An evening with Paul Zealand

Sheila welcomed Paul Zealand and his wife Stella to the meeting and invited Paul to talk about storytelling in the oral rather than the written tradition. Paul began by saying that he had once been a hobby writer but had lost interest in the written word. His active interest in Morris Dancing had taken him to the Whitby Folk Festival where he had attended a storytelling workshop and things had taken off from there. He reminded his audience that as human language developed, humans would tell stories or things in story form as a way of passing on information and ideas. Storytelling is not reading aloud or reciting but finding a story and relating it.

Paul then went on to tell several stories, linking them with comments on the tradition, its contents and its techniques, including the ‘Rule of Three’ which says that mentioning something three times is more effective than any other number. He then invited questions from members.

After the refreshment break Paul invited members to develop a story by choosing objects at random from a bag. He concluded with another story.

Sheila thanked Paul for his talk and presented him with a token of the Group’s appreciation.

Our friendly group meets once a fortnight in the Old Deanery on Minstergate, opposite Ripon Cathedral and is always open to new members from the Ripon area and beyond. Whether your interest is in poetry or prose, novels, short stories, plays, wacky humour, a more analytical style of writing, or just listening for the time being, you're very welcome.

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