Friday, August 30, 2013

“Weaving Stories Together – Sydney International Storytelling Conference” June 6-8 2014.

Sydney International Storytelling Conference - dates have been announced!

Dear Storytellers,
We are happy to announce that the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) Inc. will be hosting another “Weaving Stories Together – Sydney International Storytelling Conference” in June 6-8 2014. The theme will be ‘Connecting with Stories’. Place the date in your diaries now! 

Call for workshops and performances and website information HERE

Looking forward to seeing many of our Australasian friends again as well as visitors from further abroad.
Kind regards,

Christine Carlton
Australian Storytelling guild (NSW) Inc.
0415 430 485

Clare Coburn: Storytelling Muster 5 November 2013

Dear lovers of wonder, whimsy and wisdom

Just before I head off to Singapore for the festival, I had to let you know we have a muster coming up--a storytellers' muster! 

All storytellers from beginners to old hands are welcome so please send this on to anyone you think may be interested

Come to the inaugural storytellers’ muster: a day when storytellers, new or seasoned, gather to share stories, resources, try out new skills, and be inspired. There’ll be time to engage, sing, tell, reflect, share and connect; but mostly a time to be nourished amongst fellow storytellers! Workshops with Simon Oats, Clare Coburn and Martin Samson, warm up with singing led by Jo Windred.
Cup Day 5 November, 2013, 10am to 5pm
319 Auburn Road, Hawthorn Vic 3122
followed by an evening of storytelling and soup from 5.30pm to 8pm, entry by donation
Book for the muster at just $20 to $50 at trybooking:

Enjoy the light and warmth of early Spring


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rocket Clock: "Do It Yourself" September 11, 2013

Rocket Clock Story Slam: “Do It Yourself"
Rocket Clock returns with a night of stories on the theme of "Do It Yourself". 

We're looking for tales of stepping up, taking the bull by the horns, home handyman exploits, going it alone and leading by example.

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 September 11, 2013
Doors open 8pm; 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.

More info:

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Moth - Workshop. Melbourne Writers Festival - 24th August 2013

pic: Gael Cresp in action

The Melbourne Writer's Festival is in full swing. Our storytellers are involved in events as well as enjoying sessions and workshops.

Gael Cresp attended The Moth, 3 hour workshop, and was delighted to see Vic teller, Suzanne Sandow there as well.

In the spirit of sharing, here is Gael's summary of the workshop:

'This was one of the best storytelling sessions I have attended. Most of the stories were un- polished but each and every one exhibited gem like qualities that sent me away inspired. This was a diverse group, occupations, life situations, qualifications but the depth of talent released by this workshop was breathtaking. I wanted to spend longer with the attendees and find out how they had come to this session, where they wanted to go with their storytelling and when we could meet again. I made do with handing out some Storytelling Australia (Victoria) cards and hope that some of them make contact with our group...'

Read her full account of this workshop

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Belinda Calderone and The Monash Fairy Tale Salon: a new website 2013

Over a year ago, I attended an event hosted by the Monash Fairy Tale Salon for the Glen Eira Festival. Not sure what to expect; the invitation mentioned cross dressing, French Fairy Tales and cup cakes. The program promised music, mini lectures and demonstrations and retellings of old tales.

As it happened, this event turned out to be one of the most satisfying that I visited for the year. As someone who takes old tales out of books and places them back on my tongue, I hunger for crunchy, informed discussion and exposure to unfamiliar tales.

The organizer, Belinda Calderone has now made the Monash Fairy Tale Salon more accessible by creating a website where interested folk can connect from around the world. What follows is a brief interview with Belinda.

Q. How did your interest in Fairy Tales reveal itself to you?

My interest in fairy tales definitely stems from my mother who read them to me almost every night growing up. I’ve been enchanted by their magic ever since!

Q. Fairy tale, myth and legend, parable how do you separate these genres for the purposes of your group?

A tricky question! Though these distinctions are never clear cut, I see myths as stories of superhuman entities (like gods), legends as stories that are said to have taken place in human history, and parables as allegorical narratives whose primary purpose is to teach a moral. Though there are many exceptions, I see fairy tales as fictional stories about ordinary humans who encounter secular magic in everyday life.

Q. Why do we still love these tales so full of violence, misogyny, and heteronormativity?

Speaking for myself, I secretly love violent fairy tales! As for the misogyny and heteronormativity embedded in many of them (particularly nineteenth century tales), I take them as a product of their time. However, we at the Monash Fairy Tale Salon often explore protofeminist fairy tales as well (such as those of seventeenth-century French women).

Q. Does the group explore tales from both the literary and oral traditions?

We primarily explore tales from the literary tradition, which is why it’s been such a treat to include oral performances in the two events we’ve run.

Q. Has the group looked at the  Australian Fairy Tales of Olga Cohn and Olga Ernst and others?

In our meetings on Australian fairy tales this year we focused on colonial collectors of Indigenous tales such as Katie Langloh Parker. But Olga Cohn and Olga Ernst will go on the list!

Q. In what ways do you think the Monash Fairy Tale Salon would be of interest to members of Storytelling Australia (Vic)?

Given that we deal with literary fairy tales and Storytelling Australia (Vic) deals with oral storytelling, the two groups are a great balance for each other. Plus, we love to involve your wonderful storytellers in our events.

Q. How do people follow the discussion and keep up to date with future programs?

The best way is to follow our blog to be alerted about new posts. We will also be sure to post about any events that we organise in the future.

I encourage you to check out the website and sign on for the newsletters. Please let your OS and interstate colleagues know of this initiative.

posted by Jackie Kerin

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our colleagues: The ACT Storytellers Guild 2013

Article from Jackie Kerin

One of the joys of the internet is the ease with which Australian storyteller groups and individuals can now  connect around this vast continent. While visiting Canberra recently, I was able to meet with the ACT Storytellers .

The ACT Storytellers Guild holds two Story Circles a month and all are welcome. With Canberra’s sprawling suburbs, the group meets on the north and south of the city. The first Wednesday of each month is on the South Side and the second Wednesday of each month, is on the North Side.

I attended the North Side Story Circle and can report that these tellers have told more stories than most of us have had hot dinners. They’re highly skilled and living in the National capital has given them opportunities which those of us living elsewhere have not enjoyed. Between them, they’ve crafted stories for the National Museum, War Memorial, Botanic Gardens and other national institutions. Some have worked alongside, historians shaping primary source material for telling inside exhibitions or in collaboration with horticulturalist and rangers and education officers.

The ACT is also home for Patsy Allan who has made telling stories to the very young her specialty. On the day of my visit, Patsy had just launched her DVD, The Wonder and Joy of Storytelling to Young Children. Pasty, makes, tells and writes stories. She is a well-loved storyteller with much to teach all of us who dare to tell to the very young – surely the most challenging but rewarding audience.

The North Side Story Circle was attended by nine tellers who made good use of the time to try out stories before going public. Mary French (our hostess) used the gathering to share a tale to commemorate 48 years of marriage to Eric with an immaculately crafted story about their wedding day. Vonny Kemister tested a story she is learning to tell at the Botanic Gardens, while the resident teller, Roslyn Hull is away. Vonny’s story comes from Olga Earnst’s Fairy Tales from The Land of the Wattle (1904). If you are interested in reading these early Australian Fairy stories, you can do so HERE. (This takes a while to download so be patient. Its worth it.)

Thank you to the Act Storytellers for good company, fine food and the warm fire.

Visit Patsy Allan and The Wonder and Joy of Storytelling to Young Children available: HERE 

Visit the ACT Storytellers Guild: HERE 

Storyteller Roslyn Hull was unable to make the Story Circle but the following day Ros took me on a tour of The Australian National Botanic Gardens and talked me through her role as the resident storyteller. We made this little video (rough as it is) to share how she approaches storytelling in this setting. Be amazed, Ros's knowledge and enthusiasm is exemplary! Australian National Botanic  Gardens: HERE

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Niki na Meadhra: Youth Storytelling Ensemble 2013

Auditions: The Orphanage. A new exciting Youth Storytelling Ensemble is being developed at Abbotsford Convent. In its initial stage of development I’m calling for auditions to create a preliminary ensemble to prepare a Christmas show to be shown at the Convent, to publicize what a youth storytelling ensemble can be, engaging potential young performance storytellers and the wider community.

I’ve applied for funding through City of Yarra to support developing this as an ongoing part of the artistic and cultural life of the community. My goal is to develop and mentor an ensemble that operates as its own supportive creative community for young emerging performance artists/storytellers.

My background is as a professional storyteller/actor/director based at Abbotsford Convent, with experience in storytelling, performance making and arts education. The project has received enthusiastic support from Abbotsford Convent, St. Martins’ Youth Theatre and Platform Youth Theatre.

Please circulate this call for auditions through your networks.

For more application information:

Applications close: Midnight Wednesday 28th August. Auditions held: Saturday 31st August.

Niki na Meadhra

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Peter Fernon: Storytelling for Grown Ups. 18 and 29 September 2013

Woodford Story Award. Entries for 2014 now open

pic: Jackie Kerin (Storytelling Vic) nails the 2013 Spirit of Woodford Award with a dog story!

For this year's Woodford Story Award there are NO entry fees and entries can be emailed rather than posted or recorded as in previous year's...multi entries are ok too, as long as there is a separate emailed entry for each one.
5 finalists will be selected to perform their story at the festival's award concert and the winner will get $1000, each finalist will get a full season pass to the festival.
Stories need to be 5-10 minutes in performance length, and the only 'theme' is that they be uplifting or inspiring.
All the entry info is at the festival website just click Participate then Competition/awards 
For any other info please contact me
Closing date is 15 Sept


David Hallett

Monday, August 19, 2013

Speaking to the Stars, storytelling on Crete. Julie Perrin 2013

There is always a bit of faith involved in signing up for a course; faith in the teachers, the intention, the other people who will make up the temporary community that you become for that week or several weeks. On arrival Stella Kassimati took us on a walking tour of the village of Amari, beginning with the spring of drinking water – ‘If you drink from this spring, word has it that you will come back to Amari.’ We passed the place where the women used to gather to wash the clothes; we looked up to the old bell tower and stood under the great spreading tree outside the village’s only coffee shop.
The course information – which was useful, considered and accurate – had told us to come to Amari prepared. There are no shops, no ATMs, no pharmacies. We needed to be organised. There was an enormous freedom in the lack of distraction. I got to the end of the week and realised the only time I had actually reached into my wallet was to buy a beer at the beach. 

These courses are generously taught, hosted accommodated and fed.
‘Speaking to the Stars’ formed part of a quest for understanding our relationship to concepts of destiny and choice and relatedness to the natural world. Roi Gai Or of the International School of Storytelling  led us into the landscape and over the week we explored a mountaintop near Pan’s Cave, hopped along the rocks by the side of the river at Hermes’ Gorge and visited Poseidon’s realm, diving into the sea.

Stella began by telling us stories from the Pantheon of the Greek Gods. Her voice was sure and I found the stories made sense to me in new ways. As the week unfolded we had a rhythm of meeting in the mornings and taking a siesta after lunch then gathering in the late afternoon to early evenings.  At night time we ate together, home cooked meals at a long table under the stars.

Then we came toward that nervous pointy end of the week where each of the 15 course participants would tell their own autobiographical story. How would this happen? Our teachers kept a steady focus and firmness. The stories that needed to be told would reveal themselves through the activities and exercises. People protested, they had no story, they could not do it, and so on.
In the event we did a final telling that began on the last afternoon at 5pm under a large Prinos tree behind which the huge valley of Amari unfolded in shades of green and mauve. We gathered in a semi circle offering our attention to each teller by turn. Fifteen storytellers and two intervals later we finished at 9pm. You would think it might be exhausting listening to so many stories. It was not. It was exhilarating, extraordinary, ordinary, human and filled with wonder.

I think the mark of a great teacher is a humility that takes things in its stride. Roi Gal-Or has this in spades. Another mark is the reciprocity that takes up learnings from the group. Stella did this with clarity and openness. We remain indebted to them both for gifts shared and exchanged. We drank from the spring, we climbed mountains and river rocks and spoke to the stars.  We were not disappointed.                                                                                                                                                                                       
Julie Perrin August 2013

Julie is telling stories at the Melbourne Writer's Festival at Fed Square next Thursday 29th for the Schools Program.
More information and booking details HERE

Sunday, August 18, 2013


The white man who went black and came back

The Go-Between: William Murrungurk Buckley tracks the epic adventure of a convict’s escape in 1803 from the farthest out-post of the British Empire – Sullivan Bay (Sorrento) on Port Phillip - and explores Buckley’s 32 years with Wathaurong people where he became Murrungurk, a spirit returned from the dead. The performance then follows Buckley into the little known, treacherous, political end game, when he worked as Interpreter between the traditional owners and the invading colonists of Australia.

Weaving Buckley’s ghosted 1852 biography with Wathaurong language, historic documents, archival images, music and poetry, The Go-between: William Murrungurk Buckley takes audiences into the not-so-black-and-white world of early Victoria, of murder, massacre, and Buckley’s bruising encounters with the famous and infamous characters of colonial Melbourne – Batman, Fawkner, Gellibrand and Derrimut.

Told by Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky in savage, humorous fashion, The Go- Between: William Murrungurk Buckley is the story of an outsider who was our first agent of reconciliation.

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky is a storyteller folk musician who considers the heart of our history to be the relationship between black and white Australians. A founder of the Bushwackers Band in 1971, Jan went on to write best-selling books such as Born Under The Paperbark Tree with Wardaman songman Yidumduma Bill Harney, award-winning television documentaries Buwarrala Akarriya: Journey East (ABC) and Aeroplane Dance (SBS) with Yanyuwa, Garrwa and Mara people of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and to devise the Wominjeka Ceremony with Dja Dja Wurrung people of central Victoria for the 2009 Castlemaine State Festival.


Castlemaine  (Sunday 1 Sept, 2.30)
Cororooke  (near Colac, Fri 6 Sept, 7.30)
Stieglitz (Sunday 8 Sept SOLD OUT)
Albert Park (Friday 20 Sept, 8.00)
Newport (Saturday 21 Sept, 8.00)

All details on Jan' website:

Click RECOGNISE to learn about the movement for constitution reform and the proposed referendum to Recognise the First Australians in the Australian Constitution:  RECOGNISE