Scots urged to be part of the big story

Nothing can hold us in thrall like a riveting tale. This year, some of the best raconteurs in the world will tantalise audiences across Scotland

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Celebrating its 28th year, an enthralling storytelling festival will run for twelve days this October in Edinburgh, with 69 events ranging from free family afternoons to retellings of gripping true tales and trans-national mythologies.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) will also head out on tour across Scotland, where international storytellers will join local talent at 29 events across the country, from Orkney to Glasgow.

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This year’s festival has a strong global focus, to illuminate how storytelling is more relevant than ever. In these divisive times, the common thread of our humanity is exposed by stories, connecting people worldwide, across cultures, places and generations.

Here are a few choice highlights:

Open HearthAs the nights draw in, it’s natural to huddle together, and there’s no better time to relax into the weft wording of a masterfully told story than a crisp autumn eve. Each evening at the Storytelling Centre, enjoy Scottish tellers and international guests sharing traditional stories from home and abroad.

The Devil and the Clutch of FoolsTingle your spine, and enter the gloaming during this marathon storytelling event celebrating all things macabre on Halloween. Starting in the morning with a session for the weans, then noon for young adults and running through to late for adults, this once-in-a-lifetime 12-hour story offers the chance to revel in all things demonic and damned. Not for the faint-hearted…

Other ones to watch out forSwedish narrator Jerker Fahlström will slake the bloodthirsty by recounting gripping yarns of Viking gods and heroes in Mayhem and Magic.

At Tongue Tied and Twisted, the traditional tales of Indian elders are revved up and revitalised by UK music producer PKCtheFirst and storyteller Peter Chand fusing hip hop lyrics and South Asian sounds.

During World War II, the Nazis began exterminating Jewish people in Denmark. October 1943 – The Rescue is the staggering true tale of how 7000 Danish Jews were saved by being sailed to safety in Sweden, from Klezmerduo.

Anyone can be a storytellerFrom recounting our day to loved ones, watching the drama of footie with baited breath or listening to the latest twist in the American political saga: whether you know it or not, stories are the stuff of our daily lives. Everyone has a natural knack for narratives, so the festival is encouraging everyone to try their hand at storytelling. This year, the Local Campaign aims to open the world through stories, encouraging schools and communities to organise their own events and share their own community tales. They’ve put together a series of resources to help you on your way.

For full details on events, dates and prices, and how you can get involved, visit www.tracscotland.org/storytellingfestival