NATIONAL STORYTELLING Week
Its National Storytelling Week
To The Storytellers :
The Oral Tradition.
Put the book down! Picture
the mind, the eyes have it, the features
convey. Don't look for narrative
along the life lines in the flat lands of your hands
experience puts them there-
like the tale that wears your face.
Create and extend in the bowl of'your fingers
the reach of your insight
and the stream of its light;
lay out endeavour, diversion and resolve,
humour and pathos - heart break and love
song. Commit to expression that
which cannot be seen – but sensed
in an intake of breathing-
the grasp of a gasp,
the connection of thought. The transmission
of image and its reception as viewed.
Face on and lip kissing each word
that you utter, the essence of you in the story
you form – whether it's yours
or the adventure of others,
let it hang in the air, before
you pause for applause.
With the above (now wonderfully re-titled "The Manifesto" by our colleague Fiona Collins) written in frustration at a group of enquiries if reading to a class when taking part in this years National Storytelling Week was allowed I began that festive week of tale telling.
Every year for the sixteen years of The Society for Storytelling's National Storytelling Week (to give the event its proper title) I have listened and explained that though some establishments have the finances to afford authors and pay for them to read their story tomes - SFS National Storytelling Week is not a literary festival (there are more than enough of those throughout the country) it is a festival celebrating the eye to eye telling and communication skills.
To each enquirer in such cases, it is explained that we cannot govern how they convey their delivery, but face to face gets much more across than the dip and dunk hurdling over the text in a book. For each time a reader looks down, he breaks contact with his audience. My hope always is that those who listen will take that advice and use it.
SFS promotes oral story telling, linked to but separate from, reading, writing and literacy.
I ask all who enjoy a tale and enjoy that company of friends in the warmth of a storytelling venue, who share the adventure of an evening, to start now preparing for SFS National Storytelling Week 2017. Don't leave ideas and discussion till the autumn. Contact local Schools, Care Homes, Hospices, Social Groups, Theatres, even businesses willing to learn communications skills - because you have what they want. Don't forget you can ply for grants and to state your charges. Give yourself plenty of time.
I say all this at a time when because of Government cutbacks shadows are falling across a number of Arts Organisation (including our own) for both organisations and individuals the reckoning of funds is tight.
If at the end of these words I am to put sunshine into you day, then let me tell you that our audience has potential and is growing - so be part of the nurturing!
In 2000 SFS National Storytelling Week had an overall listening audience of 600.
In 2015 its audience was in excess of 19,000.
In 2016 counting all the figures dear friends our audience (aged 3 to 103) was in excess of 30,000
We all have a right to be proud, we all have a right to band together in common cause. Indeed all I have to add is a translation from an ancient language of my
background - "If I am not for myself, who is for me - and when!
SFS NATIONAL STORYTELLING WEEK 2017 IS 28TH JANUARY - 4TH FEBRUARY (with coat tales either side!)
Yours as always
The Society for Storytelling
Coordinator for National Storytelling Week
there are hundreds of events, tellings workshops happening all over the country!!
And how did it all Start you may ask? well on Monday 31st january I will publish Del's reply to that question!
Well Del Reid is the creator and founder of The National storytelling week and its celebration of sharing stories in families communities, bridging the devide between cultures and individuals.
story and storytelling is about sharing. It heals division and warms friendships.
It reminds us of long forgotton moments and breaths life where life seemed gone.
Story has no divide between colour or creed, it holds dear all life and brings hope where Hope seems lost
Story is us ....