Zooming Into Summer

Summer is coming and with it, was supposed to be a wonderful tour of festivals, storytelling centres and universities. Performances to share what I’ve learned; memories and reflections of studying with Duncan; stories and songs and lots of questions and discussion.  I was just about to announce my summer dates… and now the summer is looking very different.  Cancellations and postponements have been pouring in – I have to say big love and thank you to The Scottish Storytelling Centre, who paid all their artists in full for the cancelled events before closing the centre, wanting to support the community they celebrate.

However, my project has been about challenging me to tackle the digital world.  It’s been about taking a deep breath and learning the skills to enable me to use the technology available to be creative.  Now events have pushed me in at the deep end!

I was already planning to play with live-streaming my summer events and work out how to share events with an online audience.  As we plan our summers in physical isolation, I’m determined my events will still take place  online.  One exciting opportunity is with ‘Get a Word in Edgeways’ Festival – where I was to be performing with David Campbell and Linda Williamson, alongside John Slavin’s exhibition of paintings inspired by Duncan Williamson’s stories.  They’ve asked me to run a monthly spoken word concert on zoom with poets, authors and storytellers on the second Thursday of the month from April onwards…plans for the festival weekend itself are still fermenting!

My first full length podcast, discussing Duncan with Helen East, is now out.  I’m really pleased how it has come together.  I wanted to use digital techniques to delve deeper into storytelling, to use it as a platform for reflection and discussion – and I feel I have achieved that with this podcast – and great as always to hear Helen tell!  Future podcasts will have to change a little bit in nature – the next was to be with Ben Haggarty, but having rearranged once due to illness, I don’t know when I will see him next.  The next few podcasts will be just me and Duncan – selkies here we come! – and I’m planning a series of podcast storywalks.


While I can’t do interview podcasts for a while, I’m very getting very excited by zoom.  I’d never heard of zoom until a couple of weeks ago, but after storytelling for World Book Day in two zoom events, I think it’s great!  It does have that live feel to it, it can be very interactive and it’s full of possibilities – including interviews!  So, instead of podcasts, let’s have a storytelling based zoom ‘chat show’!  Ive got a very long list of people I’d love to know more about – how they got into storytelling, what inspires them and, of course, to hear them tell some stories.  I’ve signed up for Zoom pro with webinars, Simon Heywood has agreed to be my guinea pig interviewee – now we just need to set a time and date….

@artscouncilofengland, @ace_midlands, @ace_national, @artyaml, @sfs_uk @scotstoryfourm @EU_SSSA @Stories4Society @BTBStorytelling @GEECStweets @TadHargrave

#storytellingapprenticeship, #ScottishTravellerStories, #DuncanWilliamson #Passingontradition #TheScottishTravellingPeople