Sourcing the art of story

Ceilidh Culture

Today in Scotland, if you see a ceilidh advertised, it’s likely to be an evening of participative dancing, led by a ceilidh band.

However, ceilidh originally meant ‘visiting’: a gathering of neighbours to tell stories, sing and occasionally to dance, if the evening went that way!

Over the last decade, Scottish Storytellers have revived the ceilidh tradition as a format for intimate storytelling events with a strong social dimension.

The structure of these evenings is traditionally informal and social. There will be a host for the evening to welcome everyone and contribute the first story or song. There is often a guest storyteller to provide a theme for the evening, but the floor is open to all to get up and have a go.

Tradition extends to payment. There are no tickets or booking. Normally a hat is passed around for contributions to pay the guest storyteller and support the organisation.


Guid Crack 

The Waverley Bar, St Mary’s Street, on the last Friday of the month.

Upcoming Guid Crack Sessions

Café Voices

An intimate & welcoming spoken word night on the second Thursday of the month in the atmospheric Storytelling Court at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Upcoming Cafe Voices Sessions

Burgh Blatherers Storytelling Club

Normally the third Friday of the month at 7pm at the The Peanut Gallery, 24 Brougham Street, Edinburgh (new venue).

All are welcome for an evening of storytelling where experienced & developing tellers can get extra performance time.

Contact: Jackie Carothers (Secretary)

Facebook Group

Email Jackie


Glasgow Better Crack Club

Every third Friday of the month from 7.30pm at Tchai Ovna, Otago Lane, Glasgow.

Contact: Frances Logan (0141 574 4136)

Glasgow Even Better Crack Club

Once a month, generally on the second or third Saturday, 10.30am-12pm for families and children. Woodside Library, St George’s Road, Glasgow.

Contact: Frances Logan (0141 574 4136)

Email Frances



Meet at Gorebridge Library, EH23 4TT from 7.30pm on the last Monday of the month. It’s a friendly development group open to all, often heading to the local pub after for further refreshments.

Contact: Lea Taylor (0131 660 5783)


Email Lea


Blether Tay-gither

The club meets every month on the last Tuesday at The Bach, Meadowside, Dundee, DD1 1DJ.

Contact: Sheila Kinninmonth (01334 474 836)

Blether’s Facebook Group

Email Sheila


GAS – Grampian Association of Storytellers

GAS are a group of storytellers based in the North East of Scotland who organise storytelling get-togethers, events and workshops, provide professional storytellers for events and who provide a focal point for storytelling in the North East.

The club meets on the first Friday of the month – please see their website and Facebook page for details of the next event.

Contact: Phyll McBain – Chair

EMAIL: [email protected]


GAS Website

Start Your Own Storytelling Club

If there are no clubs in your area, you or your organisation may wish to consider introducing storytelling to the activities of an existing club, or setting up a new one.

The Scottish Storytelling Forum and TRACS are happy to offer advice on setting up clubs to appropriate contacts in the community.

Contact National Storytelling Coordinator Joanne Urwin [email protected] for advice.

Email Joanne