COVID-19 Announcement

The Scottish Storytelling Centre and John Knox House are now open to the public. Read More.

Traditional Arts

SISF Art Challenge: Waterlines

Love drawing? Join the first SISF online art challenge and engage with the festival community in new ways, with the chance to win a book of Scottish folktales! Everyone is encouraged to join the fun. All levels are welcome, and our challenge is open to all art illustration styles and techniques. How to get on … Continued

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SISF Reveals 2020 Programme with Tickets Now Live to Book

Set sail this autumn, as the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) takes audiences on a voyage, exploring Scotland’s coasts and water through music and storytelling. The 2020 SISF programme is revealed today, promising an eclectic mix of online events spanning across the globe and small-scale face-to-face events, celebrating Scotland ‘a nation shaped by the sea’. … Continued

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A Time for Reflection and Looking Ahead: Midsummer Celebrations at Home

We just celebrated the summer solstice–the longest day of the year–on Sunday, and we’re enjoying the longer daylight hours that summer brings. On Wednesday 24 June, we will celebrate midsummer in Scotland. Midsummer has its roots as a Celtic fire festival, blessing the crops for a fruitful summer harvest with bonfires and using torches to … Continued

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In the Flow – SISF 2020 will explore Scotland’s coasts and waters through music and storytelling

We’re excited to announce that the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, which runs from 17 – 31 October 2020, will keep you ‘In the Flow’ with an eclectic mix of online events and small-scale face-to-face performances, celebrating Scotland ‘a nation shaped by water’, taking you on voyages at home and away. Stories and songs are vital … Continued

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We Are Creating Lockdown Lore

It’s been hard to miss the various creative responses to the restrictions, mandatory and self-imposed, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. From the weekly outbreak of applause, pot-banging and bell-ringing in appreciation of the health workers, to rainbows in windows, and comedian Janey Godley’s affectionate parodies of the First Minister, people have been making sense of … Continued

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Rebirth and Starlore – When All is Dark, We Turn to the Stars

“The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” (Neil DeGrasse Tyson) However, as humans we cannot help but marvel at the great infinite sky and the sheer number of stars and constellations. We can trace first cave drawings of stars as far back as the stone age and we owe much of … Continued

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World Dance Day – Connecting Two Worlds by Leonie Sweeney

For many years two important parts of my life ran along in parallel. My life in traditional dance arose from my own enjoyment of Irish and Scottish social dance and the old-style stepping traditions of both countries. Sharing the Irish Sets and Scottish Cèilidh dances I learned over the years seemed a natural thing to … Continued

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Scotland the When – Merlin’s Crag

This week we take a break from Scotland’s Brexit travails in favour of assassination attempts and a manhunt in Annandale. Though more than thirty years have passed, the Lockerbie bombing remains unresolved. More people were killed on Scottish soil in this murderous event than any other, excepting war. The only person ever tried was ‘Unsafely Convicted’ … Continued

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Scotland the When – The Laird’s Big Breaxit

Welcome back to another satirical story as part of our Scotland the When series. This week’s tale features Scotland’s Culture Minister in an Edinburgh Festival Fringe mishap. This year’s Fringe is unfortunately not going to go ahead as planned – may it soon be back! Gussie McCraig evokes our worst Brexit nightmares, and they are … Continued

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Scotland the When – Destiny Stane

To mark the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, we are launching Scotland the When, a series of satiric or surreal stories about Scotland’s politics and culture. The first story Destiny Stane recounts the rediscovery of the real – again – Stone of Destiny, in the midst of the Brexit stramash, hidden beneath the … Continued

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