Monday, May 22, 2017

National Storytelling Conference

 A Festival of Storytellers! 

If you are a storyteller or someone who loves to listen to stories, then check out this annual event. The 2017 National Storytelling Conference, held in in Kansas City, Missouri, takes place June 29th – July 2nd. Two days prior there will be master classes and more. All events will be held at the Kansas City Marriot Country Club Plaza. 

This year’s theme is “All Our Voices: Stories of Immigration and Migration.” Keynote speakers include poet Naomi Shihab Nye and Dr. Rex Ellis of the Smithsonian Institute’s National African American Museum of Culture and History. 

The conference features presentations, panels, workshops, fringe performances, and stories from storytellers around the country. There will be information available about the application of storytelling in the classroom, in the workplace, and the community. 

Bay Area presenters include Sue Dichter and Ben Tucker who will share their work with the displaced in San Francisco, Eth-Noh-Tec and Brenda Wong Aoki will be part of a panel on Asian American storytelling, and Tim Ereneta will moderate a panel of experienced grant writers to help you find and apply for grant funding. 

Registration is now open for this National Storyteller’s Network (NSN) conference. More details on the schedule, prices, and presenters, click hereBook rooms by June 8th to receive the conference discount. 

More News for NSN Members

Members of NSN can apply for a $1,000 grant to support an individual or collaborative storytelling project. Deadline is in May. Details. 

NSN’s Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling offers a $5,000 grant to support a model storytelling project that is service-oriented, based in a community or organization, and to some extent replicable in other places and situations. For complete information and to apply (deadline April 28th), click here.

Storytelling Association of California Members

Join NSN at a Discount

Members of the Storytelling Association of California receive a 10% discount on a NSN membership.

Note: This above information was provided by Tim Ereneta to the Storytellers Association of California.

Related Information:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Folklore: Proverb Phrases


The Folklore of Proverb Phrases

Proverbs are short pithy sayings that reflect a general truth or piece of folk wisdom. These phrases are often metaphorical; animals, foods and other objects the speaker and the audience are familiar are used to with to illustrate the point. They also describe a basic rule of conduct that is also known as a maxim.

Here are some easy to understand examples of proverb phrases (sensible standalone sentences) from a range of cultures:

American/ English:

  • Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
  • Every ass loves to hear himself bray.
  • Haste makes waste.


  • A man doesn’t go far from where his corn is roasting.
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
  • A large chair does not make a king.


  • Talk does not cook rice.
  • A crooked branch has a crooked shadow.
  • Overturned water does not go back into the bowl.


  • You can't chew with somebody else's teeth.
  • Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  • Talking is silver, silence is golden.


  • An old patient is better than a new doctor.
  • Never strike your wife, even with a flower.
  • Pearls are worthless in the desert.


  • ‘Almost’ does not push a man off his horse.
  • Empty barrels rattle the loudest.
  • Mistakes should be expected of beginners.


  • If you chase two hares, you will not catch either.
  • It is better to turn back than to get lost.
  • A lie has short legs.

Folklore Fun:  

Try to create your own proverb phrases. Think of a lesson or moral you’d like to share with others and find words that best describe that idea.

Related Information:

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sierra Storytelling Festival 2017

32nd Annual

Sierra Storytelling Festival 2017

July 21-23, 2017

This event has been dubbed by many as the “The Queen of Storytelling Festivals. Located in among the Sierra’s towering pines in Nevada City, California it is the collective brainchild of author, poet and storyteller, Steve Sanfield and the non-profit North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center.

People near and far come to enjoy line-up of talented, nationally recognized storytellers who take the Schoolhouse stage to spin yarns of all lengths and styles from around the world. 

Featured storytellers include Kevin Kling, Diane Ferlatte, Andy Offutt Irwin, Judith Black, Johnny Moses and Muriel Johnson as Emcee, plus Tim Ereneta as Special Guest. There will also be an opportunity to tell your own tales at the Open Mic or the Story Slam.

Geared for all ages, this festival celebrates tales from around the world in an atmosphere that honors the historic tradition of telling stories.

Although the schedule is subject to change, here is an overview of what to expect.

Friday, July 21.

Festival opens with an afternoon workshop to help tellers polish their storytelling styles led by Judith Black and opening night tales.

Saturday, July 22.

Local Teller Showcase and then stories until the lunch time break.

Afternoon activities include listening to Johnny Moses and others. They are followed by the Sierra Story Slam. Be sure to check the website below for details.

The evening includes a gala event with all of the featured tellers.

Sunday, July 23

The day begins with an open story telling session and then a children’s concert.

Final parting tales will be told after lunch.

The Schoolhouse has been recognized as a rural arts organization and presenter of folk, traditional and contemporary art through grants from the California Arts Council, Cal Humanities, Poets & Writers, the Nevada County Arts Council, the L.J. and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation, the S.H. Cowell Foundation, the Rose Leo Memorial Philanthropic Fund, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest fund and the National Endowment for the Arts. Innovative programming at the Schoolhouse has drawn attention from audiences and artists far beyond the Sierra’s San Juan Ridge.

Want to get involved? Organizers are looking for volunteers to help with a variety of tasks before, during and after the festival. 

To find out more about the Sierra Storytelling Festival, click here.

Related Information

Storytelling Basics