Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘D.W. James’

Storytelling Starters ~ Retirement?

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

Retiring and retirement are interesting. Sometimes they turn out to be boring, sometimes full of good new things. This week, a good storytelling friend, Jean Edmiston, has announced her retirement from working as a professional storyteller. This has brought lots of thoughts to mind.

First, it has made me remember how Jean and I  first met.  It was in the Ladies Room of the Drill Hall Arts Centre in Chenies Street in Central London. It was nearly time for the start of one of what had become known as the Drill Hall Storytelling Workshops and Jean and I were both washing our hands. The Drill Hall workshops were the four-hour long sessions I used to put on in the late 1980s and early 1990s with friend and colleague Karen Tovell. Monthly things that used to happen on Saturdays, they attracted fascinating people (including on one occasion a Town Crier) and in terms of story, they proved powerful events, full of all kinds of story and different ways of exploring them. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Through the Post

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

The post this week brought unexpected things. First arrived a large envelope from Sweden. This contained four smart-looking booklets – the published list of all nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2014. There are 238 of us from 68 countries. Out of the total – I’ve checked! – only 12 are listed as oral storytellers. Some of the 12 are also described as authors and, in a couple of instances, as reading promoters too. We come from countries as diverse as the British Virgin Islands, Malta, Malaysia and the UK.

The nominees

It’s as exhilarating as it is daunting. The UK nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Award could hardly be a more prestigious bunch. Allan Ahlberg, Quentin Blake, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Michael Foreman, Shirley Hughes, Michael Morpurgo, Jill Paton-Walsh, Terry Pratchett, Michael Rosen, Meg Rosoff. Yet how wonderful it is that it’s possible for oral storytellers to get included alongside such extremely distinguished authors and illustrators. There are two of us in the UK list – Liz Weir who comes from Northern Ireland and myself who comes from Wales. Interestingly, both of us have worked across divides. Liz in Northern Ireland is especially well-known for her work across religious divides. In Wales the divides are perhaps less obvious. Yet, linguistic and cultural, they are both present and very pertinent. (more…)