World Storytelling Day, a Contest, and your Neighbors

Apr 02, 2009 by Lisa Newton

In yesterday’s Spring into 2009, I talked about a more concise definition of the word “Spring.” That would be the word “Equinox,” which literally includes both the northern and southern hemispheres.

It’s a word I love the sound of–say it a few times, equinox, equinox.

It doesn’t quite roll off the tip of my tongue—yet–but it does cause my mind to work a little bit harder.

What is an Equinox?

In essence, it’s a balance of night and day. The traditional day for the March Equinox is March 21st. When researching this, I discovered another event that takes place on the March Equinox; World Storytelling Day, a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling.

What do World Storytelling Day and Travelin’ Local have in common?

Each year, many individual storytelling events around the globe are linked by a common theme. Indeed, every year, the theme is identified by, and agreed upon, by storytellers from around the world.

The World Storytelling Day’s theme for 2009 is Neighbors.

Neighbors and neighborhoods are a core theme and aspect of Travelin’ Local’s concept and ethos:

We don’t need to travel to another location to find fun and relaxation; we can look for it in our own backyard. And who lives in our backyard? To be sure it’s our friends and neighbors.

This idea of neighbors is especially true in today’s global society. I don’t live next to Darren, but I learn from his blog; I have never talked to Neil, but I greatly enjoy his photography; and while I’m not a country music aficionado, I can totally understand and emote to how much Lara misses Los Angeles.

Most of us are not neighbors in the locale we live in, but we are all neighbors in the blogging and Internet community. We learn, grow, feel, and share a common identity. Just as we are able to celebrate arts and artists from everywhere around the world, and from different countries, this would stand to hold testimony to the global nature of our interconnectedness through the Internet.

In that vein I’d like to celebrate World Storytelling Day with a contest. Although I have limited ability to write fiction, in the truest sense of storytelling–others do. So, I’d love to read a few tales based on the theme of “Neighbors.”

Are you up for the challenge?

The rules are simple: Just write a story or poem (Yes, even though it’s World Storytelling Day, I’d love to read a few poems, too.) that follows this theme and link back to this post. I’ll put the participating blogs in a hat and draw a name. That person wins the prize.

The Prize

In honor of this wonderful theme, the winner of Travelin’ Local’s challenge will receive a book written by Helen Keller entitled, “The World I Live In.”

This book was published in 1908. It’s a first edition, with green cloth, and gilt lettering. It’s in near fine condition.

Who was better equipped “to talk” about the world than someone who “saw” it in her own unique way. Exactly—although Helen Keller was mute, she defined and embodies the notion of World Storytelling.

Because writing prose doesn’t happen overnight, this contest will run for a month, so the deadline for entries is April 30th.

The winner of Travelin’ Local’s Independence Day, Paramount Studios contest, is Elizabeth, Urban Panther’s Lair, who scribed inspirationally and passionately, How watching movies will help me win!

For her efforts, I’ll be shipping Elizabeth the beautiful book, Vanity Fair’s Hollywood.

I look forward to reading about your stories and storytelling inspired by your own Travelin’ Local experiences.

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15 Responses to “World Storytelling Day, a Contest, and your Neighbors”

  1. Lara says:

    You get me, you really get me! ;-)

    I wish I was a good storyteller. Or story writer for that matter. Most of the time I’m happy to compose an intelligible 140 characters for Twitter.

    Lara’s last blog post..Thunderstorm


  2. David says:

    Inspiring story and beautiful photos. I did not know that World Storytelling Day was upon us. I’m as usual looking forward to reading the submissions. Great work, Lisa.


  3. LisaNewton says:

    @ Lara Your blog posts are great, and I enjoy sharing them with you. You don’t have to be a storyteller to write a good post……………:)

    @ David I hope to get a few submissions. I do know a few very good story tellers………….:)


  4. Mike Foster says:

    I love the idea of World Storytelling Day. I guess I’ll need to sharpen up my pencil and try to write something. By the way, I really dig your site; the photos are always interesting, as are the posts. I always feel better after a visit. Thanks, Lisa.


    Mike Foster’s last blog post..What’s Your Favorite Month?


  5. LisaNewton says:

    @ Mike Oh, I can hardly wait to see what your sharpened pencil comes up with. I’m happy you feel good when you leave here. Knowing that makes me feel better.


  6. Diane C. says:

    Hi Lisa, Just wanted to say that I love the idea that “we are all neighbors in the blogging and Internet community.”

    Diane C.’s last blog post..Sliding into Summer


  7. LisaNewton says:

    @ Diane C. I love the idea that even though you live in Arizona and I live in LA, I do consider you my neighbor…………..:)


  8. Marianne Christensen says:

    I like this!
    Neighbours was good subject this year.
    I have been arranging WSD since it started in my local area in the south of Denmark.
    We managed to be more than 50 people in a small room. This year we decided to go to a neighbour island, just to show good neighbourhood. That was really a succes, so they invitied to come again next year.
    This summer I’m arranging an international symposium for storytelling as a healing art. Hope to welcome many Americans here.
    Best wishes


  9. Marianne Christensen says:

    Oh, perhaps I wrote the wrong address.
    Here is the link to my story at my blog.


  10. Marianne Christensen says:

    At my blogpage you can see pictueres of how we celebrated the WSD.


  11. LisaNewton says:

    @ Marianne Thank you so much for sharing your Storytelling Day story. I’m impressed that it has spread so far. I know, when I was teaching, telling and writing stories was one of the student’s favorites. I’m just sorry to see that wide-eyed world of storytelling and writing disappear in so many children as they grow older.

    Thank you so much for keeping up the tradition.


  12. Jill says:

    This is such a great idea.

    We will be arranging an event at our local Playcentre and using it as an opportunity to introduce the idea of story sacks to the parents at the same time.

    Does anyone have any good ideas for children’s story books that would be good for a story sack about neighbours?

    Have fun everyone!

    Jill’s last blog post..World story telling day


  13. LisaNewton says:

    @ Jill I love the idea of story sacks. When I lived in MD, our local library had story bags that could be checked out by day care providers. They included books, props, and ideas for arts and crafts using the books as inspiration. I used these with my children many times. Keep up the good work…………….:)


  14. SHINE YL says:

    I dont intend to join the contest but i would just like to share my poem with you because I also count you as my neighbor.
    Voice of Nature

    Man …O hear my little voice
    Into your heart to you I plead
    Listen to the sound of woes around
    Can you hear the sigh?
    Of the nature crying
    Begging for mercy and love

    Give me another chance
    To restore my life
    The wondrous beauty that I once had
    Fall afresh the land you’ve made, O God
    Creator and my King
    To you, this little voice sings

    Rise up, man from your deepest sleep
    Sow the seeds that you have kept
    Let them grow and fill the earth
    Keep it green….
    Let it spread…
    Save the children and Mother Earth.

    The voice of nature cries for mercy
    Stop intoxication! Carbons! And Pollutions!
    Don’t burn plastics
    Back to organic farming
    Be environment friendly
    Save life. Save nature and save your family.

    This small voice of nature will dance and sing
    Shout for joy on the fruit it brings
    Cool breeze of summer
    Scented colors of spring
    Universe rejoices as tomorrow comes
    With God and man restoring the beauty of nature again.


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @SHINE YL, Thank you so much for sharing your poem, Shine Yl. I agree with your sentiment, and your way of stating it is beautifully unique. :)


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