Everyone is a storyteller! 

Scotland is home to a wonderfully rich and diverse network of storytellers with varied repertoires and styles.

Many of them connect their love of stories with their upbringing or childhood influences, but what unites them all is a commitment over time to the practice of their art.

The work of the storyteller ranges from sharing stories for entertainment to leading storytelling projects with vulnerable groups.

While some of Scotland’s storytellers have been shaped by one or more storytelling traditions, most acknowledge a debt to Gaelic storytelling, storytelling in Scots, and the traditions of the Scottish Travellers.

Tradition Bearers

Honorary Founders of the Storytelling Forum who preserve and pass on the older storytelling traditions.

Professional Storytellers

Travelling throughout Scotland exercising their storytelling craft as a paid profession for entertainment, education and training.

Community Storytellers

Sharing stories in their communities or through their work, contributing to human wellbeing and quality of life.

How do I learn the basics?

There isn’t a right or wrong way to learn storytelling, just as there isn’t a right or wrong way to be a storyteller!

For an inspirational starting point, have a look at our storytelling resources where you can find tips on telling, story collections and video examples.

Storytelling and stories are traditionally passed on orally, so attend some storytelling events to listen and experience the variations of delivery.

Storytelling clubs are a wonderful and supporting platform for anyone to try out their storytelling skills.

There’s also TRACS training to explore, with regular Starting with Stories workshops that aim to teach participants the basics of the art.

The Scottish Storytelling Forum also runs an Apprenticeship Scheme for those interested in becoming professional storytellers.

View Resources
‘I heard this story from my grandmother, who heard it from her grandmother. And now I’m telling it to you...’

Storytelling Apprenticeship

People find their way into storytelling in wonderful and winding routes. Becoming a storyteller is different for each person, echoing the rich and unique character of storytelling.

Times have changed. In the past people were lucky enough to learn their stories at the fireside of their ancestors. Nowadays, stories are commonly learned from books, contemporary storytelling gatherings and video.

Apprentice Storytellers are working towards joining the Directory of Professional Storytellers in Scotland, dedicated to preserving the art of storytelling and keen to ensure the tradition of “passing it on” continues.

An apprenticeship could last up to three years, learning the art and craft of storytelling, from courses and mentoring to sharing stories with audiences, and there are training days held three times annually at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, offered free of charge to Forum Members to support development and continually foster a sense of community.

For more information and to register interest, get in touch with Janis Mackay below or phone +44 (0)131 652 3271.

Email Janis

How do I join the Directory?

To qualify for the Directory, you should:

  • Have a repertoire of stories
  • Be telling stories regularly & have a portfolio of recommendations from people who’ve heard you tell
  • Show evidence of working with wide ranging audiences
  • Have worked as a storyteller for a recommended period of three years
  • Be prepared to travel widely in Scotland and take up invitations to practise the art
  • Have a current Disclosure Scotland Basic Disclosure Certificate
  • Be resident in Scotland, a member of the Scottish Storytelling Forum and committed to the development of storytelling, principles of cooperation and best practice
  • Directory entries, which will be edited by the Scottish Storytelling Forum, should state clearly the storyteller’s area of interest and experience, including their preferred age groups

For more information about applying to the Directory, get in touch with Janis Mackay below or phone +44 (0)131 652 3271.

Email Janis MacKay