Sue Bailey, Storyteller
I was born and educated in Southampton. I studied Microbiology at University, worked in Youth Hostels in the Peak District and Norfolk, taught in Kirkby in Merseyside for 7 years, had 3 sons, lived in Wisconsin USA for three years and moved to the Isle of Wight in 2000.
I have told stories and run workshops at a number of places and venues over the years including Australia’s Castlemaine State Festival, and the International School in London. Most of my work has been on the Isle of Wight for many of the numerous festivals and community events that take place over here. Highlights have included bedtime stories on the Kidszone stage at the Isle of Wight Rock Festival, Christmas stories by the fire for Forest School and a gecko themed birthday party for an 8 year old. I am always open to new challenges!
I love stories, and the ideas and images they can convey and believe in there is an important place for oral storytelling, alongside reading, in our culture. Story telling can be more creative as each story evolves slightly each time it is told. Stories can be adapted, not tied to the words on the page. It enables the listeners to create their own imaginative pictures and images as the story unfolds.
My favourite stories are those with a twist in the tail, some humour including The four stages of man; Coyote and the money tree; and Anansi tales.
I tell stories that may be traditional, modern or new and original. I love listening to stories and delight in finding a gem of tale that is calling out to be retold.
In 2006 I began the Island Storytellers, a group that meets monthly to swap stories. I work closely with the Island Storytellers to promote and develop storytelling on the Isle of Wight. We have had three successful storytelling festivals the first in 2006, ‘Ferry Tales’, in 2008, and ‘Mosaic of Words’ in 2010.
2012 and 2013 saw me crossing the Solent many times on board the Red Funnel Ferries regaling one and all on the top deck with tales about why the sea is salty.
Since 2013 I have been working with visiting school groups from the mainland telling ‘Myths and legends of the Isle of Wight. These bookings are organised through companies such as IOW Experience and Education Destination.
As part of the Youth Zone of the Isle of Wight Literary Festival, I organised a storytelling competition called ‘The Great Telling Off‘ for children aged between 7 and 12. The competitors had to create a story on a particular theme, which lasted no longer than 4 minutes and must be told, not read. Together with storyteller and author, Margaret Bateson Hill I ran workshops for six Island schools. The competition was very successful with some excellent stories and storytellers.
To tell more tales!
I love listening to stories too, so I’ll be on the lookout for a few storytelling festivals to go to such as Beyond the Border
In the meantime I will be out and about at festivals, in restaurants, in cafes and, of course, at the story club, telling and swapping stories. Come and find me!