tae unnerstaun the wey we live an the naitural warld roon aboot uz, an come tae tairms wi it aw. Storytellin is a skill parteecular tae uz as a species shared atween fowk, an ornarie crack is ful o yairns an true life stories.

Monie aulder stories are oreeginally tradeetional fowktales. They serr tae presaint the richness o speech pattrens o shapin an tellin an are the ootcome o a community experience as weel as the art o the indiveedual storytellers. But historical stories, legends an modren stories can be the subject o the storyteller's art jist the same, an they as weel cairry a strang sperk o commuinity or shared experience.

The bit aboot tradeetional storytellin is that it's as much aboot the tellin as it is aboot the story itsel. Stories are recreatit bae the teller at ilka tellin an passed oan through the generations. Richt storytellin happens whin the story is telt bodie tae bodie, live, athoot oniethin written doon or technology fanklin wi it. Nithin beats the experience o a live storytellin perfoarmance fur bringin tales tae life.

"The story is telt ee tae ee, mind tae mind, an hert tae hert." Scottish Traiveller Proverb

Fowk o aw ages, backgrunds, an cultures can communicate through storytellin. Storytellin is alsae a gey nackie tool in education, language development, therapy, an in buildin racial equality an releegious respect.

Vessit oor Storytellin Ootreach page tae finnd oot mair aboot storytellin projects aw ower Scotland.

Whae are the storytellers in Scotland?

Awbodie is a storyteller! Some fowk though tak it intae thir heids tae gether an lairn thir storytellin skills fur yiss in parteecular situations or fur special reasons an become professional or community storytellers.

Scotland is hame tae a wunnerfu rich an braid netwirk o storytellers wi monie different kins o stories an weys o gaun aboot tellin thaim. A fair pickle o thaim pit doon thir love o stories tae thir upbringin or bairnhuid influences, but whit cleeks thaim aw is a commitment ower time tae the practice o thir art. The wirk o the storyteller reenges frae sharin tales as a bit entertainment, tae leadin storytellin projects wi groups needin a haund, sich as asylum seekers an thaim wi special needs. 

Whilst some o Scotland's storytellers huv been shapit bae yin or mair storytellin tradeetion, maist acknowledge a debt tae Gaelic storytellin, storytellin in Scots, or tae the tradeetions o the Scottish Traivellers.

The Scottish Storytelling Centre upsteers, uphauds an faceelitates storytellin in faimilies, communities, plisses o lairnin an naitural environments. Wi alsae recognise an honour saiveral special kins o storyteller:

  • Tradeetion Beirers - thaim that huv keepit an are haundin oan tae the aulder tradeetions o stories. They are oor Honoury Foonders.
  • Community Storytellers - thaim that share stories in thir communities or through thir wirk contreebutin tae fowk's weel-bein an quality o life.
  • Professional Storytellers - thaim that wish tae traivel across Scotland an pit across thir storytellin craft as a peyed profession.

Wi ask thir kins o storyteller tae become Netwirk maimbers (page in Inglish) o the Scottish Storyteling Forum an tae git rowed in wi mutual support, collaboration an growthe.

How tae finnd stories

Ye can finnd stories in monie weys, here are a pickle nories tae help ye git stertit:

  • Listen tae storytellers – at events, festivals an clubs
  • Listen tae storytellers oan audio cassette or CD
  • Huv a deek at oor resources page
  • Read story collections, e.g. fowktales
  • Research yer local history an community stories – thir can often be funnd in libraries in local history collections
  • Gether faimilie stories
  • Bogle intae story websites
  • Create yer ain stories but mind that these need tae wirk as oral stories

Ye can gether stories in monie weys, here are a pickle nories tae help ye git stertit:

  • Listen tae storytellers – at getherins, festivals and clubs
  • Listen tae storytellers oan audio cassette or CD
  • Huv a deek at oor resources page
  • Read story collections, e.g. fowktales
  • Finnd oot the local history an stories o yer ain airt - they can maistlie be funnd in libraries in local history
  • Gether faimilie stories

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Book a storyteller

We have over 100 professional storytellers in our Directory. You can search for a storyteller according to geographical area and/or their age-group specialty. For more information about our Directory and our storytellers please contact Davide.

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