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while the snow fell she told him stories

Storyteller Development Circle

We are seeking to recruit a group of practising storytellers who will meet on four weekends over a year, working to develop our storytelling practice from presence to crafting to style to technique. The group will meet for one year initially but may continue with the same or possible new members if it is successful. We aim to nurture a sense of community amongst storytellers and provide support for them to grow in their understanding of the art and traditions of storytelling.


This group is for storytellers with performance/stage/storytelling experience, it is not an introduction to storytelling. You must have a working knowledge of stories. 

2020 Dates  (Amended due to Covid-19 restrictions)  Tutor: Clare Murphy

Available places: 8-12 storytellers

Part One

Weekend One          25th – 27th September

Weekend Two           27th - 29th  November

Part Two  (Optional - dates will be set in October)

Weekend Three         Jan/Feb 2021 

Weekend Four          March/April 2021

All weekends will begin with an optional Friday night social gathering, followed by 10am – 4.30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. There may also be some optional online contact between sessions.


The course will be run from two different venues in West Lancashire. Both venues are on ground level and are wheelchair accessible. Both are within easy reach of shops and cafes. The nearest train station is Parbold, with connections from Manchester via Wigan North Western and from Liverpool.

2021 Dates

Tutor: Tim Ralphs

Available places: 8-12 storytellers

Weekend One          6/7th March 2021

Weekend Two           5/6/June

Weekend Three         25/26th September

Weekend Four          27/28th November


The course is non residential so participants will need to find accommodation locally. Some guidance will be offered on this and as the group gets to know one another, it may be possible to share travel and accommodation costs. The nearest train station to the venue is Parbold, with connections from Manchester via Wigan North Western and from Liverpool via Southport.

Course Content

The aim is for as many people as possible to commit to attend all the workshops with each tutor, to encourage a sense of continuity, trust and peer support. If the year course is not full, we will offer a limited number of places on each weekend for those who might wish to attend just one or two weekends. Homework will be offered as well as the opportunity to develop your story repertoire through the work of the group.


There is an application process in which participants can offer suggestions for topics to cover. There may be some continuity between each year if some participants continue, with a handover between trainers so we can avoid repetition (bearing in mind that sometimes repetition might be exactly what we need!).


2020 & 2021 Course Content:  please email for more information

2022 & beyond  Which UK based storyteller would you like to work with? Please  emaill your suggestions.

Course fee: please email for more information. There will concessionary places with priority given to young storytellers. 


Application process

If you would like to take part, please email for an application form.


About Clare Murphy

Storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy has been telling stories since 2006 on stages all over the world including The Globe, The National, and The Barbican theatres in London. 

Her work ranges from the political folkloric work such as her Syrian piece “The King of Lies” to playful pieces like UniVerse which explores where quantum physics, philosophy and mythology meet.  She tells the story that is called for in each situation

from telling to President Mary Robinson of Ireland to

performing at the Writers Room of the Royal

Shakespeare Company.  She is a storytelling consultant for Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA and a freelance trainer with the National Theatre, The Young Vic and The Drive Project.


She has worked with many wonderful organisations and institutions including BBC Radio 4, Central Saint Martins University, National Museums of Ireland, and the Conference on World Affairs, Boulder, Colorado.  She performs at festivals, art centres, universities, public and private events, conferences and schools. 



About Tim Ralphs

Tim is a storyteller and active exponent of narrative in art. He also works as a public engagement consultant where he focuses on connecting academic researchers with non-specialists.

His storytelling is rooted in the oral tradition: The craft of a speaker weaving language and gesture to entrance an audience and bring a tale to life. Tim Ralphs gained much acclaim at “The Young Storyteller of the Year” competition in 2007, and was a British Award for Storytelling Excellence 

winner in 2012.

He has performed everywhere from majestic Teutonic castle at Alden Biesen in Belgium, to the muddy Shropshire fields of The Festival at the Edge, to the sophisticated theatres of Soho and The Barbican. His audiences find him equally captivating whether they are partaking of some cake in a cafe, sitting spellbound around a fire in the woods, or dancing furiously while he lays down his words over a frenzy of experimental rock.

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