16 April 2014

[N]ational Storytelling Festival #AtoZChallenge



Although I don't believe in creating a "bucket" list (too ominous for me to make one; what will happen to me if I finish it, because isn't that the point?), a few things on that list consist of seeing New York City during New Year's Eve, go skydiving, and go to the Sundance Film Festival (among other things which I probably should write down). Another one that I just decided to add to the list of things I want to do one day is attend the National Storytelling Festival!

I stumbled across it when searching for something to write for the letter N, and decided to write about this. It may be stepping out of my "Halloween in April" theme (although, in my defense, the festival IS held in October), but it goes right in line with the overall theme to my blog - which is writing and telling stories.

It started out with a journalism teacher and some neighbors coming together and telling stories on an October day. Two years later, it began as a festival that would continue on for 40 years. Sort of like the stories that used to play on radios, the National Storytelling Festival believes in the power of the "well-told story" and draws crowds of people to listen to the stories the tellers share.

One part of the event you KNOW I would attend, given the chance, would be the Ghost Stories event (you can read about that here.

Have you ever been to the National Storytelling Festival? What story would you tell at the if you were asked to tell one?

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21 comments:

  1. This looks like fun! I love festivals and I love October;-) If I were to tell a story, it would be an excerpt from my WIP. It's an upper middle-grade mystery.

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    1. I love that! What a fantastic way to really use our storytelling skills! :)

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  2. That does look like an interesting event. I'm not sure that I would be a very good story teller. I prefer reading them either to myself or to kids!!

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    1. Same! I think I'd feel a tad self-conscious but it would be worth a try :)

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  3. I think this is the first I've heard of it.

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    1. Same! Lucky for this A to Z Challenge that I found it!

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  4. This sounds like a blast. I want to go.

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  5. Festivals are always fun and the best time to visit a place to see it in all it's splendour.

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  6. I would love to attend, but would be freaked out at the idea of telling a story while there. :P

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  7. Hi Nicole. I discovered your blog as news about National Storytelling Festival from the internet comes to me via gmail. I am the executive director for the International Storytelling Center; producers of the National Storytelling Festival. I took up post last year and so the National Storytelling Festival last October was in fact my first as well! Although the festival has been going on since 1973, hence it ignited a US storytelling revival in this country and became a bench mark for storytelling festivals across the globe. I hope you do come to it. The festival is considered the oldest running public storytelling festival in the world of its type. There is a lot to do and see and hear of course. Since we bring master tellers here from across the US and Abroad. I moved here for the job, but came from Scotland my home. So it’s a wonderful setting, nestled in the foothills of the smoky mountains. The festival always takes place the first weekend in October- with pre-festival events, storytelling concerts- Basically the whole town- becomes a storytelling village. Hence why Jonesbourgh, TN is known as the storytelling capital of the world. But there also storytelling live programs through the summer and other part of the year. I would love to follow your blog, and if you do decide to visit- i am sure you will enjoy it! People do have chances to tell stories at the Guilds swapping ground, but also people can just go from tent to tent, or see storytellers from our center. Our program will be out soon and our website will have some of the featured tellers performing. If it’s ok with you- i will share your blog on our international storytelling center facebook page, as i am sure others would love to share their personal stories and experiences with you about their experiences at the festival and also hear your stories. The greatest thing i love personally, is the welcome everyone gets from the people here- and as people start coming in from across all 50 US states and arrive from parts of the world. People here really embrace the arts of live storytelling. Hope to see you! contact me prior if you come down as be good to meet. Perhaps we can tell a share story at swapping ground! Thank you for your blog post, peace to you! Kiran.

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    1. What a surprise this comment was! I'm so glad you found my post and I found out about the festival! I would love to visit one day, it would be so much fun. Such excitement! And yes, please do share this post!! Thank you so much!

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  8. How neat to bump into this post and Kiran's comment! I have both performed at and attended this festival, it is all Kiran says and more. And because of this festival, there are regional ones modeled like it all around the country and world - perhaps there is one not far from where you live for you to get a taste of it until you make it some October really soon. Hey, you will love the ghost stories too - cool October air, blanket of night sky, stars twinkilng, the rumble of train or the squeak of train wheels (atmosphere!!), and so many people on blanket and lawn chairs, together, in community. Make it something you do! I am over from the A to Z Challenge.... blogging daily this month like you :) storytellingmatters.wordpress.com. How neat that you found this and that so many others who commented find it new and exciting. It makes storytellers happy. Happy A to Z! Jeri

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting!! Now I want to go to the ghost story for sure now. It sounds like an amazing experience!

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  9. Nicole, I hope you make it to Jonesborough soon ... maybe this October. Look me up! My wife is the Program Administrator; so I get to work every moment of the Festival. Ha! I oversee the respite for the Tellers and do other jobs. My favorite thru the years was being the 'handler" (that's what she called me) for Kathryn Tucker Windham. What a privilege and pleasure to serve in that capacity in her last glorious years! We will look forward to meeting you! Jeff

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    1. What an exciting experience and I'm so glad you found this post! And what a wonderful experience!

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