I love the power of traditional stories to raise awareness of how we are all connected. They're full of ancient wisdom which resonates today. They provide a road-map that can help us navigate the challenges of the world - especially these uncertain times. Their wise narratives can build resilience and bring confidence, self-knowledge and well being'
Hi I'm Amanda Smith, a storyteller based in Nottingham UK and originally from Scotland. My storytelling work involves lots of storytelling in schools and children's hospitals as well professional performances in clubs and arts venues and workshops in the heritage sector and storytelling in business world.
I've provided stories for resilience and wellbeing across all wards in four children's hospitals across the UK with since 2011 and developed interactive and participatory workshops for reluctant readers and their families, from early Years and Y1 - Y7, using story, song, movement and craft activities. Above left I'm leading an intro to traditional storytelling workshop for Y7 in Shanghai and above right a story/song workshop in a care home for people with dementia.
I ran a training course with The National Trust volunteer Walk Guides in Wales, looking at storytelling presentation skills to bring a sense of drama and flair to their communications skills with tourists, as well as exploring storytelling engagement techniques to give a confidence and variety of approaches to getting an listener enthused and involved.
Also worked with a museum and art gallery - above right, and brought storytelling performances plus workshops where we explored the creepy crawly exhibition you can see behind me. There were lots of opportunites for different shapes, movements and joy!!
Above left I'm at a laughter festival in Lincolnshire - just bringing the fun!
I have also worked with Bestwood Mining Engine House Museum - above left, to recreate the story of Oxo the Pit Pony, an elders group in Worksop Library and with a secondary School to celebrate National Storytelling Week.
Two projects for Covid times 2020 include directing and performing in the first UK children's storytelling festival (below) and creating a workshop for Real Creative futures/New Art Exchange art gallery on 'How to craft a personal story for your presentation (to get people to listen!)'
/ 07949 541147 / @_amandastories
Nine superb UK Storytellers & story-makers
A live weekend & week long digital story offering! FREE!
The Magic Story Carpet - Family Storytelling Festival LIVE via ZOOM Sat July 25 / Sun July 26
Videos from July 20-24 on YOU TUBE
follow @_amandastories for notifications
To the first family friendly UK children's storytelling festival!
The Magic Story Carpet festival is online and free to attend!
A new storytelling festival from a collective of storytellers creating magic in hard times!
From adversity comes hope...from hope comes stories...from stories comes...magic!
Escape @ Home!
From Monday June 20th - Friday June 24th there will be pre-recorded story videos streamed from our You Tube channel - three times a day!
Subscribe to get alerts!
Over the weekend of the 25th & 26th July our nine fabulous, talented and brilliant Storytellers and Story-makers will tell you some excellent stories, sing silly songs and run fun family activities for all to enjoy!
There will be puppets and pictures, story books and bags of tricks, guitars and rattles and of course some great stories.
You'll hear of cheeky animals and clever kids, fairy wishes and adventures with monsters! Jump on the magic story carpet and come on an adventure into the world of stories with us!
Monday July 20th - Friday July 24th
We are streaming pre-recorded story videos on You Tube
@ 9am, 11am and 2pm every day!
There will be special stories for you to see, listen to and enjoy.
These will be posted on The Magic Story Carpet You Tube channel:
The videos will stay up for you to look at afterwards
Please subscribe for alerts!
... and leave us a comment - we'd love to know what you think!
Also Amanda will post a link to each story as it premieres on twitter so you can keep up to date by following @amandastorie
From 11.00 - 15.30 on Saturday
July 25th and Sunday July 26th
We will GO LIVE with our Zoom festival. There will be a storyteller every thirty minutes - yes!
You'll need to register for your free ticket here or click on the ticket button at the top right of this page and get your Zoom link which lasts for the two whole days!
Finally - the festival is free for everyone and this is our unpaid contribution towards addressing some of the wellbeing issues for children as a result of Covid 19.
Please note our child safety viewing/participation guidelines will be attached to your digital ticket.
Feedback is really important to us - so do give us some feeback -
Please email me here:
Or tweet here: @-amandastories
Thanks very much and hope you have FUN!
UK time (GMT)
P = Participatory - do join in!
If you are happy to do so - make sure your child's name is
shown on your Zoom box!
11.00 Graham Langley - Interactive Stories for little ones and
their families - actions, words & movement - BIG FUN! P
11.00 Amanda Smith Big Beasts & Little
Insects...and songs! How did the beetle beat the rat?
How did the mouse make friends with the lion?
12.00 Mike O' Leary - Tangled Tales & Magic Music! - Tales of
adventure and fun from around the world with music and storytelling! 4yr-12yr+
12.30 Jennifer Lunn - Story Making from Wales #1 Help Jenn
make brand new fun stories!
(Both sessions) Story Chefs! Come and throw some
ingredients into the story pot and see what wonderful tale we
can cook up together. An interactive group session creating
a shared story from our collective imaginations!
Ages 4-9 P
13.00 Michael Loader - Story-making - Oceans P
Join in - bring an object, an idea or a noise!
13.30 Wilf Merttens - Wild stories! Who's hiding in the
forest, who's flying in the sky? Make a journey on the magic story carpet?! Join in with Wilf 4yr+
14.00 Magic Story Carpet surprises!
Mini stories, songs, jokes, riddles and silly puzzles! With Graham P
14.30 Steve Lally - Irish folk and fairy tales - 6yrs+
15.00 Jennifer Lunn - Story making from Wales #2 P
More story-making! Create stories with Jenn!
15.30pm - finish
11.00 Adele Moss - Finger puppet stories. Little stories and
animals for little people
11.30 Wilf Mertens - Stories with Wilf's story-cards and sound journeys P
12.00 Amanda Smith - Stories for brave hearts and
adventurous kids! P
12.30 Steve Lally - Irish stories and songs 6ys +
13.00 Graham Langley - Fun stories for all ages 4yrs-12+ yrs
13.30 Magic Story Carpet surprises!
Mini stories, songs, jokes, riddles and silly puzzles! 3yr+
With Michael... P
14.00 Michael Loader - Story-making Surprises P
Join in - bring an object, an idea or a noise!
14.30 Adele Moss - Cheeky Animals 4yr -11+yrs
Adele never fails to be amazed by the bravery and brilliance of
animals in stories; whether it’s a rooster who defies a
greedy king, a spider who stands up to a terrifying tiger
or a rat princess who knows exactly what she wants.
Come and see her tell these stories and more.
Hope you’ll be amazed too.(For ages 4 and above)
15.00 Mike O' Leary - 'Boo' to you! Mike will close the festival with
stories to surprise you and make you laugh!
15.30pm - finish
If you love the stories please give us some feedback on
the emails above - this is the first children's storytelling festival
in the UK
As storytellers who work in education and in wellbeing this is our response to Covid 19 - all of this is unpaid and free for you - we hope to spread a little love and wellbeing to families affected.
If you really loved the stories then please donate a little bit
of money to our donation account.
This will go towards creating a storytelling festival of
learning and wellbeing later in in the year.
Please donate here:
THANKS and see you there!!
Wilf Merttens is an award-winning storyteller. He does great shows and runs inspiring workshops that help people of all ages and abilities learn what magnificent performers they all are. His book about the urban legends of Bristol is published by The History Press and is out now.
Mike O’ Leary
Mike became a professional storyteller in 1994, due to a mid-life crisis, and the realisation that he couldn’t afford a Harley (he didn’t really want one anyway, he has a bicycle). Of course he’s always been a storyteller, something inspired both by his mother, who used to invent conversations between the tea pot and the cups, and Mr. Bruce, the shepherd on the farm in Fife where Mike lived as a small boy, and who transplanted the stories of Finn McCool to the lowlands. Although Mike’s family moved down to Bristol when he was eight, the magic of that spoken, traditionally based storytelling, never left him.
As an adult, Mike has been a gardener, a greenkeeper, a mature student, a playbus worker, and a primary school teacher, and storytelling seemed to be the only occupation for which all those things provided an apprenticeship.
Mike has lived in Southampton since 1979, and is keen to find the stories that underlie a locality, particularly when that locality, as with inner-city Southampton, is not considered romantic.
Like other storytellers Mike has told tales in a variety of venues, from hospitals to schools, nurseries to prisons, pubs to restaurants and from festivals to up to his neck in a duck pond. He isn’t so used to telling stories whilst staring at a computer screen, so his life has definitely changed during the pandemic.
Mike uses a variety of musical instruments to help a story along, from his trade mark flute stick, to the Northumbrian smallpipes.
He has written five books:
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Folktales, Sussex Folktales, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Ghost Tales, Hampshire Folktales for Children (all for The History Press), and a novel, The Pilgrimage of Piltdown Man (Triarchy Press), but he is primarily a storyteller, and is keen to emphasise the difference.
Michael Loader is a teacher, storyteller and performer who works with people of all ages from nurseries to elders’ homes.
He works in a variety of settings including, education, mental health, adults with learning disabilities, charity and community projects.
His creative work abroad has involved children’s homes in Romania, street theatre in East Germany, drama workshops in Spain, corporate facilitation in Switzerland and a British Council project in Palestine and Israel. In April 2019 he returned to Palestine with ‘Stories For Change’ a story gathering project.
He has instigated a number of intergenerational and multicultural projects in B&NES, Bristol, Somerset and North Somerset with schools and other agencies exploring issues such as immigration, cultural heritage and anti-bullying.
He has been storyteller in residence at St George’s Bristol since 2011, director of Somerset Storyfest 2012 and a storyteller in children’s hospitals with the Read For Good charity since 2014.
“Michael clearly has storytelling in his soul and his love of people and of engaging the audience in the story is abundantly apparent in all of his wonderful performances”. Recreation Manager National Arboretum 2012
“Awesome… A natural oratorical…!” Shambala Festival 2008
“A true master at work…” @t Bristol, Bristol Storytelling Festival 2007
Adele has a story to tell..or two! Whether she’s to be found taking children on flying adventures from their hospital beds, or perhaps enthralling audiences at the One World festival in the Ashmolean Museum. Why not follow this Oxford storyteller down the virtual rabbit hole to see her folk tales for the Hamilton Trust, or her latest forest tales for Somerset Story Fest?
Want more? Contact Adele to find out about her Jewish-Muslim collaborations, school events and intergenerational projects.
More of Adele at Hamilton Trust: Sleeping Beauty, Snow White Facebook event for 4 Communities 3 Trees 1 Hill Green Arts Wellbeing
Graham first told stories in his early 20s when he ran a folk club in Birmingham. His energy and enthusiasm for traditional stories has led him to become a much sort after storyteller in England and overseas. The Times described him as “a storyteller for the 21st century.” He is a director of the Traditional Arts Team and is a major promoter of storytelling events in the UK. He has a lovely open style with children and always makes them feel at home. He has a bright, enthusiastic telling style and always brings the party when the party is needed! He is an excellent storytelling teacher and his students have gone on the run clubs across the West and East Midlands. We call him the Godfather of Storytelling, though he doesn't really appreciate it! As well as wider event production he is the director of Storytelling Cafe in Birmingham which he co-directs with his trainees at The Storytellers Studio. These events are now online.
Graham’s Videos - THE THREE WISHES
Jump on the magic carpet and join Graham Langley for a walk in the woods telling a story with the lesson that you just can’t trust the fairy folk.
THE OLD WOMAN IN A PUMPKIN
Where would you hide from a bear, a wolf and a lion who all want to eat you for their dinner? This old woman and her daughter find the perfect solution. Listen to the story unfold as Graham Langley follows a woodland trail.
Jennifer Lunn tells stories, makes theatre and runs live events. She’s worked with children and young people for over twenty five years devising and delivering creative programmes to inspire, enthuse and amuse! Story is at the heart of everything she does and she believes that we are all storytellers so much of her work involves gathering stories told to her by the brilliant young people she meets!
As a playwright her first full length play will be produced by Wales Millennium Centre next summer having been shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award and longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize.
She lives in Wales with her wife.
This is the website of
' I love the power of traditional stories to raise awareness of how we are all connected. They're full of ancient wisdom which resonates today. They provide a road-map that can help us navigate the challenges of the world - especially these uncertain times. Their wise narratives can build resilience and bring confidence, self-knowledge and well being'