A Storyteller's Toolkit

Fiona Dowling

Sunday 22nd October, 10am - 1pm
Venue: Harold Boys' School

Fiona's Story

‘I stumbled upon a storyteller telling a Mandinka initiation tale about the forbidden friendship between a boy and a lion. Everything about the experience knocked me sideways: the simplicity of the story, the depth of symbolism, the human dilemma, the musicality of the teller’s voice, the tiny thumb piano he used to punctuate his story…’


Born to a French mother and an Irish father, Fiona was born in Ireland and moved to France when she was five: the seed of storytelling was planted soon after. Living near Bordeaux, she arrived speaking only English, and she remembers how her grandmother told her stories in French and taped them for her to listen to so that she could learn the language: it worked!

After finishing her Baccalaureate, she went to Paris where she studied Classics at the Sorbonne. One day, in the Spring of 1999 on her way home from a lecture, she came across the storyteller and was enraptured by the experience. The following year Fiona decided to move back to Ireland for twelve months, and never left. In 2001 she started attending the annual 3-day Storytelling Masterclass on Cape Clear Island off County Cork, led that year by Cork’s own Pat Speight, and in 2008 began telling professionally. Since then she has worked extensively in schools and libraries, creches and pubs, arts centres, hospitals and festivals. In 2016, Fiona was a featured teller at the Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival and became Storyteller in Residence for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County.

Please scroll down for course information

Note: If you would like to book this course individually (€45) rather than as part of a Day Ticket, please go to the Sunday's Courses page where you can complete a single course booking option. You will be asked to fill in the name of the course at the end of the booking form.

About This Course​

Everyone loves listening to a good story - would you like to learn how to tell one?


Whether it’s over a cup of tea, at a party or in the pub with friends, storytelling is how we share our lives and connect with each other. In this workshop, you will experience storytelling first hand in a fun, safe and supportive environment.


You will start with exercises and games to warm up the imagination and the voice before moving on to storytelling activities in pairs and in small groups. You will play with a variety of approaches, such as retelling a short folktale after hearing it once, telling a personal anecdote or a story found in a book. The emphasis will be on having fun and giving things a go. Throughout the workshop Fiona will share practical tips about the craft of the storyteller such as building a repertoire, and how to practise and fine-tune stories.


Who is this course suitable for?


The workshop is designed for complete beginners and Storytellers who are looking for fresh input and a chance to play.

What do I need to bring?


Just pen and paper, and wear comfortable clothes.


We Like


  • How you’ll learn to make your imagination your ally

  • Fiona’s encouragement to trust in your own voice and words

  • Learning where and how to find stories that suit you


Praise for Fiona

“Fiona has a very gentle way of encouraging people to try new things. I really appreciated her openness to take on ideas and give them a go. She created a very safe space for all of us. She has a good heart and a great enthusiasm for her work.”

Liz Sherry, Dun Laoghaire

Fiona's Advice

“What I find is a thousand times more beautiful than what I’m looking for.”

Christian Bobin

Goes hand-in-hand with...

And Now We Act! An Introduction to Acting
Pat Nolan

To explore the magical world of acting. 

Art of Calligraphy
Samuel Jun

To create visually beautiful writing and learn an ancient art form from the Far East.

Photos by John Fahy (dalkeyphotos.com) & Richard Johnston. Privacy Policy.

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