What a delight the San Diego Storytelling Festival was! Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, I enjoyed captivating stories from diverse perspectives around the world. The festival’s theme, “Voices at the Water’s Edge,” echoed the spirit of this year’s World Storytelling Day, themed “Building Bridges.”
Miyo and Sara Armstrong

With the Chair of Storytelling Association of California, Sara Armstrong — we’ve known each other for years, but it was our first time to meet in person!

Marilyn McPhie at the SD Storytelling Festival 2024

Marilyn McPhie telling a Scottish folktale, “The Fairy Flag.” at the “Paving the Way” concert

The Storytellers of San Diego truly outdid themselves with captivating programs, setting a high standard for other festivals. From enchanting storytelling concerts to mesmerizing music, audiences of all ages were captivated. Plus, the stunning venue at the Coronado Public Library added to the magic.
Storytellers at the San Diego Storytelling Festival
(L to R) Jim Dieckmann, David Schmidt, Sara Armstrong, Emily Stamets, Miyo, JT Moring, Almena Mozon at the closing concert, “Voices”
I had the privilege of participating in their festival with 2 concerts and 1 workshop. While everything ran smoothly, there were ongoing adjustments leading up to the event. Initially, selecting stories for each event seemed straightforward. However, upon realizing the theme of the first concert didn’t align with my story, I made a switch. Subsequently, I had to change my workshop story due to similar structures and tones. Despite these challenges, I remained content with my choices. However, a few days before the workshop, my mentor suggested that my chosen story lacked the structure which I would be using in my workshop, so I had to pick another story.

Ready for another peek behind the curtain? With no printer at home, we headed to FedEx to print handouts and surveys for my workshop. After testing both color and black and white prints, we settled on color for handouts and black and white for surveys. However, upon completion, we were surprised to find missing lines and a skewed layout on the black and white surveys. Strangely, printing the same material in color posed no issue—a mystery that remains unsolved to this day. Even the staff were baffled by the anomaly.

It got me thinking…was this a sign? The beginning of a catastrophe? Cue the paranoia: do I even know what I’m doing? But despite some hiccups beforehand, the day couldn’t have been better. Even the traffic cooperated perfectly (both ways)!

Crafty Tales 101 handout cover

Miyo leading a workshop, “Crafty Tales 101”

My workshop featured a vibrant blend of professional and aspiring storytellers. Their enthusiasm lifted the atmosphere, igniting fresh story concepts and making the hour breeze by. Plus, listening to their stories sparked some fresh ideas of my own. Perhaps I had the most fun of all!

San Diego, your warm welcome made it all worth it. Until next time!

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