At The Conway Hall, London - 10am - 4.00pm, Friday 19th February 2016

Welcome to The Story.

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2009 at 8:52 pm


This all started here.

The response to the blog and on twitter was huge and pretty overwhelming. So overwhelming, that I actually did something about it, and now have The Conway Hall in London booked for Friday, February 19th, 2010; and also built this site (not a bad URL, eh?) and the obligatory Twitter feed.

A lot of people had brilliant ideas for events, speakers and other things we could incorporate into the event, but it made me realise the subject area is so huge I need to focus it a bit. It would be a mistake to limit it to a certain genre or way of telling stories, as the whole point of the event is to celebrate storytelling in all its diversity. But at the same time, I don’t really want to talk about the theory or business of storytelling, as there’s plenty of other academic and professional conferences out there that do this very well indeed. Instead, The Story is going to be about the sheer visceral pleasure of telling a story, or being told a story – whether this is live, recorded, acted, performed – whatever.

So – i’d like to ask again for recommendations and contacts for good people who could come along to do a turn. It might be one person, a pair, a group – whatever. There is only one rule:

1 – You have to recommend someone/thing you’ve seen yourself
I want to here about the last time someone amazed you, made your jaw drop, your heart beat faster or your hair stand on end. Tell a little story about how amazing they are, and we’ll try and track them down for the event

So – if you think you know someone who will be good at The Story, please leave a note in the comments or email thestory2010 at gmail dot com.

Remember – this is being done on a shoestring, whilst holding down a dayjob. I’d love to invite people from all over the world, and fly them over, but its unlikely. I’m unlikely to be able to pay anyone either, except local travel costs, so bear that in mind as well. If it goes well this year, then who knows what kind of marvellous things we could do next year…

  1. There is a story teller who comes into Chelsea and Westminster hospital school. He is called Giles. He is awesome. My 4 year old son was really sick, waiting for a transplant, and Giles captured his imagination in his sickest days. Giles is blind himself and his creativity, imagination and enthusiasm is so special. Please ask him. You can track him down by calling the primary school at Chelsea and Westminster hospital.
    Sarah x

  2. When I took my eldest to Glastonbury a few years back we saw Sid Sloane from Cbeebies reading Horrid Henry in the story tent in the Kidz Field. He was so excellent that we dragged him all over the UK for the BBC RaW campaign. Highly recommended and an all round good chap. I can get details.

  3. I can highly recommend Colin Teevan ( who taught the class on dramatic structure when I was doing the MA in Creative Writing at East Anglia. He’s a great playwright and gave the best talk I’ve ever heard on what ‘character motivation’ really means and on the three-act structure, which has informed my work ever since. I love his take on structure in storytelling which is: if your story is working, you don’t need to worry about rules and structure. But if something’s not working, these rules give you a place to start in finding out what’s gone wrong. Technical and passionate.

  4. You should speak to Ana ( who I think you’ve met before at a lab. She did an amazing project which involved a game of hide and seek and some stalking which she tells beautifully. Its a game, but it is also a great story in its own right. She told it to me, Antonio Gould and Margaret some months ago and we were all blown away by it. Not strictly story-telling, but more about contrsucting a story from a game.

  5. Michael Breen. He works with Paul McKenna, hypnotist. A few years back I attended an event with him and Murray Laughlan Young,  the million Pound poet.

    Jon Weinbren.  He designs games and interactive things but with a strong focus on storytelling. He has a background in screenwriting I think.

  6. Warren Ellis would be interesting – he spends an ungodly amount of time thinking and writing about the theories behind storytelling as well as producing a fair amount of stuff ( He is also an impressive speaker if you like sweary, ranty talks.

    Alex de Campi ( is also a fun speaker and does lots of relevant interesting things – currently she is blogging about her adventures in writing, producing and distributing a digital native comic across multiple devices here

  7. Curtis Jobling (who designed bob the builder) can tell a cheeky tale and make you feel like you are a 5 yr old again. I’ve seen him tell stories in small intimate spaces.

  8. I wish I could be there but it’s the last day of one of my Digital Storytelling workshops in Leicester.

  9. Richard Neville is a storyteller’s storyteller. He knows more stories than anyone else I know, he’s more widely read than most academics, but you forget all this when he starts on his quirky and compelling versions of the great myths of the world, part shaman, part impish anarchist, part tramp.

    • I’m trying to contact a storyteller called Richard Neville that I used a few years ago – he played a harp. Is this him? If so, please could you send me his contact details – many thanks

  10. Try Sef Townsend. Sef has a magic about him that draws everyone to him. I have seen him playing the “pied piper” in a Palestinian camp, getting adults and children alike to sing and dance with him, In the UK, heard him tell wonderful inspiring stories and seen how walks the talk of inclusion and listening with all he meets. A truly wonderful and inspirational man.

  11. Please invite the Unlimited Company to be there. Actually they’ve changed their name now to openstorytellers but I’m sure you can find them. Google Nicola Grove. She’s the director. It’s an inspiring company of storytellers with learning disabilities and their advocates. They made me cry at Festival at the Edge. Their work is really really touching

  12. I recommend a group called “open storytellers” who are an inclusive company of storytellers with learning disabilities. i have seen them do various things ( storytelling, workshops) and they really demonstrate how people with learning disabilties are able to particpate on an equal footing in an art form for mainstream audiences.

    They are at
    and their contact is thru Nicola Grove is a storyteller. Her PHd is on speech and language therapy- but the work on storytelling and learning disabilty is now her full time passion.

  13. You’ve got to get in touch with Ben Haggarty!
    He’s been running storytelling events, conferences and festivals in London for 30 years. Changed my life, and the lives of many others. Thanks to him I’ve heard Scots travellers, Alan Garner, Jeanette Winterson, Turkish bards, Native Americans….At the moment he has seasons running at The Barbican Centre and Soho Poly.

  14. Can I suggest Debbie Guneratne. She runs my daughter’s storytelling club which is her fav activity. Wouldn’t give it up for the world and that is primarily due to Debbie’s generosity of spirit and talent for making confident and creative storytellers out of the children she works with.

  15. great to see so many storytellers talked about here.

    to take it in a different direction, i’d love to hear daniel light ( or someone else at picture production company speaking. they did all the stuff around the watchmen, and there seems to be a really interesting thing going on where the natural comms for an entertainment property is more stories. brands are becoming storytelling platforms too, like someone else’s phone for nokia. and stuff.

    but maybe that’s a bit too mktg-focused?

  16. Hiya, i’d like to nominate Debbie Guneratne because she runs my storytellign club and she’s so inspiring and good at what she does that it just makes me want to do the same thing SO WELL! I will DEFINATELY be out there supporting her.

  17. I am a primary school teacher in South London and have observed the magic woven by Debbie Guneratne. She captivates the children with her story telling. The atmosphere is wonderful to behold. A really lovely experience for all. She also runs an after school club where the children become story tellers!
    I’ve noticed that one of her pupils has also contacted this site.

  18. There is newly appointed UK Storytelling Lauriate (Taffy). Contact for further info. It’s like the national poet lauriate.

  19. Rachel Rose Reid. Young Storyteller of the Year in 2007, she’s been all over telling stories, from Teutonic Palaces in Alden Biesen to the fire festivals at Burning Man, Nevada. She’s possessed of enormous humility and charm, she loves the craft of story, and she’s the perfect pioneer for traditional storytelling in atraditional surrounds.

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