Friday, December 16, 2016

The old storyteller

"He was beloved by all, and most of all by the children;
For he told them tales of the Loup-garou in the forest,
And of the goblin that came in the night to water the horses,

...And how on Christmas eve the oxen talked in the stable,
And how the fever was cured by a spider shut up in a nutshell,
And of the marvelous powers of four-leaved clover and horseshoes,
With whatsoever else was writ in the lore of the village."

from Evangeline
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Prelude to Halloween

Two Guild Storytellers made an appearance in Hope, Indiana, for their annual Goodies, Goblins and Ghost Stories event.
One of us sat in a dark tent where the audience shivered on hay bales and jumped when the Hairy Thing grabbed the little boy:
"What have you got those long sharp teeth for?"
The other one told on the band stand, 
where the audience helped call
 "Barney McCabe, Doodley Doo and Sue Boy"
 to defeat the witch.
It was a chilly, windy evening, but the costumed crowds enjoyed listening to some of our favorite seasonal tales.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Festival of Ghost Stories next Friday

Darkness falls on Bryan Park
in the evening chill a crowd gathers,
wrapping themselves in blankets and coats as they sip hot cider
and watch the glowing stage...
one by one, storytellers step forward
with seasonal stories...
spooky, gruesome, supernatural, even a little dark humor.
We've been gathering for over 40 years to share scary stories at the Annual Festival of Ghost Stories.

Come listen and shiver with us this year:

Friday, October 28, 2016
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Adults, young adults, teens;
Not suitable for younger children

A community event presented by Bloomington Parks and Recreation and sponsored by the Monroe County Public Library and the Bloomington Storytellers Guild. Rain location: Monroe County Public Library

Saturday, September 17, 2016

It's a Blue Ribbon --and that's the truth!

Indiana State Fair Liar’s Contest – by David Matlack

Part of me is morally opposed to storytelling contests. Contests determine winners and losers, and I believe that when a good story is well-told, there are no losers, only winners. But I understand the appeal of liar’s contests, and they are a great way to introduce audiences to storytelling and that great American art form, the tall tale.

So putting my ambivalence aside, I pulled out my best tall tale and headed up to the Liar’s Contest at the Indiana State Fair. August 7th was opening night of the fair, and the state fairgrounds were packed. A steady crowd was filling the seats at the Pioneer Village stage as I nervously signed up. It was good to see familiar faces. Ellen Munds, director of Storytelling Arts of Indiana, was ensuring a smooth event; and Celestine Bloomfield, retired school librarian and storyteller extraordinaire would be the emcee.

The contest was divided in to a youth division and an adult division, and Celestine alternated between the youth and us four adults taking turns on the stage. All of the children wrote their own stories, and while some did not quite grasp the finer elements of a tall tale, they all did an admirable job. Some were downright delightful. Among the adult stories, there were two fish tales. One was particularly well-crafted and well-told, but he evidently far exceeded the time limit and was severely penalized by the judges.

I am no stranger to state fair competition…as four time Wayne County 4-H horse and pony showmanship and equitation champion, the state fair was an annual August ritual. But I was always out-horsed and out-classed and I could do no better than third. This year, when the winner of the Liar’s Contest was announced, a blue ribbon at the Indiana State Fair was finally mine. But as I said above, there are no losers with good storytelling – everyone in attendance, whether in the audience or on the stage, was a winner that night.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Plein Air Storytelling, or, The Guild Gets Out

While one of us was telling "Six Legged Stories" at the annual "Bug Fest" in Bloomington,

Another teller was masterfully entertaining groups at the New Harmony Arts and Music Festival.
And yet another storyteller was preparing to present tales for Cub Scouts out in the woods.

Summer is the time to take stories outside!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Brave people

“Sometimes, when you listen to a story, you get a new idea of what’s possible in the world.  I don’t mean just strange customs and faraway places – though you can learn a lot from those.  What I mean is that you can get a new idea of what’s possible for you –something you never thought of, or you never saw very much in real life.

 When I’m scared, I like to think about the brave people in stories I know.  And I think, Maybe I could be like that.”

--Susan Fletcher

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wintertelling Coming Up


a time for telling warming stories

perhaps something that makes you think or wonder

perhaps something that brings a smile to your face

perhaps a time to tell secrets of the beings who sleep during the winter and so won't hear what you are telling about them

Time for the Bloomington Storytelling Guild's annual WINTERTELLING.  Gather with us at the Monroe County Public Library Auditorium on Friday, February 12 at 7:00 pm to listen to a collection of warm tales from our member tellers.

IF you are interested in telling, please email the Guild and also plan to bring your story to the AUDITIONS on Sunday, January 31, 3:30 to 5:00 pm at the Monroe County Public Library.

Cup of hot tea optional.