Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Torquay Froth and Bubble Literary Festival 18 - 19 June

Winter used to be time for hibernating and dreaming of spring but now, with festivals springing up in Melbourne and surrounds its a time of creativity, fun, intellectual challenges and pursuits.

The Torquay Froth and Bubble is offering storytelling for the 2011 program.

Jackie Kerin and author Claire Saxby are running a workshop for children. Using Claire's award winning book, There was an Old Sailor as a frame, the young participants will create and perform a new literary and tellable masterpiece!

Following on from that, Jackie will give a most informative and entertaining lecture (is there any other way?) Working in the Oral Tradition -Professor Kerin!

Learn more about The Froth and Bubble
click on poster to enlarge

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Storytelling Guild Vic welcomes Beth Cregan

I love this crinkled photo of my family. It immediately takes me back to my childhood. I am the second youngest of six children. My dad (85 years old) is still a great storyteller. When I was a child, he had a whole repertoire of original stories which he told to us and we hung on every word. Willy the Whale, Sammy the Seahorse, Hungry Harry… I knew all these stories by heart, line for line. This was the beginning of my love of words, books, stories and writing. I learnt some of my most valuable childhood lessons from the characters in these stories. When I started my own family, I finally had the opportunity to indulge my passion for words and study professional writing. I think storytelling is one of the greatest ways to connect with people – children and adults alike.

My mum was a passionate teacher so I grew up immersed in the stories of her day, the lives of her students and the teaching books that covered the kitchen table after dinner. I remember wanting to be many things when I grew up – a chef, an architect and a writer. But as soon I was given the chance, I did work experience with my kindergarden teacher, Mrs Laverey, and just like that- I was hooked on children and teaching. Children are full of energy, enthusiasm, imagination and... surprises. And teaching, if you surrender to it, is such a creative and unpredictable journey.

I now have 25 years experience in education from Early Childhood to V.C.E English Language in both the public and private sector. And storytelling has always been part of my repertoire.

In 2010, I combined my passion for writing, storytelling and creative thinking to launch my own business - Write Away With Me. I now develop and present creative writing and philosophy programs for students in Prep to Year 7 and offer storytelling and literacy incursions for both Early Childhood and Primary Schools.

I recently presented a Leadership Seminar for Year 6 children, with a powerful storytelling focus.

In 2011 I launched ‘The Writer’s Club’, based at Oakleigh Primary School. TWC is an after school writing club for children.

I’m also writing a book for children. It’s based on an original story I have told for close to twenty years so the characters are good friends of mine by now.

Although I have been a member of ‘The Storytelling Guild’ for over a year, it’s only recently that I have taken on a designated role and started to forge new friendships. I am excited about the wealth of knowledge and support that is available within the storytelling community.

On my Mother’s Day card this year, my daughters wrote that most of all, I had inspired them to follow their dreams, no matter what. I smiled inside when I read that! Like Helen Keller, I believe “Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing.” I really am the best part of me when I am surrounded by kids and lost in a story.

Beth Cregan has recently stepped into Cindy-Lee Harper’s shoes and taken over the management the Vic Guild Facebook

Beth's current activities include ...

Write Away With Me. Creative writing and philosophy programs for students in Prep to Year 7

storytelling and literacy incursions for both Early Childhood and Primary Schools.

‘The Writer’s Club’: Oakleigh Primary School. TWC is an after school writing club for children

Learn more about Beth Cregan

Contact Beth : 0407 770 154


Beth is located in the southern Bayside area.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Anne E Stewart, Julie Perrin and Matteo: new websites

Anne Stewart, Jullie Perrin and Matteo have all been busy redesigning their websites. So if its been a while since you checked in on these wonderful Vic Guild storytellers - its time for a browse.

The richness and diversity of practice in our storytelling community is nothing short of astonishing. No two of us tread the same paths and a quick glance at the these artists will make that clear.

Making full use of the audio and visual capabilities of the internet you can now see and hear these tellers in action.

One of the delights in taking timeout to view these sights is the clarity of personality that shines through.

Matteo has been having some great fun with audio, listen to Jabberwocky its a treat. He has also posted some of his own artwork. Matteo's generosity extends to sharing with you the secrets behind the software that enabled him to upload this work.

Anne Stewart, as one of our more travelled tellers, has made great use of youtube and we can see her in action at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival as well as by her fireside in Ballarat. Anne is also a prolific writer and you can read some of her articles and listen to the documentary she recorded for the ABC about her brother Tony Stewart, 'Our Tony'.

Julie Perrin's site is rich with fabulous, beautifully chosen quotes about story and storytelling. One of Julie's special offerings is her willingness to engage in long projects in schools. Julie has considerable experience in multi-cultural contexts and working in partnership with bi-lingual storytellers.

There is so much to explore on these new websites. Congratulations Anne, Julie and Matteo and thankyou for enriching our lives and deepening our understanding of what it means to be a storyteller working in the oral tradition.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kamishibai Swap Library is open for trade: put a story in and get a story out!

Those storytellers who practice Kamishibai storytelling will understand the hunger for stories. Picture cards can be purchased off the internet but there are also storytellers creating cards for their own stories just like the Kamishibai artists of old.

Jackie Kerin (Vic Guild Australia) and Derek Carpenter (aka Bo the Clown) from Newcastle in the UK have been pondering this problem and have set up Kamishibai Swap Shop on Derek's website.

Here's how it works:
  1. To get a story out you put a story in!
  2. Contact the authors direct. Pics are in Jpeg and Dialogue in Word 2003.
  3. If you don't have a swap you can buy direct from the author.
  4. You can also advertise your swaps on the website for free so long as you have the "rights" to swap.
  5. Swap Shop
Here are some examples of what you will find:

Two Brothers Derek's very first Kamishibai story and very first swap written two days after 9/11. It concerns war and its effects also possibly how Kamishibai started: 10 pics, one used twice. How to swap:

The King with Dusty Feet. Traditional Indian story, how shoes came to be invented. Original pictures. Contact:

The Princess and the Pea Hans Christian Anderson original artwork Leonie Kervin . For swap contact: Jackie

Split Dog
An original Australian tall story about an heroic dog. No moral, no deep lessons to be learned ... well ... perhaps a little Australian geography. Split Dog also appears in North American folk tale, sometimes as Davy Crocket's dog
The Split Dog stories come in five self contained episodes. Episodes vary in length.
1. The Making of Spilt Dog. 2. Spilt Dog and Ol' Joe go Fishing. 3. Split Dog Catches Ol' Joe's Runaway Teeth. 4. Split Dog and the Sock of Gold 5. Split Dog is Struck by Lightening.

Cracked Pot
A traditional folk tale about a cracked pot who was teased for its inability to hold water. However this flaw in the pot meant the earth was watered every day and flowers could bloom among the stones.

To participate in this grandly global initiative visit : Library of Swaps

Its a small beginning but the more who participate, the more it will grow.

On this website you can also read more about the history of Kamishibai - information provided by historian Helen Mc Carthy.

David Demant: Storytelling Australia (Vic)

David Demant... sometimes called Retro Techno Dave when he appeared on 3RRR’s Einstein-a-go-go programme, has been telling stories all his life. He has learned to put a glint in his eye when he is gilding the lily.
'Even if you don’t think it is true, it is a good story.'
He was a teacher in secondary schools and then joined Museum Victoria, where he is now a curator looking after part of the Museum’s technology collection.
'I believe storytelling is the most effective form of communication in museums... and everywhere else.'
He is very interested in communicating about subjects in the 'too hard basket', for example computers and maths. He is currently working on a story about codes; he invites the audience either as individuals or as a whole to participate in the telling.
'I love the use of fantasy to explain a concept.'
David feels that a story told well is one that gives the listener or reader the opportunity to transport themselves into another world, into another person, to engage with a subject. Stories open a door. Opening the door is the exciting moment when teller and told are joined together before they continue their separate journeys.
One of David’s museum presentations involves playing historic music machines from the 19th to the 20th Centuries. One day he met someone who had been a member of the audience in one of the music shows. The person complained that David had failed to explain how each machine worked; all he had done was to entrance the audience. She told David that she had gone home and researched recording devices. Now she understood how they worked – 'so there!' The door certainly had opened for her!
David is regularly invited to present his ‘collection object’ shows to adults and children alike. His favourite show is his magic lantern show.
He is the Museum’s unofficial poet laureate having composed and performed over 300 poems for special occasions such as farewells and Xmas functions. His hairdresser commissioned a poem with which to propose to his girlfriend – the proposal was successful.
David has acted in many amateur theatrical productions and has been an extra in a number of soaps including ‘Neighbours’.
David has written authored and co-authored a number of books, including:
David presented his magic lantern show at the Daylesford and Region 'Words in Winter Festival' in 2011 and 2012.

Contact David via Jackie Kerin :
Image kindly supplied by Hepburn Advocate

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mentone Public Library Presents: Matteo, JB Rowley, Jackie Kerin

Mentone Public Library Presents ... an author for all seasons.

Mentone Public Library aims to unite the community with local and home grown authors. Three Vic Guild tellers* have been invited to present.

The program began in March with Shirley Randles followed by Gaytana Adorna in April.

28 May: you can catch Mairi Neil (coordinator of the Mordialloc Writers Group
and facilitator of the Memoir to Manuscript workshop at the Mordialloc Neighbourhood House).

25 June: SHIRLEY VIDEION; Local History author from Brighton

30 July: Matteo from the Guild will talking about his years as a roving storyteller. *

27 August: George Ivanoff (young adult fiction) will step up to the plate.

24 September: JB Rowley Guild storyteller and author of Whisper My Secret*

29 October: Jack Davis (humorous writer and author)

26 November: Jackie Kerin from the Guild will entertain with stories of Phar Lap*

10 December: Graeme and Elsie Johnstone

All sessions: 11.00am
Entry: Gold coin

Presenters will be selling and signing published works.

Enquires and bookings: Ms. Julia Reichstein
Jean Critchley, library president: 9584-2068
Sue Blackford, library secretary: 9583-5648

Location: 36 Florence Street Mentone 3194 (rear of COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE AND INFORMATION BUREAU)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Anne E Stewart. Newstead Short Story Tattoo 13, 14, 15 May 2011

The Newstead Short Story Tattoo is a biennial celebration of the art of the short story.

The event that will attract those of you interested in the art of oral storytelling takes place on Sat 14 May at the Newstead Racecourse. To quote from the Tattoo website...

Fire stories ...
"Fire Stories has morphed into the signature event of the NSST. Last time (2009) we were enthralled with oration and tales that came from under the sea and Flemington Racecourse, alongside the ghostly tale of Ronald Ryan, and some great country music. This time we have Don Walker weaving words with his versatile and well equipped tool box of tales, and a host of others, again celebrating a story song theme, such as the local hillbilly-blues man Archer Shepherd, and master storytellers Jan Wositsky, and Dave Thrussell. We are also lucky to have writers and poets of the international standard of Ian Irvine, and Sue King-Smith who will add their own poetical and prose exchanges to the warmth of the fire light. Anne E. Stewart was simply stunning last time around and it is hoped she can again join us." [ the news is out - Anne will be there!]

Other guests at the festival include Alicia Sometimes, Emilie Zoe Baker, Neil Boyack, Gary Foley, Jan Wositsky, Jo Bowers ... the list is a tantalising reason to make the trip and indulge in the hospitality of Newstead and the brilliance of the wordsmiths. The events are scattered in the historic buildings of the little town.

BTW: Tattoo organiser Neil Boyack assures storytellers that there will be space around the fire for those not listed on the program but who feel moved to share a yarn.

Learn more: Anne E Stewart

Rocket Clock Story Slam: “Man vs Nature”

We’re looking for stories of animal encounters, battles with the bush and run-ins with the dark side of human nature. Getting lost in the wilderness, or the urban jungle. Fauna phobias and fights with flora. Taming a wild beast, ridding a pest or struggling for survival.

Pre-register your intent to tell by emailing, or register on the night. Everyone is welcome to come along and listen, laugh, drink, cheer & weep.

Wednesday May 11, 2011
Doors open 7.30pm; slam kicks off 8.30pm.

$5 pre-sale (+ $2 booking fee) or $8 on the door. Book tickets now via the Bella Union website:

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

What is Rocket Clock?

Rocket Clock is a monthly story slam competition. Ten people each have five minutes to tell a story around a particular theme. Judges in the audience rate each story on both content and performance. Everyone has a great time.