Monday, January 3, 2022

Storytelling In the News II

News From Afar
Alfred Stevens, 1860

In February of 2021 I was asked to take over the Storytelling It’s News column for the National Storytelling Network's newsletter. Below are some of the articles I researched through 2021. Since there are so many, I have broken it up into three posts. This is the second of three and my first post for the 2022 New Year. You will find a link to the first blog in the series at the end of the blog.

I hope you find something interesting to read, and perhaps some new tidbits to add to your storytelling and presentations.

How Storytelling Can Help Build An Innovation Culture

When people hear stories all their senses are engaged. Facts and data are easier to retain when presented in story form. Stories also create connections between people in a way that can motivate us to act. When trying to change people’s behaviours around innovation, using stories can be a powerful way to inspire confidence.


Irelands Little Known Mermaid Saint
“Lí Ban’s story dates from 6th century Ireland and has been preserved not only in medieval writings but also in the oral tradition of scéalaíocht (storytelling) passed on from generation to generation.”

La Llorona: Folklore, Spirits, Colonialism, and Power

“Gloria Duerte has discussed how tales of spirits similar to La Llorona have cropped up in folklore and myths across world history. A similar spirit emerged in sixteenth-century Philippines; fifteenth-century Germany had tales of the White Woman; and there are many beings from across European culture which attack children or men…As a result, it is not out of the question that La Llorona was a combination of indigenous and European tales. She also exhibits signs of another key marker of Mexican identity – Malintzin.”


Middle Ages Merlin manuscript found in Bristol University library
Seven hand-written fragments were found by the University of Bristol's special collections librarian. Specialists analysing the pieces said they contained "subtle but significant" differences from the traditional story.”

Native American Artist Rico Worl Designs U.S. Postage Stamp
Rico Lanáat’ Worl, Alaskan artist, is the first member of the Tlingit tribe to design a U.S. postal stamp. Raven Story depicting raven stealing the stars. “I wanted to illustrate a moment of drama in a traditional Tlingit story.” He hopes it will inspire others to learn more about the Tlingit people and their culture.

Non-Profit Organization helps Latinas have their voices heard through storytelling
One year ago, nine women came together to brainstorm a way to share the unheard voices of Latinas in their community and share what it means to be Latina in today’s world…We are creating a book by telling our stories, to inspire other women and the vision that we have our communities around the world to connect us and also be a catalyst for unity,” said Luz María Villanueva, founder and president of LWP. Villanueva says storytelling is part of who she is as a Latina because she is reminded of how her aunts, grandfather and mother would share stories with her and how they affected her. She wants to continue this tradition with stories that are not just hers but from strangers she meets, because, she adds, everyone has a story to tell.”

People Synchronize Heart Rates While Listening Attentively to Stories

“There’s a lot of literature demonstrating that people synchronize their physiology with each other. But the premise is that somehow, you’re interacting and physically present the same place,” says co-senior author Lucas Parra, a professor at City College of New York. “What we have found is that the phenomenon is much broader, and that simply following a story and processing stimulus will cause similar fluctuations in people’s heart rates. It’s the cognitive function that drives your heart rate up or down… “It’s not about emotions, but about being engaged and attentive, and thinking about what will happen next.”


PREWRITE Invites Storytellers to Invest in the Future of Storytelling
“Prewrite helps anyone build great stories or improve existing ones. The app separates the development of a story from the process of "writing" one, so you're never faced with a "blank page." It offers an intuitive and visual process and acts as a repository for story ideas.”

The Psychology of What Makes a Great Story
“Stories,” Neil Gaiman asserted in his wonderful lecture on what makes stories last“are genuinely symbiotic organisms that we live with, that allow human beings to advance.” But what is the natural selection of these organisms — what makes the ones that endure fit for survival? What, in other words, makes a great story?”

Seanchaí: The storytelling keepers of Ireland's rich folklore heritage
“In ancient Celtic society, bards held a position of esteem, second only to kings. Their stories and songs “were often the only historical record.”  Through the years Bards evolved into seanchaís’ or storytellers who carried those stories from town to town, bringing the stories from ancient days into modern times.

Sixkiller records 1,000 episode of Cherokee radio show
“Each week for the past 17 years, radio show host Dennis Sixkiller has shared with listeners the Cherokee language through song and stories…Sixkiller, a first-language speaker, took over for the original host, David Scott, in 2004, expanded the show’s 30-minute length and added more variety. Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said Sixkiller “has become one of our most respected and impactful fluent Cherokee speakers.”

Spirit of Acadiana: Preserving Our Treasured Stories
“Raconteur, by the way, is French for ‘a person who excels in telling stories"’ And that's what Olivia, her husband Josh and a team of writers have done for about four-and-a-half years: chronicling life stories, sometimes of people who are very near the end of their lives.”

The Stories We Love Make Us Who We Are
We know, when we hear these tales, that even though they are “unreal,” because carpets do not fly and witches in gingerbread houses do not exist, they are also “real,” because they are about real things: love, hatred, fear, power, bravery, cowardice, death. They simply arrive at the real by a different route.

Story Walks in the Natural World
“The revival of live oral storytelling often goes hand in hand with ethical values of sustainability. Respect for nature as the source of wealth for humans and respect for species in their own right lies deep in Indigenous stories. The renaissance of storytelling comes as our practical knowledge of sustainability weakens. However, the double resource of story walks strengthens creative telling while re-envisioning our place in nature.”


Storytelling In the News I – This was the first blog in the series. You will find many more interesting articles here.


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Karen Chace 2022 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission, please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.