I have a keen interest in writing and the written word. It’s a different experience from the spoken word – but one informs the other and vice versa.
Dan Keding said “Surrey Folk Tales: United Kingdom series has another star in its expanding books on the regional folk tales of Great Britain. Janet Dowling has brought together a wonderful collection of stories from Surrey that are sure to please both lovers of history and folklore and storytellers.”
I have found it very interesting to collect folk tales from the local community, and develop them for my oral storytelling repertoire. It’s very challenging to write down a story that you only know through your own telling. The relationship between oral storytelling and the spoken word is very fluid- after all it is not a recitation, where words are in a fixed order.
I have also worked with communities to find their stories, and helped them write it down. You can see more about this topic on the Community Storytelling page.
I have run workshops to develop writing skills using different oral storytelling techniques and this has proved effective with mainstream writers as well as people with special needs.
I have an MA in Children’s Literature from Roehampton university (where I specialised in the representation of mental illness in children’s literature), and an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University (where I specialised in exploring modern approaches to fairy tales and folklore in radio plays, short stories and am now writing a novel).