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Storytelling – developing the Art and Craft of the Storyteller

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Come learn about oral traditional storytelling, a rich part of Scotland’s cultural heritage now enjoying a vibrant renewal. A professional storyteller will show you how to engage an audience and use voice, dramatic gesture and animation to breathe life into a story.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

It is helpful if participants can bring a traditional story to work with (ideally a story that has been passed down orally). Suitable stories can be found at:

Content of Course

Day 1

  • 10.00 – 11.10 Welcome and introduction. Story game exercises, voice work and movement work in support of storytelling.
  • 11.10 – 11.20 Coffee.
  • 11.20 – 1.00 Working with a Scottish folk tale. How to connect with your audience.
  • 1.00 – 2.00 Lunch
  • 2.00 – 3.30 A Celtic myth. Working with how to memorise a story – the bare bones and the flesh.
  • 3.30 – 4.00 Story telling performance by the tutor/ group discussion.

Day 2

  • 10.00 – 11.10 Story games, voice and movement work
  • 11.10 – 11.20 Coffee
  • 11.20 – 1.00 The folk tale – characterisation – how to become/enact the story.
  • 1.00 – 2.00 Lunch.
  • 2.00 – 3.30 From oral to written. Working with the celtic myth as inspiration for creative writing.
  • 3.30 – 4.00 Story telling practice / group discussion.

Day 3

  • 10.00 – 11.10 Story play, movement and voice.
  • 11.10 – 11.30 Coffee.
  • 11.30 – 1.00 The folk tale – learning the 3-fold skill of the storyteller – engaging audience, enacting story, picturing story.
  • 1.00 – 2.00 Lunch.
  • 2.00 – 3.00 Riddles, story play and ways to engage children.
  • 3.00 – 4.00 Storytelling ceilidh – sharing the fruits of our work.

Teaching method(s)

Warm up exercises to engage imagination, vocal dexterity and gesture. First in the large group and then in small groups, we will create time for peer support and the three days will culminate in a sharing of stories.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • appreciate the Scottish story telling heritage;
  • relate to an audience;
  • tell a story to best effect;
  • select stories that suit them and according to specific settings and audiences


Core Readings


Campbell, D., 2010. Out of the Mouth of the Morning., Edinburgh: Luath Press.

Grimm, Brothers, 2007. Grimm’s Fairy Tales., UK: Penguin Popular Classics.
Rolleston, T.W., 2003. Celtic Myths & Legends.,UK: Dover Publications Inc.
Gordon, J., (editor) 1997., Scottish Folk & Fairy Tales.,UK: Penguin Popular Classics.

Web Sources

Class Handouts

Handouts on background story lore and short stories.

Student support

Let our Student Support Officer know if you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study an Open Studies course. Please contact Reception to arrange a confidential appointment with her. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Disability Discrimination Act.