An Introduction to TELLABRATION!™
TELLABRATION!™ is a worldwide evening of storytelling. It creates a network of storytelling enthusiasts bonded together in spirit at the same time and on the same weekend.
TELLABRATION!™ originator J. G. Pinkerton envisioned this international event as a means of building community support for storytelling. In 1988 the event was launched by the Connecticut Storytelling Center in six locations across the state. A great success, TELLABRATION!™ extended to several other states the following year, and then, in 1990, expanded nationwide under the umbrella of the National Storytelling Network (then called NAPPS, and later the National Storytelling Association).
In 1995, for the first time, there was a TELLABRATION!™ in Japan, brought there by Japanese storyteller Masako Sueyoshi, who had been a part of TELLABRATION!™ when she lived in Connecticut for several years. By 1997, there were TELLABRATION!™ events on every continent but Antarctica. (Anyone know any good penguin storytellers?)
TELLABRATION!™ is traditionally held on the third Saturday in November. Some events, however, may be at an alternate time during the same weekend.
Anyone can produce a TELLABRATION!™: storytelling organizations and centers, schools, libraries, colleges, museums, performing arts centers, story-swap groups, story enthusiasts, and others.
NSN serves as a partner to producers and a clearinghouse for information. NSN publicizes TELLABRATION!™ events worldwide and offers a Guidebook and Promotional Kit for producers.
TELLABRATION!™ Frequently Asked Questions
May I produce a TELLABRATION!™ event?
Absolutely! All types of people and organizations produce TELLABRATION!™ events – librarians, teachers, church folks, clubs and guilds, as well as individuals! So can you!
What do I need to do in order to produce a TELLABRATION!™ event?
- Request your copy of the TELLABRATION!™ Promo Kit and Event Guidebook from NSN
- Choose a site or online platform
- Recruit a co-producer and staff workers
- Decide who will be your target audience
- Choose and invite your tellers
- List your TELLABRATION!™ on the NSN website: click here.
I’m interested . . . so how do I get started?”
Ideas for possible venues:
- Church halls
- Small theaters
- Community halls
- Your own home
Places to find tellers and production staff:
- Find your local story-sharing group or Guild – check NSN’s national directory of tellers and storytelling organizations
- Ask at your local library, arts organizations, theater groups…be creative!
Contact NSN for the TELLABRATION!™ Promo Kit which contains materials such as templates for:
- Program pages
- Bookmarks and Postcards
- Social Media Images
NSN also publishes a TELLABRATION!™ Event Guidebook, which has more detailed information on such topics as:
- Securing a performance space, and all the details involved in turning it into a storytelling venue
- Filling your house and other uses of publicity
- Developing a staff and all the jobs they will be needed to do
- Crafting your evening – seeking a balance of stories, styles, and moods
Can I be flexible in my event?
Yes! Although TELLABRATION!™ was intended originally for adult audiences, it has evolved over the years. It is up to local producers to decide what will best suit their communities.
Events in the past have included:
- All adult tellers for an all-adult audience
- Emerging tellers performing alongside experienced tellers
- An afternoon event for children followed by an evening for adults
- A family event
- A house concert for a group that chooses an informal evening of storytelling
Do I Need to Sign Up?
Yes! Start by listing your event on the NSN calendar, so that NSN will be able to advertise your event both on this website and on the NSN social networks. In return, NSN asks you to do the things listed on the TELLABRATION!™ Producer Information page.
How do I get the materials?
Thank you for contributing to this worldwide event to create community through helping people share all kinds of stories: personal and family stories, folk stories, and legends, and others.