Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best wishes to all from the Vic Guild 2010

Its been a busy year for the Storytelling Guild (Vic). We've had the pleasure of rolling out the welcome mat for several overseas guests: Naomi Wilds (Adverse Camber UK) and Susan Gilchrist from Ohio.

Our storytellers have clocked up the miles, visiting kindergartens, schools, cultural institutions and festivals. Several were involved in the Melbourne Writer's Festival as part of the Children Book Council event as well as the Williamstown Literary Festival. The Hills tellers staged their first storytelling theatre piece, The Colours of Hope and The Ballarat Storytellers ran the successful Story Swap for the Daylesford Words in Winter Festival as well as telling tales at the Community Garden and and the Artisans fair. One of our members organised a national gathering of tellers for the Darwin Festival and of course there was our foray into Children's Television with the inaugural season of Storytime.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Click through our blog archives for more.

Our final gathering for the year was in Emerald in the Dandenong ranges. Some of us city folk met on platform 3 at the central station and travelled in comfort past the cramped suburban streets and up onto the slopes of Mountain Ash and fern gullies. The Hills Storytellers had the bar open and the heaters on when we arrived. After whipping through our AGM, we then settled down to some hilarious storytelling.

By the time this photo was taken, several folk had left for home. Soo... here are the stayers ... wishing you all (wherever you are in the world) a peaceful festive season and joyous 2011.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Diane Wolkstein: NGV Great Hall 30 January 2011

Journey to the West is one of the three great Chinese epics.Written by Wu Cheng'En in the sixteenth century and based on the historical Xuanzang, the epic recounts the many poignant and humorous adventures of the impetuous, all powerful Monkey King, whose concerns are himself, and the pure-hearted determined Tang Priest, who wants to help others. Together they struggle not only with demons and ogres, but also with one another as they travel from China to India to bring back the Buddhist scriptures.

With unexpected movement and song, Wolkstein breaks open the text, encouraging the audience to question the path of goodness (the Tang Priest) vs. the path of power (Monkey King) and how they might be integrated then -- and now.

Whether recounting epics, trickster stories or fairy tales, Diane enters and speaks from the heart. Throughout her more than 40 years as a storyteller she’s been known for her meticulous research, as well as her great range in repertoire.

In 2007, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg named June 22nd of that year “Diane Wolkstein Day,” in honor of Diane’s 40 years of storytelling.

Since 1967, Diane has occupied a unique place in the world of storytelling and literature, and has played a major role in the renewed interest in mythology and the modern storytelling movement.

Where: The NGV International I80 St Kilda Road

When: Sunday January 30th at 2 pm

Cost: FREE

The Vic Guild Welcomes Diane to Australia

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Ballarat Storytellers

The Ballarat Storytellers are a friendly and energetic bunch of wordsmiths. They meet regularly to practice their craft, arrange workshops and plan their storytelling calendar.

These storytellers are happy to donate their time and skills. Their talents have been enjoyed at the Daylesford Words in Winter Festival, Ballarat Artisan's Festival and The Community Garden.

Those interested in sharing or listening to stories are always welcome.

The group meet at:
The Known World Bookshop
14 Sturt Street

We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners and carers of this land and the Indigenous Community of Ballarat and the surrounding district. As aspiring storytellers we also wish to honour the storytellers of the Aboriginal Nations of Australia.

For more information contact Sheilagh: or 0417347395

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Feline Faery Fest: 10 and 11 December

Feline Faery Fest - a celebration of fairy cats, mermaids, mer-cats & dragons.

JB Rowley (Friday 10th Dec)
Cora Zon (Saturday 11th Dec)
join with various musicians & visual artists.

Friday 10/12: Northcote Uniting Church
Saturday 11/12: Armadale Uniting Church

Lots of the pagan community will be there but we embrace diversity so all faiths welcome.

Doors open 6pm both nights, concert starts 7pm & there are craft stalls.
$15/$5 children/conc

Louisa John-Krol, the festival's founder, is one of the leading lights of the ethereal music scene.

Wishing you a joyful Yuletide & New Year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jan Andrews and Jennifer Cayley: Midsumma Festival 16 Jan - 6 Feb 2011

The Vic Guild welcomes Jan Andrews and Jennifer Cayley all the way from Ontario. They will be in town with FOUR shows and some workshops to be enjoyed during the Midsumma Festival.

1. The Book of Spells – A Love Story: created and performed by Jan Andrews and Jennifer Cayley for 2 Women Productions (Ontario, Canada). Jan and Jennifer have traveled widely as leading exponents in the art of storytelling, appearing at festivals and concerts throughout the world with The Book of Spells. Together and apart, they have told from epics such as The Iliad and The Odyssey; Jan headlined the 2008 International Storytelling Festival in Hobart.

Both are honoured to be appearing at Midsumma. Jan and Jennifer were born into a time when lesbians lived secret lives and gay men might be imprisoned; when celebrations of Queer Culture were definitely not on the map. They have come a long way but the journey is only just beginning.

Forty-five Downstairs: 22 Jan 6.00pm

Northcote Town Hall: 23 30 Jan 2.00pm 28 29 Jan 6.30pm

$25 concession and Midsumma members $20. Group (10+) $18

Williamstown Mechanics Institute: 27 January Picnic/reading 6.00 pm. Performance 7.00 pm Free

2. Smarties Sillies and Everything in Between: storytelling for young people (4 -8). Children rejoice as heroes and heroines make short work of any beast or baddie they encounter. The wonder of tales told as they used to be. Stories to be remembered and held in the heart.

Northcote Town Hall: 19 Jan 11 am $12

Williamstown Library: 21 Jan 10.30 Free

La Mama: 22 Jan 11.00am $12

3. Homer's Odyssey: not the whole Odyssey but enough to give listeners a full sense of the hero's epic tale. Hear of the enchantress Circe, of the encounter with the Princess Nausicaa whose father will give Odysseus the ship he needs to come to Ithaca, of Odysseus's final, long-sought meeting with Penelope, his wife.

One of the world's great works of literature, presented as intended - as a story told by two tellers who have made it part of their lives.

Hares & Hyenas: 24 Jan 6.30pm $20 concession, Midsumma members or group (10+) $18

4. Be Bold Be Bold But Not Too Bold: (Ages 8 and up.) The magic and wisdom of "once upon a time" made fresh and alive for today. Quests and adventures and good deeds a-plenty. Voyages to distant places, distant times. These are the stories that have been handed down through generations because they help us to live our lives more fully – and because they are lots of fun

Northcote Town Hall: 26 Jan 6.00pm $12.00


So you want to be a storyteller: Two storytellers of breadth and experience, they take participants through the process of finding a story and learning it, conjuring its images and finding the emotional connections that give it power. At the end, more work will of course be needed – but you you will at least know where to begin.

Northcote Town Hall: 20 Jan and 26 Jan 2.00pm

So you want to write fiction: As well as being a storyteller, Jan Andrews is the author of books for young people which have been shortlisted for major awards. She has given countless workshops helping beginners and others open doors in the trade. Jan will offer keys to the basics in writing fiction: character, setting and plot development.

Altona North Library: 17 Jan 1.30 pm

Please check the Midsumma Festival website for any changes in the program, extra details and to read more about Jan and Jennifer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Story Time

Wednesdays at 9:30am starting December the 8th on Channel 31.

click on poster to enlarge

Story Time is a new children’s TV show centred on library Story Time sessions. Featuring a different Storyteller each week, all guests on the show are regular library performers and the show is hosted by a seven foot bear called Tall Ted.

The show has been made with the help of RMITV, the Dandenong Library, Casey Safety Village, the CFA and Myuna Farm.

Story Time has been developed in the hope that it will increase story time patronage for libraries throughout Australia. Each show will also feature a 15 second advertisement spruiking the local library story time experience.

Every episode features a craft that can be downloaded from the show’s web site. Visitors will also find a link to the Australian Libraries Gateway where they will find the contact information for their library.

Please download the Story Time poster from this link:

Storytime is being shown in Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria with other states soon to follow. Imparja in the Northern Territory have also expressed an interest in Storytime.

The Canadian air dates are in for any of you who have family or friends in Canada. It will premier on Monday, April 25th 7:30am and 3:00pm across Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.Plus all episodes will go on EastLInk Digital Cable Demand across the whole of Canada. Info should be up on the EastLink website over the coming

Visit the website: Tall Ted

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Anne E Stewart

Anne E Stewart is a storyteller for everyone from age two to ninenty-two! She has programs for schools, libraries, art centres, museums, galleries, theatres, historic sites and more. An acclaimed storyteller with an international reputation.

Anne is a versatile performer, with the energy and voice to engage any audience. She regularly conducts sessions related to history, arts and culture for general public, tertiary and secondary audiences. She has a wealth of stories and sessions for primary and pre-primary students.

Her focus is on multi-cultural storytelling, and stories shared between cultures. Along with traditional anglo-celtic stories of Australia's history (for example, the history of Victorian gold fields), Anne also has knowledge and cultural permission to pass on many Indigenous Australian stories.

Anne also brings stories from further across the globe, including Ireland, Africa, Italy, China, Japan, and East Timor.

Along with telling stories, Anne takes sessions teaching the art of storytelling. This includes topics such as:

  • The performance

  • A literary standpoint

  • Indigenous telling & collections / protocols

  • Early years

  • Middle Years

  • Teenagers

Anne is also regularly sought for appearance on radio, and has been commissioned to make several productions under the ABC Regional Production Fund, including EUREKA 150, VOICES: OF THE PEOPLE AND LAND and OLD, COLD AND GOLD: A LITERARY WALK THROUGH BALLARAT. See the ABC site for further information.

She has also appeared as a storyteller on several television programs, including the popular LIFT OFF.

Anne E. Stewart's brother, Tony Stewart, was one of the five Australian journalists murdered in East Timor on 16 October 1975. For mature audiences, Anne has examined the tragic, political, and public nature of the deaths of the Balibo Five through her lens of storytelling. For the Stewart family, there has remained in their lives an ongoing connection to East Timor, for better and for worse, and the true power of her storytelling is proven when a personal viewpoint on these public events is shared. (Anne's brother Paul Stewart's music features in the feature film Balibo, directed by Robert Connolly).

Anne E Stewart asks, 'So who was the first gay in the village?'

Recently Anne E Stewart put her research skills into gear to uncover little known facts, legendary characters and the origins of the Chillout Festival. The show explored why and when the Daylesford village became so GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) friendly.

Highlights included photos, documents and oral histories that toldl the story of the town. Anne l also featured photos and discussion behind her last contribution to Chillout, the 2010 ‘St Dorothy of Daylesford’ float featuring the fabulous Miss Mille Minogue.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

June Barnes-Rowley aka JB

June Barnes-Rowley, known as JB, has always been a storyteller whether curled up in the hayshed telling stories to herself or sitting under a gum tree telling stories to her younger siblings. As a working storyteller JB has extensive experience in storytelling with children and adults in Australia and overseas.

Children respond immediately to her energetic and fun performances. JB uses colourful visuals such as fabric, puppets and ‘wishing paper’ to create wonderful worlds for young children who are also fascinated by her clapping sticks that stir sounds of the Dreamtime. Her performances for children focus on fun, action and interaction!

Adults are held spellbound by JB’s powerful performances of ancient legends. In 2009 JB was honoured to perform stories for adults as part of the Victorian Bushfire Communities Regeneration Program. As a result of that experience JB composed a story called The Flowerdale Tattoo which was chosen as one of two winners in the ABC’s Hope 2011 competition.

She has told at many venues including kindergartens, schools, libraries, community centres, bookstores, Government House and ABC Radio. She has entertained children with her storytelling at a variety of festivals including Moomba and The Village.

JB was the founder of swag of yarns, Australia’s National Storytelling Magazine, is a member of The Storytelling Guild of Australia (Vic. Branch) and is featured on the guild’s audiotape, Mystery and Mayhem.

On top of all that JB is a published author with her novel Whisper My Secret based on her mother’s true story, an experienced educator with ESOL qualifications and a trained Parent-Child Mother Goose teacher.

Please enjoy some tales from a wonderful storyteller.

The Flowerdale Tattoo

JB was selected to tell her story The Flowerdale Tattoo at the Sydney Festival 2011. To read about this event hosted by Radio National and to hear JB tell the story, click: The Flowerdale Tattoo.

The story of Sheherezade

Once upon a time there were two brothers who ruled Arabia and Persia. King Shahryar had his palace in Baghdad and his brother King Zaman had his palace in Samarkand. The two brothers ruled their kingdoms and lived contented lives until one day disillusionment and unhappiness entered both their lives.

Calamity first came to King Zaman when he set out on a journey to visit his brother. However, he had not gone far when he had to return to his palace for a precious gift he had forgotten to take with him. When he returned he discovered, to his horror, his wife asleep in the arms of a giant slave. Shortly after, King Shahryar discovered that, when he was away, his wife was in the habit of organising and enjoying erotic orgies with the handsome young slaves at the palace in Baghdad. Of course the faithless wives were executed and Zaman and Sharyar came to the conclusion that women were not to be trusted. Sharyar set about killing the beautiful young virgins of Baghdad and there might have been no limit to his madness had it not been for his chief minister’s daughter, the beautiful, wise and intelligent Sheherezade who became a legendary oral storyteller.

The story of Sheherezade is often in JB Rowley’s storytelling programs. High school students are enthralled by the story and, in 2009, JB told Sheherezade’s story to very receptive audiences as part of the dinner program while on a storytelling tour of the bushfire affected areas of Murrindindi shire. Out of that tour evolved the story of The Flowerdale Tattoo which won the Hope 2011 story competition at ABC POOL. Now, as a way of contributing to POOL, JB is working on a project to honour Sheherezade and her stories, starting with, of course, Sheherezade’s story.

The Mouse's Wedding

Learn more about JB here

Bookings: The Storytelling Garden

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Christmas Storytelling Party invitation: 19 December 2010

Everyone is invited to join the Vic Storytellers for an afternoon of wondrous tales - stories of celebration from around the world.

click on poster to enlarge

This year the Hills Storytellers have invited us to join them in the beautiful Mountain Ash country they call home.

Our host is Matteo. If you have a story to tell, please introduce yourself to him so your name is on the list.

We are looking forward to seeing as of many of you as possible, hear your stories and share a drink at the bar. Gemco is easy to find by public transport (see below)

Where: The Gem Community Arts Theatre. 19 Kilvington Drive, Emerald.

When: 19 December. 4.00pm

Cost: $10/family
$5 Guild/Gemco or concession

Transport: from Belgrave Station, Bus 695 to Emerald or you can catch Puffing Billy.

Our host: Matteo:
Hills Teller and party planner: Cindy Lee:

enquires: Jackie 0412 210098

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Village: 4 - 7 November

Vic Guild Tellers will be busy every day during The Village Festival.

The Village: is a cross between a festival, a fairground and a fete. A collection of temporary theatre spaces- tents, inflatables, busses caravans, shipping containers.

The Village: is an act of optimism in a cynical world. The intention of the Village is to have artists and community members leave with a strong sense of the essential goodness of people

In the Yurt with Matteo and Jackie
Bedtime Stories for big people
9.30 - 10.00
Thursday 4
Friday 5

In the Beb Baii - hand made in Pakistan, this tent is the tiniest in the Village
Stories for little people
1.00 - 4.00pm
Saturday 6: Cora and Louisa
Sunday 7: Cora, jb and Susan

Where: Edinburgh Gardens, Nth Fitzroy
Weekdays: gates open 6.00pm
Weekends: Midday

Melbourne Museum: 2 November Cup Day

Melbourne Cup Day : Jackie Kerin will be dressed for the races and ready to tell you a story. You can join her in the Melbourne Gallery at Museum Victoria.

While the rest of the country is glued to the Television watching the running of the famous Melbourne Cup, there will be a small group of Phar Lap enthusiasts celebrating the great horse.

Come and join the party: 2.00pm

11 Nicholson St
Carlton VIC 3053

Parking available or catch the Nicholson Street Tram

Open daily 10am – 5pm.
Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Adult $8, Concession available and Child (3–16 years) free entry.

Rocket Clock story slam: November 10 Trades Hall

FYI: Rocket Clock story slam Wednesday 10 November

Theme: Close Shaves stories of near misses, close encounters and brushes with fame/death/anything else. It’s time to tell that story about that thing that almost happened … but didn’t.
Time: 5 mins

Check out: October slam winner, Matt Burgan in action

Bella Union Bar
Level 1, Trades Hall
Corner of Victoria & Lygon Streets
Carlton South

Free entry. Doors open 7.30pm. Slam kicks off 8pm.

Support Rocket Clock - let's make it a happening thang and there will be stories every month at the Bella Union throughout 2011!