A National Tell A Story Day? That must be the day when every baby is born with natural storytelling talents. But, all kidding aside, how did this day start? And how are we going to celebrate it?
On National Tell A Story Day, we celebrate storytelling in the USA. It is celebrated each year on April 27. But, of course, there are also activities in the days around it. The goal is to share the love for all kinds of stories by telling each other.
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How did National Tell A Story Day start?
It is stated online that National Tell A Story Day was first celebrated in 2009 by George Rafeedie, a businessman who runs a creative marketing agency called Tell Your Story, Inc. However, there is no source quoted for this information.
When I asked the creative marketing agency whether this was true and what they could tell me about the first celebration, they did not reply. Therefore, I can only conclude that it is not known how National Tell A Story Day started.
Which day is National Tell A Story Day?
National Tell A Story Day is always on April 27. In 2023, April 27 is a Thursday.
Which countries celebrate National Tell A Story Day?
National Tell A Story Day is celebrated on April 27 in the USA. It is also observed in the UK, but they celebrate it on October 27.
💡 Share your activities and inspiration on social media with the hashtag #NationalTellAStoryDay
7 Kinds of stories to tell on National Tell A Story Day
When this day comes up, it is time to start choosing a story to tell. There are many kinds of stories. Let me show you seven different ones with several examples. And then, you decide. 🙂
1. The local legend
Many hills, old buildings, and unique places have stories attached to them. Do you have such stories that explain why things are the way things are around you? Local legends and folktales? They are fascinating to the people who live close to them.
In the Netherlands, we have a city nicknamed Boulder City (Keistad). In the center of this city lies an enormous giant boulder. There is an old story that explains how this boulder got there.
Wouldn’t such a story be a great story to tell on this day?
2. The personal story
When people are looking for a story to tell, they often search in all kinds of places. However, it might be better to start with the stories right where you are: your personal stories.
As you grew up, you experienced so many things. Some you still remember years later.
The best personal stories touch your emotions and fit your listeners. But, even personal stories need some work. Think about these three questions:
- What are the essential parts to tell in your story?
- What lesson did you learn? Or: How did this change you?
- What do you want to achieve with telling this story?
3. The scary story
Who doesn’t love a good scary story? So frightening that your hair stands up straight on your arms. So frightening that you start to freeze and shiver. But not so frightening that you can’t sleep because of it!
There are many classic scary stories that you could tell. The stories are often not very complex. How you tell them is the most crucial factor.
Please be aware of your listeners when telling scary stories. Especially children can get terrified, and you don’t want to give the child nightmares.
4. The fairy tale
You either love fairy tales, or you are tired of them. With their princesses, talking animals, and the unbelievably ‘happily ever after.’
Many of the familiar fairy tales were collected by The Brothers Grimm. I made a list of all the Grimms fairy tales. Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, etc. They are all there.
Other fairy tales you might already know are the ones of Hans Christian Andersen (link to Wikipedia). The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, etc.
If you love them, many are great to tell. So take some time to prepare a fairy tale you like for telling. Need some help in preparing a fairy tale for telling?
Check this step-by-step guide:
5. The inspirational story
Maybe you are more interested in short inspirational stories. The ones that make you think, inspire you, or make you nod your head.
You can find some great inspirational stories on these websites:
- 15 Short Inspirational Stories with a Moral
- 30 Motivational Stories To Push You Forward In Life
- 15 Motivational and Inspiring Short Stories
Take some time to find a couple that you like and save them or print them, so you will always have them when you need them.
6. The family story
Have you ever heard one of your parents or grandparents tell a story and wondered why you had never heard it before?
It can be a wonderful time to sit down and share the family stories (if that is still possible). Listening to these stories gives you a sense of where you came from.
These family stories are also great stories to share on this day. Let the stories of generations live on.
7. The made up story
Mmm. Can’t find a story you like?
Why not make one yourself?
Start with a character. Come up with a problem. How will it be solved? Tell somebody the rough version of your fairy tale, write down the first draft, and put it away.
Look at it the next day. Edit, change, work on it.
Your own story. Cool, yes?
PS: Do you know about these other two days?
💡 Once a month, I send out an email with new writings on storytelling and fairy tales.