Let Me Tell You a Story

Weekly events for children

11 June 2020

Let me tell you a story

To be human is to spin a yarn: Wigtown Book Festival’s Renita Boyle introduces a new weekly programme of events for children

Storytelling is innate to us all. Primal and communal, it's the oldest artform and the foundation of literacy, a tool for evolving readers and writers. I am proud to be Wigtown Book Festival’s residents storyteller- a role that has been developed over 13 years and continues to develop.   

With this year’s festival going online, of course I will miss the riotous laughter and raucous singing of thousands of children; softly sung lullabies in quiet corners; introducing audiences to amazing authors and superb storytellers; encouraging people to explore their own life stories, and hosting Book at Bedtime. And, yes, I’ll also miss our year-round programme, school and library visits, workshops, residencies, master classes, mini festivals. 

Online events will not replace what is most beloved to us. But, I am excited to embrace a new way of doing things; to continue supporting literacy and literary endeavour at the festival itself as well as in schools, libraries and other digital spaces across the region and the globe. 

In the coming months, I will be helping to develop our online events and activities for children and families which can be found at www.facebook.com/BigDogBookFestival. I am also delighted to bring you two story collections which you will also be able to access via www.youtube.com/telltogethertales (do subscribe). 

Put the fun into Funky Folk and Fable Fridays at 5 pm (Starting June 12th). Jig with the pigs, send droll trolls packing, meet the silliest man in the world, discover why the old woman swallowed a fly and much more! Then on Thursdays from 7 pm (beginning July 12th) get your teddies to the ready and join me for Tuck-in Tales: stories, songs and lullabies for those with sleepy eyes.  

Please help us spread the word and share the links to families, teachers, librarians and do be in touch if there are specific stories you would like to see or ways in which I can support your online learning via Zoom or other. 

Stories help us to laugh and cry; express joy and give voice to grief. They bring healing and clarity, understanding and decisiveness. They can help us to honour the past, have courage in the present, and move us forward. Stories ask as many questions as they answer. They can influence as well as entertain; turn wisecracks into wisdom, help us discern how to love, live and forgive.

Storytelling connects us to those who have journeyed long before us; to our shared experiences, to ourselves and to each other. It may be entertaining; it may be enriching but - more than anything - it’s essential to all that it is to be human. Ear to ear, eye to eye, heart to heart, in-person or online.