Storytelling has evolved with the developments of materials, resources and technology. At the very roots of storytelling are visual stories, such as cave drawings. It has been shown that humans in all societies, have an inclination toward visual representations. During the ancient Egyptian period, hieroglyphics were used as a form of writing - yet each character was used as symbols and sounds.
Then developed the oral tradition of sharing stories between generations by word of mouth, and a shift to narratives, including written, printed and typed stories. Traditional forms of oral tradition include song, chant, poetry and myths. Evidence of any written symbols date back to about 9,000 years ago. It’s as a result of printed stories that literacy among lay people was raised.
National Storytelling Week happens all over the place; sprinkling a little magic everywhere. Enjoyed by all ages, from hospital wards to schools and museums, this week provides the chance for the magic of reading to be relit in different households and places.
Get involved in storytelling week!
Share some books around with friends, set up a reading society at school or why not organise a charity event inspired by the books you’ve read?
Take the week to reflect on people that have inspired you through books or literature. The power of reading is immense and the knowledge which can be gained has had a life changing impact on people - for example, J.K. Rowling and Roald Dahl.
Joanne Rowling is a British author and screenwriter, best known for her seven-book Harry Potter children’s book series. She graduated from the University of Exeter then moved to Portugal to teach English. It was after a marriage, a baby and a divorced that J.K. Rowling began working on the first book of the Harry Potter series. Despite numerous rejections by publishers, J.K. Rowling sold her first book for about $4,000 in June 1997. Unknown to many, but Rowling has also written gone on to write books in a variety of different fields, under the secret name of Robert Galbraith. ‘The Casual Vacancy’ was aimed at adults and a few books written in the genre of crime, i.e. ‘The Silkworm’.
J.K. Rowling should be an inspiration, not just for her ability and talent in writing, but for her character traits of strength, resilience and determination. I mentioned you could learn a lot from literature and its people! Despite the rejections she faced, and the life events which have a huge toll on mental wellbeing, she didn’t give up. They say if you knock at a door for long enough, it’ll eventually open up. If you have a dream or a passion, keep working on it. Eventually it’ll lead to success!
Another icon in the world of storytelling is Roald Dahl. Over his decades-long writing career, Dahl composed 19 children’s books. Each has its own twist of humour, and despite some critiques by parents, Dahl said that he was merely appealing to the humour of children rather than adults. This often resulted in a cruder sense of humour than a typical adult may expect. He also wrote several television, movie scripts and short stories.
As a child Dahl received his earliest education at Llandaff Cathedral school before being moved to a British boarding school due to misbehaviour. Despite not being an excellent student, his mother offered to cover the fees of him studying at Oxford university. Rejecting the offer, Dahl went straight into work - which was quite adventurous. He began on an expedition to Newfoundland, then took a job with Shell Oil in Tanzania, Africa. Looking for more adventure he joined the Royal Air Force and later became an assistant air attache. I hear you ask when he began writing… His writing was inspired by telling his children nightly bedtime stories.
So there you have it, another unlikely path into the world of writing yet a success is what Roald Dahl became. Be inspired to follow the path that life has for you. Things won’t always go to plan but it’ll all work out.
Keep working hard, keep reading books and engage in lots of new activities and opportunities!
And be sure to enjoy National Storytelling Week. (: