Courses Overview >> Short courses >> First Steps in Storytelling: From Myth to Life

First Steps in Storytelling: From Myth to Life

Key Info: 
  • Gain skills in the crafting real life stories to be used within your family, community, workplace and beyond.
  • Develop skills which support your public speaking capabilities and confidence
  • Experience the potency of myth and real life stories to illuminate, revealing that after all, our stories are much more the same than they are different
  • Become familiar with the myth of Demeter and Persephone and begin the journey of living with myth
  • Experience the great power of stories for building empathy and connection

With Hannah McDowall and Stella Kassimati

£ 795.00
Course fees include a four-night stay in private accommodation with shared bathroom and all vegetarian meals. Fee also includes Earth Talk ticket, any field trips, materials as well as all teaching sessions.
The programme will run from Monday to Friday afternoon. If you would like to take this course as a non-residential participant, please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 1803 847237.

Many courses which teach ‘storytelling to influence’ start with the head. They describe the structure which underpins a good story, and explain how neuroscience has proven that hearing a story alters our physiology in a way which has a much stronger influence on our decision-making and behaviour than ‘facts and figures’ do even connecting up the left and right brain.

Those things are all true, very true, but that isn’t where we will start.

We will begin by examining how our own experience works on us, offering our imagination, intuition, heart and gut to the compelling story of Demeter and Persephone. The myth will meet you where you are, and Demeter willing, the personal harvest will be rich.

Immersion in the essence of the myth will bring up memories from your own life which will be our source material for crafting our stories.   You will be guided in a gentle and supportive atmosphere to craft both the content of your story and the performance elements of how to tell it. Our approach is experiential drawing out images, sensation and language through play, listening, discussion, storytelling exercises and communicating with the natural world.

The pieces you work on will be performed within the group and there will be the opportunity for some (it’s optional) to perform to a wider audience from Schumacher College.

Learning how to tell autobiographical stories within the home, community and workplace will nurture your ability to communicate who you truly are and so build trust with your audience. And trust is important, for who among us allows someone we don’t trust to change us?

Beyond the course
For those of you who like to perform and those whose work includes communications or public speaking, the skills learned in crafting your story will be transferable for use in crafting any personal story of hope, discovery or impact.
Myths like Demeter and Persephone are as enlightening as they are enchanting.  They provide valuable insights for modern life that continue to unfold in unpredictable ways even after you have returned home to the half-broken toaster and unopened junk mail.

*The Booking Deadline gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers at approximately 6 weeks before the course is due to run, at which point we confirm the course, add additional time for people to book on or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.

With Hannah McDowall and Stella Kassimati
Stella Kassimati

Stella Kassimati

Stella is skilled in facilitating workshops that help people of all ages connect with the origins of modern life through Ancient Greece as the cradle of Western Civilization. Using her deep knowledge of Greek myths, Gods and Goddesses, coupled with a strong connection to her native Crete, Stella leads workshops and provides award-winning performances that bring the rich heritage of this ancient culture to life.

Stella has taught for the past ten years at the International School of Storytelling at Emerson College, East Sussex, at the Athens School of Storytelling and at the Cyprus School of Storytelling “Technodromio”. She taught  on the Greek myth module in 2017, on the MA Myth and Ecology at Schumacher College. She works around the world in both Greek and English.
Stella is also the founding Director of Friends of Amari, an international association contributing to the revival, through the art of storytelling, of the mythical valley and village of Amari in Crete.

Hannah McDowall

Hannah McDowall

Hannah works as a storyteller and mythologist within social innovation contexts; supporting organisations and individuals to tell and understand their own stories of change as tributaries to the big river stories which have sustained and held communities for millennia.

Since 2013 Hannah has supported over 1000 social entrepreneurs, change makers and academics to craft stories from their own experiences to support their communications and connect with people through intuition and empathy. Her clients include: UnLtd the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Teach First, Liverpool- Kingston- ,Oxford and Oxford Brookes Universities, the Centre for Ageing Better and Migrant and Refugee Community Forum, to name a few. Hannah also runs courses with a range of partners using real life storytelling to support people build emotional resilience for life beyond retirement.

This work is unexpectedly underpinned by Hannah’s experience as an ecologist, a labour rights activist, a researcher of global value chains and social entrepreneurship, a teacher and bee keeper. Hannah’s work and mind spans the arts and sciences, and she finds the invitation to use these paradigms in creative tension utterly delightful.

Hannah is a co-director of Worldwide International Global Solutions (WIGS for short), a collection of interdisciplinary folk committed to growing Social Imagination; a process, which determines how a group, community, or society collectively thinks and does ‘away from the familiar’.

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.