Nobel Prize Storyteller

I read this article and it strikes me the millions of reasons we all have for choosing to tell stories and then also wondered why people would then choose not too. Regardless of who we are, our loves, lives, backgrounds, our stories are possibly the most important part of who we are and what makes us what we are. Sometimes a story needs to be told at a particular time, maybe years after we’ve locked it away, even forgetting it’s there and then something happens that reveal that it’s time the story is retold.

Have a quick perusal at the following article and drop me a line with your reasons for telling your stories.

Mara x


STOCKHOLM – Chinese writer Mo Yan, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, described himself as a storyteller in a lecture at the Swedish Academy on Friday afternoon.

It is telling stories that earned him the prize, the Nobel laureate said.


Mo Yan gives Nobel Prize speech

The 2012 Nobel Literature Prize laureate Mo Yan of China speaks during the traditional Nobel lecture at the Royal Swedish Academy December 7, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]


In the lecture titled “Storytellers,” he talked about how he started story telling as a child and shared with the listeners his memory of his childhood and mother, “the person who is most on my mind at this moment.”

“As repayment for mother’s kindness and a way to demonstrate my memory, I’d retell the stories for her in vivid detail,” said Mo Yan.

He also recalled memories of being surrounded by adults instead of children of his age after he dropped out of school, which “created a powerful reality” in his mind and later became a part of his own fiction.

By introducing the background of his most famous works such as “Frog,” “Life and Death are Wearing Me Out,” “Big Breasts and Wide Hips,” “The Garlic Ballads”, “Sandalwood Death” and “The Transparent Carrot,” Mo Yan shared the inspiration behind the stories and the way they were produced.

“Many interesting things have happened to me in the wake of winning the prize, and they have convinced me that truth and justice are alive and well,” said Mo Yan.

“So I will continue telling my stories in the days to come,” he said at the end of his lecture.



Storytelling and Reading – It works!

Storytelling is Useful, Fun, Exhilerating, Imaginative and Educational. It’s Amazing!

 storycartoonI am always amazed at the impact storytelling can have on encouraging and developing an interest in reading in both children and adults. There is so much evidence that storytelling is possibly THE most useful tool in nurturing literacy that it’s crazy that so many people still doubt its importance! Parents, start telling stories to your children, teachers, put down the books and actually tell stories. Your passion and inspiration will move mountains!

I found the following article online and thought it provided a few great examples that although they are a few years old and from the United States but still demonstrate some of the key benefits of storytelling and reading!

The value of storytelling in education has been documented in many recently published articles.  Below is a summary of some of those findings. Visit the author’s web page for more info and the appendix. And don’t forget to let me know hoe useful you find it!






The Value of Storytelling in Education                          Compiled on December 1, 2005 by Kate Dudding

(A) Teaching Storytelling: A Position Statement from the Committee on Storytelling of the National Council of Teachers of English

  • Listeners encounter both familiar and new language patterns through story.
  • Both tellers and listeners find a reflection of themselves in stories.
  • Story is the best vehicle for passing on factual information.
  • Children at any level of schooling who do not feel as competent as their peers in reading or writing are often masterful at storytelling.

(B) Skytellers: The Myths, The Magic, and the Mysteries of the Universe

  • The combination of story first and then science has been shown statistically to improve students’ attitudes about science.

(C) Imaginative Children Better in Math

  • A study by a University of Waterloo scientist suggests that preschool children’s early storytelling abilities are predictive of their mathematical ability two years later.

(D) Three Days Later, Soldiers Find Town in Ruins

  • Because everyone on the island of Simeulue, the palm-fringed island closest to the epicentre of the December 2004 devastating earthquake/tsunami, knew the story, “if there is an earthquake, run for your life,” only five of 70,000 villagers were killed.

(E) Storied Theory

  • Science and stories are not only compatible, they’re inseparable, as shown by Einstein’s classic 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect.

(F) Israeli-developed Coexistence Education Project Awarded International Prize

  • In order for people with years of painful and violent interaction to coexist peacefully, they don’t necessarily have to like or agree with each other, but they must understand their point of view and their view of the history between them. This can happen when they really listen to each other’s personal stories.

(G) Two Red Birds: Blackfeet Teachers’ Work Displayed at the Smithsonian

  • “During quiet time, the bilingual teacher told Na’pi stories, lessons or fairytales,” Bird said. “The children really learned to listen. She told the Na’pi stories in English and added words in Blackfeet, words like ‘dog’ or ‘blackbird.'” The Na’pi stories are meant to teach things like respect, values, honor and politeness.

(H) Storytelling Project Aims to HelpNew York CityHigh School Students Deal With Racial Issues

  • “A story is such powerful vehicle – that is how we transmit culture. We are using all the vehicles of telling stories to address race and racism from arts, visual arts, poetry, music to dance – all conduits that young people are very tuned into, and we are drawing from that excitement.  Ultimately, we hope to develop new stories to lead us to a more just society.”

(I) Once Upon a Time We Told Our Children Stories

  • Michael Morpurgo, the Children’s Laureate of the UK, writes: When you think of the extraordinary talent among our children’s writers, storytellers and illustrators, it is not surprising that so many children turn to books and become readers after an encounter with such talent.

(K) PBS Kids(R) Joins Pacific Air Force Command to Promote Literacy

  • “Share a Story” inspires adults to help children develop language and literacy skills through simple everyday activities including storytelling, singing, reading, rhyming, acting and talking.