TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track
"Read the story several times and then put the book away," begins the masterclass by storyteller Ben Haggarty (pictured) on the Society for Storytelling's website (www.sfs.org.uk). This is where you'll find everything you need to celebrate National Storytelling Week (January 28 to February 4): advice on working with professional storytellers in schools as well as drawing tales out of staff and parents for assemblies, lesson starters and special events. The site has a list of events and workshops during the week, split into regions. The place to be is clearly Much Wenlock in Shropshire where the Winter Edge's storytelling festival is in town, with performances every evening. The five-day residential masterclass is in school time, but there are day workshops at two levels during the closing weekend of February 4 and 5. See www.festivalattheedge.org for full details. Tel: 01939 236626. Cornwall has a "mini storytelling festival"
which is swiftly becoming major, with workshops and events in at least seven communities. See www.peopletellstories.co.uk.
Storyteller Daniel Morden's pithy and evocative treatment of The Odyssey is at the heart of one of four themed creative writing audiovisual projects being developed for the Barbican Centre's new e-learning website to boost poetry writing in primary schools. www.canihaveaword.org.uk draws on the Barbican's education work with 10 primaries in inner London over three years and features new poems by Jackie Kay, Matthew Sweeney, Beverley Naidoo and Michael Rosen. There are also sections on the Human Body, the Elements and Changing Voices, the latter focusing on Naidoo's novel Journey to Jo'burg and including work by Olusola Oyeleye, who last year directed a stage adaptation of Naidoo's short story The Playground. You can download all of it from mid-February.
School libraries can order a set of "Out of this World" postcards and posters to promote science fiction and fantasy for pound;15 from the Reading Agency's latest resources catalogue (www.readingagency.org.uk under "Reading resources", or email firstname.lastname@example.org). A pound;15 manga pack is also available (most of TRA's materials are sold in larger packs aimed at public libraries and priced from pound;50). The closing date for orders is January 27 (resources are printed to order and will be available from March).