Storytellers of the world, unite! Introducing the first-ever San Miguel International Storytelling Festival

By Mark Saunders

David Fink, Colleen Newquist

Once upon a time storytellers stood on a stage and entertained an audience. And now that time is coming soon to San Miguel de Allende, thanks to the Indigan Storytellers (a group of storytellers from Indiana and Michigan) and the San Miguel Literary Sala, who have joined together to co-produce the upcoming first-ever San Miguel International Storytelling Festival, scheduled for Saturday, October 18, 2014.

“The Literary Sala is especially honored to participate,” said Susan Page, Executive Director of the San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival. “Our members are either storytellers of the written word, committed readers of literature, or both. A Storytelling Festival is both a natural and an exciting extension of the Literary Sala’s vision to help enrich our community’s culture.”

What is a storytelling festival?

A storytelling festival is often an annual event that features oral storytellers (local, regional, national). Each storyteller is given a scheduled amount of time. Featured storytellers are often professional performing artists, but semi-professional and amateur storytellers may also be included among the events.

“I believe the best stories take us on an unforgettable journey during which we experience a range of emotions,” summarized Stephanie Medlock, of Indigan Storytellers. “Ultimately, such stories are how we connect with others as well as with ourselves.”

Do you have a story to tell?

The Storytelling Festival will be a day-long event and will feature well-known professional storytellers, including Drae Campbell from Brooklyn, New York; Paul Pasulka, a network playwright at The Chicago Dramatists; and award-winning educator and sex columnist Twanna A. Hines.

The producers have set aside the bulk of the storytelling spots for local talent, however. So here’s your chance to enthrall and enchant your friends and neighbors with a story in a friendly, supportive environment.

Prize money will be awarded, including a US$500 award to the Festival’s grand prize winner.

The rules are simple. Your story must be true and based on something that either happened to you or to someone you know. It must take no longer than seven minutes to tell. Adult content in good taste is preferred, and you may use props, as needed. First-timers will be allowed to have notes on stage with them.

Auditions to enter the Festival as a storyteller will be held in Sala Quetzal at the Biblioteca on Thursday, September 11, and Friday, September 12. Because a limited number of audition slots will be available, you are encouraged to sign up ahead of time.

Practice, Practice, Practice

More details about the San Miguel Storytelling Festival will be published shortly. In the meantime, start practicing your story now. One rule of success all storytellers follow is to tell their stories as many times as they can, whether in front of an audience or a mirror at home. Practice may not make perfect but it makes for a better storytelling experience.

For more information or to reserve your spot to audition, please contact Cheri Wright:


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