Autumn's Festival of Storytelling - Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue

Autumn’s Festival of Storytelling

Scottish Storytelling (Mara Menzies)

Hospitality and intercultural welcome are at the heart of the 2015 Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SSIF) – with the theme – Stories Without Borders.

Across ten event-filled days and nights from 23rd October, the SISF will assemble expert storytellers from across Scotland, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, to celebrate oral traditions and cultural diversity.

The Art of Welcome

Storytelling is the hospitable art, and in the Scottish tradition every guest is welcome to share stories, music and song. Tuck into food and stories bursting with Scottish and Middle Eastern flavours at Open Table sessions, a fitting treat for Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink 2015. Plus there’s opportunities to see stories in all sorts of settings, from Edinburgh Zoo to Re-union Canal Boats!

International Scotland

Tales from Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and other cultures intertwine with Scottish, British and European stories as the Festival welcomes another vibrant line-up of storytellers from around the globe.

Scottish Storytelling (Credit Solen Collet)Gather for music, song and stories from Scotland and abroad at one of the daily Open Hearth sessions, or uncover a wealth of traditional tales at special events such as An Evening with the Hakawati, where Syrian storyteller Bassam Dawood will share tales from his country’s rich oral tradition.


Taking place around Hallowe’en (Samhuinn), the Festival’s guising events are sure to add a spooky edge to the dark October evenings. Kids can learn poems or songs to help them earn their treats at Guisers Galore, while grown-up guisers can hear chilling tales with Robert Howat at Guid Crack at Hallowe’en in the Waverley Bar.

World Climate Change

Scottish Storytelling (Claire McNicol, Credit Solen Collet)Storytelling has always been closely connected to the natural world. This year’s Festival features outdoor events around Edinburgh, with a special focus on trees as an indicator of ecological health and a symbol of sustainability.

Hear ancient fables from the Jewish oral tradition at The Ruby Tree, led by storyteller Shonaleigh, or explore the lore and legends of Scotland’s forests at Tree Trails sessions in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Dig Where You Stand!

In addition to its Edinburgh events, the Festival brings storytelling to towns around Scotland with its local programme. This year’s events link storytelling to history through Dig It!, the nationwide celebration of Scottish archaeology.   Look out for events around the country, or join an exploration of the Lothians’ rich stories and history at Dig It! at Cramond on 25 October.

The full programme for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2015 is now online and tickets go on sale Thursday 10th September at 10am. There is also an opportunity to see more and save with the Festival Supporter Pass.

For more information, please visit

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