The International
School of Storytelling

Teller, Tales and Tradition

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.

Date of the Teller, Tale, and Tradition weekends 2017:

The Ruby Tree 26 - 28 May 2017
The Emerald Sea 14 - 16 July 2017
The Golem 25 - 27 August 2017

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.

Scroll down to book the weekend tellings if you wish to join.

The group will be able to interact in the way it was originally intended, asking 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 thoroughly unusual 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. There will only be sixteen places so early booking is advised.

It is possible to book accommodation and meals at Emerson College during your course. Please do so directly with them by using their online booking system, at the following link Scroll down to find your course and you will be able to find all the options and prices and make a booking. The costs are NOT INCLUDED in our tuition fee.

If you prefer accommodation in the village of Forest Row, (20-25 minute walk), please email for a list of available accommodation


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)