Writing this book reminded me of a time when I was doing my best to grow up


For Sal
Growing up is hard
but you are doing a beautiful job


This book was touched by many hands along the way, and I am grateful to you all.

Barbara Poelle, my agent, who employed the roadside assistance phone call and cocktail napkin methods to develop my idea,

Claudia Gabel, who took a chance on me,

And Stephanie Elliott, my editor, who worked tirelessly to help me shape the story.

Writing this book reminded me of a time when I was doing my best to grow up, and I would like to thank the friends who were there. Bob – first and foremost. Mary. Julia, Sonja, Anne, and MaryAnn. Joellen and Margaret, and Ellen and John. And of course Kristen and Mike, who are always there.

Contributor:@swlittlefield Sophie’s website is here
Source: Sophie Littlefield (2010) Banished, Delacorte


…my Sheffield posse who bore the brunt of my tortured author shtick but never stopped believing that I could do it

Jawbone Press have been brilliant to deal with and extremely patient.  Thomas Jerome Seabrook, my editor, was a huge source of support throughout the process and it’s safe to say I couldn’t have done it without him.  Jon Mills, Mark Brend, Nigel Osborne and Kevin Becketti should also be singled out for their belief in the project and hard work on its behalf.

Hearty thanks go to each of my interviewees.  The time I spent conducting the interviews was one of the most fantastic periods of my life; everyone was so honest and warm, generous both in spirit and the time they took to share their experiences.

Some went even further.  It’s always an especial privilege to be invited into someone’s home, and for that I thank Ian A. Anderson, Vashti Bunyan, Shirley Collins, David Costa, Bonnie Dobson, Sonja Kristina, Clive Palmer, Serafina Steer and David Tibet.  Moreover, Bonnie gave me some scrumptious homemade jam and David generously filled in the empty spots in my Current 93 collection; my continued friendship with both Bonnie and David has been a joy.  Jennifer Lewis and Angela Strange insisted on buying lunch for me in Oxford; Sam Genders wouldn’t let me pick up the tab in a South London café.  Andy Cabic, Alasdair Roberts and The Kittiwakes were not only kind enough to take the time at a gig to speak to me, but so thoughtful that each put me on a guest list too.  David John Sheppard offered me sage words of advice, not least “this will take over your life, you know”. Steven Collins cheered me up after I found out I’d been pickpocketed and lent me £20 to get home.  Sharron Kraus, Ellen Mary McGee, Phil McMullen, Michael Tanner, Emma Tricca and Jane Weaver all gave their amazing warmth and friendship to me as well as enormous practical assistance.

I was beyond thrilled when Greg Weeks, whose music I had admired for years, agreed to write the foreword for this book.  Moreover, his ongoing support for the project, right from the first time we made contact, was an early motivating factor for me.

Some of my interviewees I have not yet met in person, having spoken via the wonders of modern technology, but I feel as if I have thanks to their unwavering and continued enthusiasm.  To Kelli Ali, Margaret Ayre, Joshua Burkett, Judy Dyble, Mark Fry, Dan Ireton, Alison O’Donnell, Prydwyn, Timothy Renner, Clodagh Simonds, Jeff Tarlton and all the fine members of United Bible Studies: your encouragement has meant the world and I really hope, one day, we shall chinwag in person.

I also wish to pay tribute to three people who sadly passed away during the writing of this book.  Mike Evans of Mighty Baby, an early interviewee; Jack Rose, who I did not get to interview before his passing, to my eternal regret; and Tony Dale of Camera Obscura records.  Tony offered moral support, humour and friendship as well as his considerable insight and knowledge, and I miss our chats more than I can say.

So much support came in to me.  The staff at Research in Practice in Sheffield; the diligent posters of the Very Good Plus message board; Shindig! magazine, especially Andy Morten, Marco Rossi and Richard S Jones; the Abaton Book Company; and Jeffrey Lewis, for kindly agreeing the use of his lyrics in this book.  Others passed on knowledge and contacts: Richard Allen, Alissa Anderson, Lauren Barley, John Byrne, Mike Cole, Geoff Dolman, Brendan Foreman, Will Hodgkinson, Mark Jones, Douglas McGowan, Mark Morris, Richard Morton Jack, Walter Nowicki, Ernesto de Pascale, Raül of Wah Wah Records, David Shook, Maximillian Spiegal, Malcolm Taylor, Pat Thomas, Kris Thompson, Martin Val Baker, Gerald van Waes, Andy Votel, Jason Weiss, David Wells, Roger Williamson – thanks for being so accommodating and just all-around good eggs.

My family have been a rock for me throughout the years.  I give thanks to all my aunts and uncles, to all my cousins, and especially to my Aunt Sheila, my Aunt Gladys and my cousin Paul, who have seen me through some very difficult (and some very happy) times.

To friends: there’s my Sheffield posse who bore the brunt of my tortured author shtick but never stopped believing that I could do it (and had a unnerving instinct about when I needed to go to the pub).  Thank you Keith Archer, Katherine Bishop, Matthew Clark, Ian Cracknell, Andy George, Anita Hollinshead, Naomi Lewis, Barry and Kris McKeown, Debbie Rawlings, Gary Whittles – and especially Tim Hollinshead, Niklas Thoren and Noshee Zameer, three of the most marvellous and supportive people anyone could hope to call friend.

Nearest and dearest, far and wide, offered sofas to sleep on, an ear to be bent and just their wonderful companionship: Suzanne Bird (and my Godsons Elliot and Gabriel), Rupert Cook, Stephen Drennan, Tracey England, Stuart Evers, Alex and Helen Farebrother-Naylor, George Julian, Lizzie Lidster, Craig Mills, Alix and Malcolm McKenzie, Jude Rogers, Oliver Shepherd, the Tucker family and, above all, my soul sister Kathryn Cook.

To Simon Tucker: thanks for everything.

I dedicate this book to my mum and my dad, whom I miss every day.

Contributor: @Jeanette Leech

Source: Leech, J (2010) Seasons they change: the story of acid and psychedelic folk, Jawbone. Book facebook page here and twitter account @seasonsthechge

Thank you both for not only supporting me on the good days but encouraging me to keep going on the dark days

It is my name on the front page and whilst this physical document represents a personal journey this work could not have been possible without a whole raft of people. I have been privileged enough to not only observe or simply participate in but to become part of the Scottish storytelling community. The welcoming, generous nature of all the tellers I have worked with have made this thesis the way it is. I am forever grateful to them.

The storytellers of Blether Tay-gither have suffered the most with my research and writing process yet they have always proved willing to discuss my ideas and read over drafts. Special thanks goes to Robbie, Lindsey, Sheila, Senga (thanks for the super fast proofread turn around!), Owen and Sylvia. Many other storytellers have been of invaluable help to me, as always, but especially Anna, Claire, Michael, Ruth, Frances, Russell, Judy, Jackie, Rachel, Donald and lastly but certainly not least, Jess. I would like to extend a special thank you to Bisi Adigun, although we only met once, he told me the first story I’d heard since childhood and directly inspired my research.

My other key research participants or co-creators who desperately need a mention here are the Interactive Media Design students who so admirably and successfully tackled the challenge of retelling a traditional tale using digital media, allowing me to observe and record their projects.

The wonderful illustrations peppered throughout this thesis tell the story the students retold digitally, Willie the Piper and the Frozen Boots. Stefanie Hess is responsible for the design of the cover and the illustrations, going above and beyond the call of duty, even providing me with my very own font! Thank you so much, Stefanie.

My supervisors, Dr Catriona Macaulay and Professor Tom Inns have kept a patient faith with me, and they have my undying admirationand thanks for keeping me going through this process. Thank you for your guidance.

Thank you to all my friends and colleagues who have given me support and advice, you know who you are! Also, to fellow Twitterers, who have answered my innumerable pleas for help (including inspiring music suggestions) and been inundated with my frustrated #phdhell tweets, thank you, especially to Graeme, Jonathan, Ceara, Jeffrey, David, Lorna and Steve. And thanks Gel for the Spotify playlist, it got me through the final stretch.

Finally, love and thanks must go to my parents, Margie and David, who I forced to hear first drafts, second drafts and umpteenth drafts, and who have also been my storytelling guinea pigs when I practised. Thank you both for not only supporting me on the good days but encouraging me to keep going on the dark days. To Amber, my mad, mad Springer spaniel, I will now take you out on lots of exciting new walks, I promise!

Contributor: @deb_max
Source: Maxwell, D (2010) Traditional Storytelling in a Digital World:the transformative power of Storytelling across media, PhD, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee