Monday, December 04, 2006

Cayman Net News: Storytelling comes alive

A report from the 2006 Gimistory, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation's annual storytelling festival.

I also found a web site for the 2004 Gimistory, and Ken Corsbie's review of the 2005 Gimistory (check out the picture of the jam session, featuring Afro-Carribean drums and Jeri Burns' harp!).

Gimistory's official site. Looks like fun!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The origin of manga: Storytelling Man

From Japan's PingMag: a feature on Tameharu Nagata, one of Tokyo's last remaining traditional kamishibai storytellers. Great pictures of his stories (he's got 700 different ones!), as well as his cart.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

YouTube: Storytelling in Jonesborough TN

Promotional video for the National Storytelling Festival and International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Some nice archival photos of performers and audience members from the early years. Can you recognize the storytellers in their 1973 fashions?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Give Free Hugs: A Storytelling Festival Story

Patricia Digh shares a story that takes place at the National Storytelling Festival, and although its not about storytelling, it's about her daughter and YouTube and finding her voice.

It's a heartwarming blog post. Check it out.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blogging from Jonesborough: Family Business

Blogger Sandor Weisz writes about his trip to the National Storytelling Festival, with a personal angle: storyteller Syd Leiberman is his father-in-law. So much nicer to get a snapshot of the Festival with some depth, instead of the emails I get with litanys of first I heard so-and-so and then I heard so-and-so and then we saw blah blah blah...

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Best Storyteller in San Francisco: Eleanor Dumont.

When it comes to storytelling festivals and storytelling events in San Francisco, there's one name synonymous with excellence in storytelling: Eleanor Dumont.

From storytelling at school assemblies, to keynote speeches, commemorative occasions or family events, a storyteller can provide a distinctive entertaining and/or educational program, and San Francisco has its share of talent to fit the bill.

However, if one wanted to find Ms. Dumont to tell stories, or for that matter, any of the other many storytellers of San Francisco to make an appearance at your event, you'd be hard pressed to find any way to contact them.

Check the comments for more.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Esther Martinez, Tewa Storyteller, Rest in Peace

Esther Martinez, also known as P'oe Tswa (Blue Water), was a storyteller and linguist of the Tewa language spoken in the Pueblos of New Mexico. At 94 years old, she just received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement. Driving back home from the ceremony in Washington DC, she was killed in a car accident last Saturday by a suspected drunk driver.

You can hear audio recordings of her stories at the NEA web site here.

Washington Post obituary here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Crackle Mountain

Crackle Mountain is a new blog from Australian storyteller Florence Forrest.

It features her re-tellings of Asian folktales, gorgeously illustrated with images of Asisan artwork. Florence cites her sources for both the stories and the artwork, and fills us in on some folklore to help give the stories some context.

I hope she keeps it up!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Stories for Storytellers: SOS - Searching Out Stories

I realized that Jackie Baldwin's Searching Out Stories web site is also hard to find, if you're not in the know. So I'll add my review here.

SOS - Searching Out Stories has stories for storytellers.

If you are a storyteller who needs a story-- and if you're a teacher, a minister, a camp counselor, a librarian, a toastmaster, a parent, or anyone who needs a story-- this web site is an excellent resource.

This unique, comprehensive archive has been growing for the past eight years. It contains references to hundreds of categories and thousands of stories, suggested by professional storytellers, librarians and teachers from all around the world through the Storytell listserv at Texas Women's University and independent research. You'll find full stories, abridged stories, book references, and descriptions of actual experiences and helpfpul hints in telling these tales at an event or using them in the classroom or at home with your own children or grandchildren.

Jackie has added a Google search interface to the site as well, so you can find just the stories you need, whether you're looking for stories about tigers or mosquitos, or need stories about truth, or strength, or marriage, or if you need help finding tales from a particular culture.

Now, you won't find the entire story usually... you'll often just get the "bare bones" - but if you're a storyteller, you can flesh it out. And the book references are helpful (in combination with your local library). Some of the categories are thin, but the site is a continuing work in progress.

In 2006, Jackie Baldwin was awarded the National Storytelling Network's Distinguished National Service Award for her work in maintaining the site.

Stories for storytelling

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Best Online Resource for Storytellers: Storytell

When you ask around the U.S. storytelling community about the best online resources, the answer you get most often is Storytell (Although Jackie Baldwin's SOS "Save Our Stories" quickly gaining in reputation).

The surprising thing is that is you were to Google "storytelling" or "storytelling resources" or "storytelling community" you won't find it in the first five pages. I suppose that's because it is usually linked to under it's own name, "Storytell" with the description "a forum for discussion about storytelling."

If you Google "Storytell," of course, its home page comes up first... but how many new storytelling fans are going to Google that word if they've never heard of it?

One reason Google overlooks it: it's not a Web page. Storytell is an email list, started in 1995, and hosted by Texas Women's University.

All persons interested in storytelling are invited to participate: professional storytellers, amateur storytellers, people concerned with the rich history of storytelling, people who enjoy listening to stories, and those who speculate about the place of storytelling in the 21st century. The list reflects viewpoints from around the world of issues and topics concerning the storytelling community. STORYTELL serves as a source of information on conferences, workshops and events as well as a place to ask (and answer) questions about the origins and variations of stories, the business of storytelling, or organization of storytelling events.

With more than 500 members on the list, it's a great way to get advice from storytellers, producers, and listeners in the field.

My advice: if you sign on to the list, choose digest format for a while. That will limit your emails to one a day. The list can generate two or three or four dozen postings a day.

It has an an archive, which, sadly, is not accessible via the Web. You have to use the list's majordomo commands, which means the primary means of searching is by date... not by keyword or author.

Still, if you have a storytelling question, there are usually lots of people who will respond and point you to web resources, books, or even local and regional contacts.

And, let's see if a link here will help boost its Google rank:

Learn about storytelling: Storytell.

Storytell, the best online resource about storytelling

Monday, July 31, 2006

Storytelling on YouTube

According to today's Guardian, YouTube is sending out 100 million videos a day to Web viewers. Fully 3.9% of everything zipping around the Web are videos from YouTube, making it the most popular site on the internet.

I'm not a fan of internet video. It's too small, and too blurry. And storytelling doesn't translate well to video in the first place.

But storyteller Tim Ereneta has created a place on YouTube to showcase The Ancient Art of Storytelling. He's found folktales, footage of traditional tellers in Asia, a few contemporary practicing storytellers, and some spooky stories from around the campfire.

Some of the campfire stories are really dark.

Not scary and morbid dark: I mean literally, it's like watching black rectangle for three minutes.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Podcast: Activated Storytellers

The Activated Storytellers are a family of performers who have been on the road practically forever telling stories through drama.

Now they've got a podcast! In addition to stories, you get to hear the backstage news. Great audio quality. Nice to hear the interplay of different voices among the family. And their stories have that same quality of Old Time Radio. This would be a good resource for schools, both those that have booked the Activated Storytellers, and those that haven't.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Youth Storytelling

tyler&chris1.jpg, originally uploaded by storycast.

Someone, presumably Elizabeth Rose, has posted photos at Flickr from the 2006 National Youth Storytelling Showcase in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. You can see the next generation of storytellers here, at the storycast photo page.


Sean Buvala at has finally got around to creating a podcast... and this is one the storytelling community will take a liking to.

In addition to stories, he's got reviews and tips. But the stories: he features not just himself, but seveal tellers, so each broadcast you get to hear a couple of storytellers.

Let's hope he keeps it up... and that he figures out a way to improve the sound quality from the live performance venue. The in-studio pieces have so much better quality, it makes the stories less appealing than the non-story parts!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Adventures in Storytelling Blog

James Nelson-Lucas and Patti Christensen tell stories as a duo in Southern California, and they've started a blog about their storytelling adventures.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Storycast: the First Podcast for Storytelling

Elizabeth Rose has laid claim to the first podcast for storytelling, that is, for storytelling as we know it: oral storytelling, as part of the storytelling revival.

Her podcast, which started in July 2005, has her telling classics like "No News" and "Barney McCabe." These are recordings of performances, not studio recordings, so she's playing to a live audience.

You don't need an iPod to hear her recordings. You can just click on the various entries to get the mp3 file and your computer will play it directly.

There is a link for a podcast feed, but since I don't listen to podcasts that way, I don't have the faintest idea what you'd do with it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Storyteller and Listener Online

Blogger Holly Stevens keeps several blogs going, including this one on storytelling as a tool for peacemaking and healing.
The Storyteller and the Listener Online publishes two guest essays each month on storytelling at the community level for purposes of peacemaking, healing, bridge building and/or reconciliation.  Essayists come from all over the English-speaking world. Many are professional storytellers; others are conflict resolution specialists, community activists, social workers, teachers, counselors, clergy and more. All have experienced first-hand the value of narrative in peacework and healing.

Holly has found a great cross section of contributors here.

If you don't use a newsreader to keep up with blogs, you can send Holly your email and get a notice each time the site is updated.

I haven't read Blog City blogs before: you'll find the archive links in the left column, under the large site graphic.

Friday, January 13, 2006

New Blog: MultiCultural Stories Network

Andy Fraenkel of West Virginia, of Center for Sacred Storytelling has started a blog for the MultiCultural Stories Network.