The art and awe of storytelling

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Spellbinders entertain with legends, tales, fables

By: By Michael Kirby / For the Auburn Journal


   Hundreds of people attended the second annual Auburn Winter Storytelling Fest on Saturday at the General Gomez Art and Event Center in Auburn. The event was presented by the Foothill Storytelling Guild and is the inspiration of event chairman Mark Berry. Berry was also one of the Featured Tellers Showcase that capped the all-day event.
Throughout the day, stories, some made up, some personal, some funny, folk stories, fables and some outrageous down-and-out lies were told.
“All is welcome here — fables, legends, fairytales and personal stories,” said Berry. “We are honoring the oral traditions of everyone, all of our ancestors told stories and we are all storytellers in some way.”
The event began with an hour of children’s stories presented by Darlene Engebretsen, Joan McCammon and Linda Kennedy.
National Storytelling Network’s 2016 Pacific Region Oracle Award recipient and local resident Joan Stockbridge presented a 90-minute storytelling workshop. And later in the day all comers were welcome to tell a story in the open telling session.
No stories could be longer than five minutes, all stories needed to be family-friendly and no notes or props were allowed. At 5 p.m. the liars contest began. Again, no props or notes and a five minute time limit were placed on all stories. Ed Lewis was judged Auburn’s biggest liar and Chery Anderson was runner-up.
The highlight of the event was the Featured Teller Showcase bringing six seasoned storytellers to the stage sharing an adult story, or stories in performances, lasting no longer than 20 minutes. The storytellers wrapping up the day were Joan McCammon, Mark Berry, Gloria Jones, Lucinda deLorimier, Ed Lewis and audience favorite and three-time Story Slam winner, Tom Wade. The stories were humorous, heartwarming and very entertaining, with each teller having a different approach and style. The event was well-received and sure to be back for a third year. Anyone interested in storytelling or learning more about the Foothill Storytelling Guild can contact Mark Berry at 916-872-4482 or go to