Have a story to tell? Take a free workshop and then share it with us

The Whistler Writers Festival is looking for Sea to Sky oral storytellers to submit their tales and participate in a brand new event at this year’s festival. 

This fall, the Whistler Writers Festival is hosting a free oral storytelling workshop, and a brand new oral storytelling event celebrating a different side of the literary arts at the festival. 

“The theme of this year’s festival is sharing stories together, so a storytelling event seemed like a perfect fit,” said Rebecca Wood Barrett, festival artistic director. “We want people who have a story to shout from the rooftops, or who can spin a great yarn to apply to share their story with us for the festival.”

Would-be storytellers first can take a free workshop at the Whistler Museum on Sept. 14 from 6:30-8:00p.m. with Lil’wat oral storyteller and Amawilc educator, Tanina Williams. Learn the ins and outs of what makes a great story and how to make an impact, so the story and message sticks with an audience long after they’ve heard it. Sign up in advance for this session, which is open to anyone with an interest in oral storytelling. 

The workshop is free, but RSVPs are required online.

Then, apply to share the story on stage at the inaugural Whistler Writers Festival oral storytelling event on Oct. 13. The festival is looking for eight local storytellers to join Williams and Tsawaysia Spukwus (Squamish Nation), both of whom are powerhouse keepers of stories and songs indigenous to the shared Lil’wat and Squamish territories.

“We’re excited about this new event and thrilled that these incredible storytellers will be at the festival,” Wood Barrett said. “Everyone loves being told a good story, and we know that everyone has a story they’d like to share. I can’t wait to see how the stories build a sense of connection in our community.”

The local storytellers selected for the festival event in October will be paid $100 to tell their two to four minute story. It’s free to apply for a spot and there is no limit on the number of stories submitted. Applicants don’t have to take the free workshop in September to submit their story. 

People can write or record their submission. Large files can be sent to writers@whistlerwriterest.com via We Transfer. The application deadline is midnight on Sept. 25. Successful applicants will be notified by Sept. 30. 

Submit stories before Sept. 25 at midnight.

The Whistler Writers Festival is Oct. 13-16 and Sharing Traditions: An Evening of Oral Storytelling with Tsawaysia Spukwus and Tanina Williams is Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Tickets go on sale Aug. 31.