The International
School of Storytelling

Teller, Tales and Tradition 2018

Join Teller and Tradition bearer Shonaleigh for a unique, immersive weekend of storytelling to experience a living, unbroken oral tradition. The Druts’yla tradition has been passed down from Grandmother to Granddaughter by generations of Jewish women. Around 4000 tales are held within the mind and recalled on request, using the lost art of ‘stories within stories’. This weekend is an opportunity to gain an insight into how a culture thrived before the written word became common practice.

Starting at one point in the lattice we the listeners will guide the journey through the interlinked tales, hearing stories possibly left untold for two generations. There will be time for discussion and exploration of both the tradition and the stories.

Tobias and The Snow Tear 6-8 April 2018

The Cloth of Hope and Sorrow 17-19 August 2018

The Ten Wonderful Things 30 Nov - 1 Dec 2018

All the tellings stand alone but if you choose to journey with us on one, or more, of the weekends you will experience the thrill of old friends and foes making an appearance, and witness how the story cycles enfold one into another. 

You can learn more about Shonaleigh and the Drutsyla tradition on her website.

The cost of accomodation and meals are NOT included in our workshop fee. If you wish to book a room or to camp at Emerson College, please book with them directly: . Scroll down to find options and availability for your course. You can also call Emerson for a list of local accomodation +44 (0) 1342 822 238. You can also book meals with Emerson College. 

If you have any questions about our courses or a problem with booking, please contact


Tellers, Tales and Traditions: How does the weekend work? 

The group will be able to interact with the story as was originally intended. It is the listeners that request stories, journeying through the lattice along a path guided by their requests. You will also be able free to ask questions directly about the stories and the environment in which they were told, from finding hidden trade routes locked within the tales to the reasons why a person might forgo a story in order to hear one of greater importance to the community.

Shonaleigh is the only known Drut’syla and the weekend will be a revival of a culture almost lost. The telling will start at 7.30pm on Friday evening and finish at noon on Sunday. It will take place within a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of cushions and sofas and tea, coffee and cake provided at regular intervals.

This is an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in stories or in oral and lost cultures to come and help document and archive through listening, requesting stories and asking questions. 



What a rich, nourishing, fulfilling weekend of stories. I would like to wrap Shonaleigh in an enchanted cloth and take her everywhere and be able to hear these stories all the time! Her love of the stories she tells and the wisdom and humour she brings and the fabulous discussions we had transported me back to my childhood. Looking forward to more, much more. - Siddartha (The Ruby Tree 2017)

I cannot reccomend this enough! Listening to the winding tales of Shonaleigh telling the tales of long past generations of women is a journey of the soul. Being a craft person, as I weaved my tapestry, I felt transported to a time between worlds - where so many craftsfolk have traveled under the direction of a master story-teller. - Rosie May

I feel as if all my stories are nothing more but scraps and patches and now I see the wonderful cloak they might once have been - and I want to put them back together. - Jim Munro (The Diamond Girl and the Goat Horn Bee. 19 March, 2017)

Every time I hear Shonaleigh tell her stories I am astounded by the power and breadth of her stories. - Lynette Hill (The Diamond Girl and the Goat Horn Bee. 19 March, 2017)

I came with my grown up daughter, having given her the weekend as a birthday present, and we were both captivated all weekend. These ancient stories had contemporary relevance. They were well told in a convivial atmosphere. We both came away nourished in the deepest sense of the word. - Annie (The Golden Labyrinth. 21-23 April, 2017)