Hedgespeaker – a storytelling workshop, April 2016, Exeter

On April 23rd, I’ll be running a one-day storytelling workshop in Exeter. Originally conceived as a perk for the Hedgespoken crowdfunding campaign back in 2014, it’s taken a while to get together, but is finally here.

There are lots of storytelling workshops around these days – I’m sure that many of them are great, but I don’t know, as I’ve never been on one (actually, that’s not quite true – Rima and I did go down to Martin Shaw‘s event in Dartington village hall in early 2015, just before our son was born, and it was amazing, but I’m not entirely sure it was a storytelling workshop.) This workshop is my attempt to pass on some of the things that I’d be interested in if I was looking for a storytelling workshop – a little bit about stagecraft, a little bit about the origins of stories, and a lot about magic.

Here’s some of what’s on the menu:

  • Telling it at all – memory, choosing tales, boldness and ingenuity
  • Telling it well – pace, poetry, audience care, humour and darkness, theatrics, preparation, lift-offs and landings
  • Story magic – what are the qualities that turn a tale-telling into an occasion fit for the attendance of spirits? What is it to weave spells with words? The dangers of bad storytelling and the possibilities of true wonder…
  • The Teller – what kind of storyteller are you? What kind would you like to be and what are your natural talents? How do you grow?

The plan is, though, to tailor it to those who come – there aren’t going to be a huge number of us, so it’s an opportunity to go a bit deeper than usual. I’ll be asking some questions beforehand, so there’ll be a bit of preparation for participants.

Most of the places have already gone, but if you’re interested, you can still book a place over at the Hedgespoken shop. It’s a bit pricier than I’d normally run a workshop for, so I’m aiming to make it a super-special event. There are also a few bursary places, so if you’re strapped but would like to come, email me at tom@coyopa.net with your pitch for a place.

The workshop will take place at the Exeter Community Centre and runs from 10am-5.30pm on 23rd April.

I look forward to seeing some of you there for a day of story-magic and exploration…

The original version of the photo above was taken by Amy Behrens-Clark on the edge of Dartmoor at the end of the Ivashko Medvedko tour a few years ago.

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