Growing Stories – the 30th Scottish International Storytelling Festival – will open in the Great Hall of Stirling Castle on Thursday 18 October at 7.30pm, heralding a wave of events across Scotland and an intensive programme in the capital city from Friday 19 October.
The 2018 Festival looks to the future of storytelling in Scotland, nurturing local roots, reaching out globally, and celebrating Celtic traditions that are shared by Scotland and Ireland.
Taking place each year as the dark nights close in, reflecting how communities would gather to entertain each other as the days got shorter and nights grew longer, the Festival ensures traditions are steeped in events for young and old.
Discover the magic of tradition radiating today with 66 events in Edinburgh and 27 throughout Scotland, from conferences to taster sessions, walking tours to informal family gatherings.
Festival on Tour events will be held throughout Scotland, from Orkney to Dumfries & Galloway, Bute to Fife. 96 Scottish storytellers will have their talent on display, along with 18 global guests from Ireland, France, Wales, Iceland, India, Belgium, Jordan and Sierra Leone.
In addition, the Festival’s Local Campaign will support 100 events in schools and community centres across the country, enriching local neighbourhoods through storytelling.
‘Blending our rich Celtic roots with contemporary narratives, this year’s edition of the festival welcomes an excellent line-up of storytellers from across the world and emphasises our links with our Irish and international friends, confirming Scotland’s global and open outlook.
‘Since its launch, the festival has continued to explore stories that shape and inform us through storytelling and music on a national and international stage.’
(Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs)
Programme Highlights & Themes
Scottish Storytelling Projects & Talents Showcased
- Ruth Kirkpatrick opens the Edinburgh programme with a showcase on her family’s history with a trip to the misty North populated by selkies, stoorworms and sorcerers, on Fri 19 Oct, 6pm.
- Nicola Wright and Lea Taylor present The Purple, White & Green – a history of the Scottish Suffragette movement on Sun 21 Oct, 3pm.
- Heather Yule pays tribute to the late, great storyteller Stanley Robertson on Sun 21 Oct, 5pm.
- Alette Willis and Allison Galbraith, as recipients of the Andy Hunter Bursary, showcase their fabulous storytelling and horticultural combinations, with Re-Storying the Earth on Sun 21 Oct (time to be confirmed) and hands-on workshop complete with besom making at The Bountiful Birch Tree on Mon 22 Oct, 1.30pm.
- A younger storyteller – Daniel Allison – hosts Open Hearth with guest young Scottish storytellers Shona Cowie and Ailsa Dixon in support of the next wave of storytelling talent on Mon 22 Oct, 8pm.
- Amanda Edmiston leads an event with fascinating insights on Scottish folklorist Florence Marian McNeill on Fri 26 Oct, 2pm.
- Martin MacIntyre joins pipers John Mulhearn and Calum MacCrimmon for The Lost Pibroch – set in the heartland of Argyll – uniting memory, piping and mystery on Tue 30 Oct, 8pm.
Scotland & Ireland Series
12 events exploring the shared traditions of Scotland & Ireland, particularly the legends Ossian, Fionn Mac Cumhaill & Cú Chulainn.
- SISF 2018 Exhibition at the Storytelling Centre, presented by Dara Vallely, founder of The Armagh Rhymers.
- Ossian: The Pipes & The Story on Thu 18 Oct at The Great Hall, Stirling Castle.
- Scotland & Ireland series at 6.30pm, including Gaelic contributions.
- Two workshops on Thu 25 Oct; at 11am, George Macpherson, David Campbell and The Armagh Rhymers present Introducing the Tales of Ossian then at 2pm, Highland storyteller and ecologist, Ruairidh Maclean explores The Fianna in the Landscape.
- The Ossian Supper promises to be a treat for eyes, ear, stomach and soul on Thu 25 Oct at 7pm.
Literature Connections & Story Collections
- Sat 20 & 27 Oct: Spark 100 walks by Mercat Tours explores Muriel Sparks at 1.30pm.
- Tue 23 Oct:
A special workshop on this skill in Collecting Story & Song with Eddie Lenihan, Marthe Vassalloand Heather Yule at 2pm
Meet the Storyteller session with Eddie Lenihan at 5pmsharing insights from his years of being a storyteller and collector
For the annual Alan Bruford Lecture at 6.30pm, John Purserexplores inheritance in the oft forgotten Scotland’s Fenian Lays
Marthe Vassallo‘s exploration in a beautiful showcase, which also tours to Aberdeen and Perthshire, can be seen in A Castle of Stone & Sea: The Life, Songs & Stories of a 19th-century Breton Woman at 8pm
- Fri 26 Oct: Feasting, Folklore & Florence at the National Library of Scotland at 2pm.
- Mon 29 Oct: Author and poet Kenneth Steven gives insight into his book Deirdre of the Sorrows
- Exhibit Growing Up With Books at the Museum of Childhood is a fascinating insight into children’s literature, ranging from 18th through to mid-20th century, including live event Once Upon a Book on Sat 20 Oct from 1.30pm.
And there’s more…
There is so much more to the programme, and we’ll be keeping you updated in the coming weeks.
Kids – There’s 12 fantastic events, catering specifically for families looking for a bit more authentic folklore in their Halloween celebrations, including:
Workshops – Enrich your storytelling journey with experts in the field, with insights to inspire and networking to unite. 11 workshops are programmed, including:
- Storytelling in Schools – Approaches and Resources – a fantastic CPD opportunity for teachers to explore the value of storytelling in the classroom, with Storytelling Network Coordinator Miriam Morris, and storytellers Fiona Macleod, Geeta Ramanujam and Bea Ferguson.
Organise your own event with the Local Campaign