Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Lifetime Award’

Storytelling Starters ~ Reflections and Moonshine

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Well, the BASE awards happened last Saturday and it was all very interesting. I didn’t get the Lifetime Achievement Award – it went to Sheila Stewart, the Scottish Traveller singer/storyteller who has been storytelling for nearly 60 years. But I came away full of reflections. These include the suggestion I shall be making to the BASE organisers, who are keen to develop the awards for the future.  

Storytelling in Education

My suggestion is that there should be some awards for storytelling in education. A teacher-storyteller award? Or one for work with different ages of children or children with disabilities or school-refusers? Or maybe an award for the most enterprising school storytelling project? Or indeed for training teachers in the art.

Storytelling in education is vital. Anyone who has ever done it –  if they know what they are up to and have an appropriate way of working –  knows how much difference it can make. It makes a difference for children and can also transform teachers’ work. The problem now  is to develop support for what should be a national campaign on the subject. It’s a pressing need (especially at this time when the overwhelming emphasis is on targets and exams). How can we make the general public and  the politicians aware of what can be done through taking the more creative approach that storytelling offers?

Is there anyone out there who shares this concern? Please get in touch if you do. (more…)

Storytelling Starters – Tale For Today

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

First, thanks to all you lovely people who have voted for me to get the Lifetime Achievement Award which will be given out later today, September 29th,  in the BASE Awards ceremony in York. Lots of people have written to tell me they voted for me and I feel extremely touched. Whether I get the award or not feels quite unimportant compared with that kind of support.

Secondly, I’m glad to report that I did stop dithering about what my next series will be. Come back to next week’s Blog to see.

Thirdly, I just can’t resist two excellent items for telling that I came across this week. One is a loveable limerick that I’d written down in my Storytelling Journal back in the year 2000. The other – like my hay bales picture – has to do with harvests.

The Loveable Limerick:

Little Miss Myrtle sat on a turtle
Thinking it was a chair.
‘Ow-ee!’ said the turtle
‘I’m sorry,’ said Myrtle.
‘But I didn’t know you were there.’

By the way, my Storytelling Journal is an invaluable resource. Looking back at what I wrote in the year 2000 makes it obvious that someone who attended one of my storytelling workshops had told me that loveable limerick. Yet when I came across it all this time later, I had not a single recollection of it. Odd since I must have written it down because I was thinking it would be ideal for storing in that mental file of stuff that can come in amazingly handy on some entirely unexpected occasion.  I still think so! All I’ve got to do now is not only remember it but remember that I know it.

My second item fits into the category of stories for Autumn which is one of the things I was dithering over last week. It’s a traditional tale, here retold by me, and I think it’s ideal for young children. As to why I’d forgotten all about this too, I have no idea. I’m glad to have come across it again. It was in a neglected folder labelled Seasonal Tales that was languishing in my filing cabinet. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Time to decide

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Thinking about what to do next in this blog, I feel remarkably like an Autumn leaf dithering about which way to jump.  A series of Seasonal Tales for Autumn? Thoughts on Storytelling Workshops for adults? Or the work that’s been occupying me over the last several months – the collection of stories I’ve been writing which explores some of the differences between writing and telling? If you’ve got any personal preferences as to what you’d like me to choose, please let me know by email or in the Comment box below. It’s almost a year since I began posting these Storytelling Starter blogs. It would be great to know your thoughts on what you’d like to see. 

Meantime it really feels like Autumn, the season when, walking to my local park, you might find fallen crab-apples beneath trees on the street or even (since it’s Brixton) an empty can of Boost and a razor washed up on a heap of withering leaves.

And since Autumn is the time for fruits of all kinds, here’s my thought for the week. It’s one of my favourite riddles.

Autumn riddle:

Question:  What’s the definition of an acorn?

Answer:     An oak tree in a nutshell.

Finally, have you voted?

By Saturday next week, I’ll have to have decided on what to do next. But by Saturday next week, if you haven’t already voted for the BASE storytelling awards, you’ll be too late. Voting ceases on September 27th. The awards get announced on the 28th.

So if you haven’t yet voted and would like to do so, please consider voting for me to get a Lifetime Achievement Award.

To register your vote, go to

 And if you want full instructions on what to do then (because some people have been finding it a bit complicated) please look back to my last week’s blog posting. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Vote Now!

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

The website is open, voting has started and this year’s BASE awards are now being decided. The numerous categories range from Outstanding Male or Female Storyteller to Trailblazer and Life Achievement. The voting deadline is the witching hour of midnight on September 27. The results get announced the next day.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is what I’m up for. If you’d like to give me your vote (and the three of us shortlisted include Sheila Stewart and Taffy Thomas), here are the steps to take. Be patient, they’re quite straightforward but a bit long-winded:
  1. Go to
    Click on Register to Vote
  2. On the USER ACCOUNT page that comes up, fill in the boxes marked Full Name / Username / E-mail address and Word verification and then click on Register
  3. Note that a message then comes up at the top of the page saying an acknowledgement email is being sent at once to your email address
  4. When you look up that email, click on the link that is given so that, on the form that comes up, you can set a password
  5. On the form that comes up, fill in your Username and select a password
  6. Click on Save
  7. Now at the top of the page click on Vote
  8. In the first category – Lifetime Achievement Award – click on Vote (hopefully for me!)

If you do give me a vote – and thanks so much if you do – I’ll see it as an affirmation of all the 30 years of extraordinary, ordinary stuff that storytellers like me get up to – the schools, the workshops, the training, the performing, the supporting, the talking, the sharing.

‘Thank you for teaching us thinking’

Stuff, in fact, like at Craig Yr Hesg school this last week. The school is small and very friendly – about 100 children – and in a pretty deprived area of South Wales. My Shemi stories went down well and, with the 5 and 6 year olds, there was also a very lively response to the excellent Pembrokeshire legend of Skomar Oddy, the giant who sleeps under the Preseli Hills.

Bringing such stories to children always feels like a privilege. It’s a joy to see them becoming absorbed and a pleasure to stimulate them into responding in a whole variety of ways. It made me remember how a Junior-age child once wrote to me after a session: ‘Thank you for teaching us thinking.’ (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Mouth No. 3

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Last week I promised details of how to vote for the shortlisted candidates (including me!) for the new BASE awards. But there’s no sign yet of the new BASE website with the details. Hopefully it’ll be up by next week, so I’ll come back to the subject then.

Meantime back to Mouth – and Mouth is, of course, central to oral tradition. The phrase By Word of Mouth even won me a bottle of champagne when I came up with it as the possible title for the TV series on storytelling that I proposed and devised for Channel 4 at the end of the 1980s. The series at that point was almost completed. All we lacked was a title. The production company offered the champagne. I remember racking my brains in the bath. As soon as I thought of  By Word of Mouth,  it sounded obviously right.

Don’t children often say it: ‘Tell me a story out of your mouth’? They love the directness of telling and this week’s two stories quite literally add a twist to the telling. They take you back to the fun that you get as a child when some lovely silly adult makes hilarious expressions at you. Combine the facial expressions with a good story and the story gets asked for again and again. This week I’ve got two stories to choose from.

And by the way, I hope you love my photo illustration as much as I do. If you don’t know who its subjects are, go to the bottom of my Blog for details. (more…)


Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Dear Blog Readers

This week I was surprised and delighted to learn that I have been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award. I  wonder if you’d help me?

The awards are being run by BASE (British Awards for Storytelling Excellence) and this is the first year they are being given. The administrators are storytellers Peter Chand and Shonaleigh and the BASE website will be going up on the Internet on August 12th.

Meantime, further nominations are being collected. The more I receive, the more likely I am to be shortlisted. Would you be willing to help build up my nominations?

For me, getting this award would be a recognition of all the kinds of storytelling I most believe in – the ordinary (and always extraordinary!) sessions and courses with schools, community groups, teachers, parents etc. etc. etc. This kind of work is rarely in the limelight but especially in these times of funding cuts, it’s even less likely to receive public support and recognition.

There are many other things I’m proud to have done including the Drill Hall Workshops, Time for Telling, By Word of Mouth, Travels With My Welsh Aunt, Storytelling Cookbook, Lifting the Sky, SfS Publications, Shemi’s Tall Tales, festivals and performances galore and this Storytelling Starters Blog.

But it’s for all the day-to-day and routine stuff – and in heartfelt thanks to all the people I’ve worked with over the years – that I’ve agreed to allow my name to go forward.

 To nominate me, please email and request a nomination form. On the first page, when you receive it, click on Lifetime Achievement Award (about half-way down). On the second page, say very briefly why you’d like me to get it (no more than 150 words). Then please return the form to

My very great thanks for all help received. And by the way, if and when I get shortlisted, I’ll be coming back to ask you to vote for me too!