Call for Papers Online Symposium Professionalising the storyteller

The Federation for European Storytelling (FEST) is a European network of organizations and associations active in the field of oral storytelling. FEST wants to enhance the visibility and the recognition of storytelling as a performing art. The network also contributes to a European approach to the professional development of storytellers using different methods such as the analysis of training needs, residencies and performance opportunities for young storytellers and continued professional development for established storytellers.

According to research most storytelling training today happens through informal and non-formal practice. Very few institutions offer formal storytelling education/training. The research also showed that most of the non-formal and informal training are at basic skills level and that there is a lack of theoretical backing for storytelling training at the higher levels.

Fest created an international team of experts to pick up this challenge. The work was done through, surveys, in-depth interviews, online and live meetings/discussions, desk research and communication on different platforms.

The team created a competence model for oral storytelling and organised a master class for storytelling trainers on competence-based training and learning, in cooperation with SAMWD Lier, BE. Two oral storytelling pilot courses were organised, a first one on “Working with Stereotypes and Traditional Tales’, in cooperation with the University of Arts in Berlin, DE and the second one: “Oral Storytelling and Artistic Research” in cooperation with Oslo Metropolitan University, NO.


Fest wants to open-up the discussions and developments by organising an online symposium on this theme. Apart from presenting the outcomes of our work we welcome experts from different disciplines and education/training sectors working on related topics. This symposium will address the varied collaborative and individual working situations of contemporary oral storytellers divided into the following subthemes:


  1. Competence frameworks, EQF referenced learning outcome models and competence-based teaching & learning

    Competence framework models for professionals in the art sector: what, how, why?
    Competence-based teaching and learning
    Learning outcomes and curriculum development

  2. Working with Stereotypes and traditional tales

    As oral storytellers, one of the essential aspects of our practice is the process of selecting, adapting and performing traditional folktales. In doing so, we often have to deal with issues such as racism, gender stereotypes or hetero normativity. We are looking for presentations addressing problematic imagery and the re-shaping of traditional tales by the means of narrative and performing strategies to creatively overcome ethical problems.

  3. Performance art/Oral Storytelling as artistic research

    Oral storytelling as artistic research focusing on the methodology development and how one can use the artform to address contemporary issues. This is a research methodology where the process within an art field and the work of art is central.


We invite submissions from academics, scholars (including doctoral students) and storytellers. The symposium themes encourage a diversity of perspectives and research orientations. Productive challenges and questioning established ideas within storytelling are also most welcome.


Submit your abstract in English 150 words + 3 keywords by January 18th 2021
Send your abstract to:


Please, address your contribution to one of the following categories: 

  1. Session - Full papers (5000 words max.) and presentations (20 min +10 min Q & A).
  2. Performance lectures (20 min + 10 min Q & A) - an extended abstract (800 words max., excluding short abstract and references).
  3. Workshop – 30 minutes - an extended abstract (800 words max., excluding short abstract and references).
  4. Poster – 5 minutes presentation pre-recorded.

All presentation will be done in English.

Contributions will be double-masked peer reviewed. To facilitate the review process, authors are responsible for removing any identifying information from their submissions that might lead a reviewer to discern their identities or affiliations. The author’s name in self-citations must be replaced with “Author” in in-text citations, reference entries and footnotes.