What is a Storytelling Festival?

10thLOGO-SoOSFSometimes people who have never been to a storytelling festival just aren’t sure what it is all about. Here is some information that might help if you also have questions.

What happens at a storytelling festival?

A storytelling festival brings together people who are interested in being entertained and entertaining others with the ancient and ever-changing art of the oral story.

A festival will have a variety of ways for people to immerse themselves in the experience of stories.

  • Small sessions could have one or several tellers who speak and tell stories to a small audience.
  • Story swaps are facilitated by a storyteller who introduces the session and explains how the swap works and then allows audience members to participate by telling their own stories.
  • A story concert will usually feature 3-5 tellers and an emcee who will introduce each and each will tell a story.
  • Festivals often include workshops where the audience can learn presentation and composition techniques.
  • Like many festivals, vendors and a silent auction are often present.
  • Of course, most festivals allow plenty of time between events for people to have conversations with and to meet like-minded folks all interested in storytelling.
  • Other events and sessions could involve topics that featured storytellers are known for or visits to local places of interest.100_1648

Who should attend a storytelling festival?

Anyone. Individuals or families. Groups. Couples. Friends. Adults, teenagers, children. Most festivals have something for everyone.

We all love stories—they are hardwired into our brains. Many of us forget the pure pleasure of hearing a good story as we get older, but a festival can bring that pleasure back in full force.

While anyone can have fun at a festival, people who particularly will benefit are those who deal with stories on a day-to-day or professional basis: teachers, librarians, students, daycare workers, social service workers, and more.

In recent years health professionals have discovered how vital communication through stories and poetry is to the overall health of an individual.

Almost any profession one can think of has some element of storytelling in it. And besides a professional interested in storytelling, most of us are in it just because it’s great, traditional fun.

Hearing someone tell a story is a wonderful antidote when our lives sometimes seem overrun with technological, non-personal modes of communication.


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