WHAT. THE.... frequently asked questions ...

Here you will find information on many things pertaining to freelance storytelling life in Scotland and signposts to support in our community.

Can’t find the information you are after? Get in touch with the SSF’s National Development Officer who will try their best to help, do a bit of research and add it to this section.


[email protected] 


Let's start at the very beginning, as Julie Andrew says ... It's a very good place to start...

What the deuce is TRACS, The Storytelling Forum and The Storytelling Centre? Aren't they the same thing?



TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland) brings together three forums: The Scottish Storytelling Forum, The Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland and The Traditional Music Forum in a collaborative alliance designed to improve the knowledge, practice, development and advocacy of Scotland’s traditional arts in a contemporary world – making music, storytelling and dance, accessible for all.


Scottish Storytelling Forum (SSF)

The SSF is a diverse network of storytellers, organisations and individuals supporting Scotland’s vibrant storytelling community. It is a charity and a membership organisation that operates nationwide with links to storytelling communities across the world.

SSF supports a storytelling apprentice scheme, maintains a directory of professional storytellers, establishes storytelling outreach projects in communities and schools, offers support and development opportunities for storytellers. SSF is pretty much is all things advocacy, development, promotional and communicative for storytelling, trying our best to keep this wonderful traditional artform alive and thriving.  It is spearheaded by a National Development Officer, employed and financed by TRACS on behalf of the Forum.


The Scottish Storytelling Centre

Or, The Centre, as it’s affectionately known, is an Edinburgh based (AWARD WINNING, IF YOU PLEASE) venue that hosts events and workshops. In short, TRACS and the SSF are currently based at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The Centre operation is separate to TRACS/SSF but they often work collaboratively together.

TRACS and Forum’s staff

Scottish Storytelling Centre Staff

Is there information on being or becoming a freelance storyteller?

Yes, download the Illustrated Freelancer Guide

The Illustrated Freelancer Guide is a practical resource for the increasing number of artists, makers, writers and other creatives working freelance in Scotland today.

It was created to fill an information gap for creative freelancers to understand their rights and best practices in avoiding and addressing difficult situations.



Is there a booking letter and invoice template I could use?

Sure are. Download and amend as you see fit.

Booking Letter and Invoice Template For Storytellers

Recommended Booking Rates

Booking Guidelines and Tips


Having written confirmation of the terms of your gig ensures both sides know what is expected.

We advise you to use the booking template for both online and live bookings. Make it clear to the venue or booker that there is no agreed booking until the contract is signed by both parties and that you have clearly outlined your rates,  copyrights, streaming and the shelf life of any recorded work, i.e. who this may be shared with beyond your event.


How do I navigate life and freelance work during these Covid times?

*unveils crystal ball* Nope, we don't know either.


The SSF is here to help as much as possible. Here is some useful info…

Now things have steadily opened up and live bookings are on the cards again you should be thinking about keeping yourself safe during gigs at schools and other venues.

SSF’s Guide to Safety Measures for Storytellers Performing Live During Covid

The Scottish Governments Advice on Live Events 

Health and Safety for Live Performance Venues during Covid-19

Check out this short and snappy title if you are working in residency…

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues – advice on face coverings, physical distancing and related matters

This resource created by Education Scotland provides guidelines to support safe learning and teaching in curriculum areas which involve practical activities. The guidelines have been prepared by Education Scotland, working with teachers and other partners but it maybe useful if you’re doing sessions with schools.

Practical activities guidelines

Legal guidance for sharing books and stories online

We’ll update this section as new information comes in so do keep checking in. 

If a venue or school books you then they should provide and create the risk assessment but you may be asked to complete a short section outlining anything in your session that may require preventive measures. If you need a risk assessment you can easily find a template online. The Muscians’ Union are strong in this area.

Risk Assessment Template for performers 

They also have some fantastic tips for health and wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing 

You may also wish to seek out BAPAM.

Expert health and wellbeing services for those working in the performing arts. 


Just a reminder… If a school books you for an online storytelling event, the onus is not on the storyteller to create a hosting space, invite the class and act as safe guard.

You are a guest, not a host and you should never be in charge of children’s safety and wellbeing in this way.






Got ideas for an event or project and needing to find some spondulicks to make it happen. It’s always worth checking in with National Development Officer who always has their ear to the ground but here’s some useful generic info…

Creative Scotland Funding

Funding and Grants 

Small Grants For Traditional Arts

Themed Year Funding


This section will be updated regularly so please keep an eye out.

Themed Year Funding?

Next year is 'Scotland's Year of Stories'

Scotland’s Themed Years (organised by Visit Scotland) have been running since 2009 as a way to celebrate a particular side to Scotland that deserves recognition.

2022 has been designated Scotland’s Year of Stories. This will be a year in which stories told, inspired by, created, or written in Scotland will be showcased and celebrated. A programme of activity will be designed and delivered in celebration of the Themed Year to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors. In short, organisations and cultural bodies are encouraged to use this theme to spotlight existing work or showcase new events or activity linked to theme of Scotland’s Stories.

Hold our jackets, right? I mean, every year is the year of stories for The Scottish Storytelling Forum but 2022 is going to be a wonderful opportunity to amplify storytelling in Scotland – wahoo!

If you’re a storyteller and you’re holding a new project or event in 2022 you may want to make use of this theme to amplify your work. Jump on their wave and surf, use their hashtags, use their sharing platforms, make use of any funding that available.  Below you’ll find links to funding and promotional opportunities, the marketing toolkit with links to logos.

Funding: The YS2022 Community Stories Fund has been designed to support organisations and community groups to take part in and celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, spotlighting the unique stories that matter to them with new, creative events, activities and programming. A total fund value of £300,000 is available for eligible events planned to take place across 2022. Organisers may apply for individual grants of between £500 – £5,000. A second funding round will open for applications from 24 January 2022 with a deadline for applications to be submitted by 5pm on 18 March 2022.



The Year of Stories 2022 Partner Events Programme is open to events taking place between 1 Jan and 31 Dec 2022.

Why sign up? It’s completely free – This free opportunity will align your event with the year and benefit from associated promotional activity.

Listing on VisitScotland.com – You’ll benefit from an event listing on VisitScotland.com, the global website which attracts over 22 million visitors per year. Even more opportunities – Partner events have the potential to be included in the wider Themed Years promotional activity, which ranges from social media tweets to media updates and content blogs.

Reach new audiences – Becoming part of the Themed Years collaboration can help your event, tour or campaign attract more attention.

Check your eligibility. 

YS2022 Marketing Toolkit

Key themes 

How to get involved (Logos included) 

Top Tips 

Other resources 

Useful hashtags if sharing your work online







I work with schools, do I need a certificate?

We recommend you get a PVG.

It is the responsibility of the host organisation to supervise you appropriately when working with children or vulnerable adults during the session. We expect you to take reasonable steps and work with the host organisation to help them ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults.

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps ensure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children and protected adults cannot do ‘regulated work’ with these vulnerable groups.

If you are on The Scottish Storytelling Forum’s Directory of Storytellers, We suggest you have this.

Apply for a PVG

Can someone give me any help to promote an event?

Sure thang, cool thang.


If you’re not sure where to start you might want to download this guide.

It’s the Scottish Storytelling Forum’s PR and Social Media guide. Largely designed to promote local events as part of The Scottish International Storytelling Festival but it’s a handy all rounder, really. It’s got press release and photocall templates and tips on how to promote on social media. Once established, get in touch with the National Development Officer who can promote it on all SSF channels too.


Now, off you go and promote your wonderful self.

PR-and-Social-Media-Guide-2021-Copy (1)



What's The Scottish International Storytelling Festival?


Darling, it’s the biggest party of the year. You really must update your calendar.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival / SISF is one of the most admired storytelling events in the world and the largest of its kind. SISF brings together a large number of Scottish and international storytellers and musicians. It takes place in October each year and the Scottish Storytelling Forum heads up the local community and creative strands. The Scottish International Storytelling Festival/SISF, is programmed and administered by TRACS.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival 

Is there a storytelling sounding board?

Better than that, there's a designated committee



The SSF Committee acts as a think-tank, advising on all aspects of storytelling development, and advocating the cause of storytelling and storytellers in all aspects of cultural and social life. The committee meet at least 6 times a year and are here to hear any recommendations or suggestions. You can get in touch with them directly or via the National Development Officer

SSF Committee 

I'm a bit new to this, how do I become a storyteller or get involved in the scene?

Well, this is lovely news... welcome traveller.

You can get involved in many ways.

The surest way to find your path and to make sure you’ve got all the information you need is to join the Scottish Storytelling Forum and become a member. This will ensure that you’ll have all the latest information on development, networking and CPD opportunities as well as supporting the scene around you. We can help you find your groove. Whether that’s taking a backseat and enjoying the storytelling community, learning new skills to aid an already establish profession such as teaching, or helping you become a professional storyteller on our directory of tellers.

You may wish to engage in our apprenticeship and mentoring schemes led by professional tellers. If that’s the case, get in touch with Storytelling Apprenticeship in the first instance and also the National Development Officer for guidance in your next steps in storytelling.

Become a Storytelling Forum Member 

What’s My Next Steps in Storytelling?

Join the Storytelling Apprenticeship 


I'm a Directory Storyteller, is there a Code of Conduct I must know about?

There is and we recommend that you read it, know it and follow it.

This code ensures the high quality of storytelling events and work, the good reputation of all storytellers on the directory, as well as the reputation of The Scottish Storytelling Forum, so that we can continue to be effective advocates and champions for the rights of storytellers and the value of their work.

Storytellers listed on the directory must adhere to the code of conduct.

The Scottish Storytelling Forum is committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion.
SSF does not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind.
SSF champions the rights of storytellers and advocates for the value of their work.
We expect that storytellers will act in a way that upholds standards outlined in our Code of Conduct.

Policy Documents & Code of Conduct

As directory storytellers are also part of Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Database, we follow their guide of conduct also and directory storytellers must also.

Live Literature Code of Conduct 

How do I find out the latest storytelling news

We're broadcasting on all channels and may even send pigeons if you ask nicely.





Keep an eye on press too, especially in 2022. #teaser #alluring #THERE’SAWHOLEYEARDEDICATEDTOSTORIES

We draw the line at TikTok though. We simply just won’t go there.

“Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet.”

― W. B. Yeats