Book Elaine Robertson
Elaine Robertson is a traditional oral storyteller working in Central Scotland. Brought up in Midlothian, Elaine’s love of folklore began as a child reading stories from all over the world but especially loves travellers’ tales.
A trained librarian who, from the outset, enjoyed sharing stories with children and trained to lead Bookbug Sessions for the under 4’s; later training to be a Bibliotherapist with adult groups and children’s groups. Moving into the oral tradition, going out to schools and local nurseries to tell stories became part of the job.
After working in libraries for many years Elaine decided it was time to concentrate on oral storytelling and started the apprentice scheme with The Scottish Storytelling Forum run by Janice Mackay. Gaining funding to work in local schools with fellow storyteller Lea Taylor, a local history project, and an environment project was enjoyed by primary six pupils in Gorebridge. The Local History Society, teachers, parents and fellow pupils enjoyed hearing the stories retold by the children. Each child made up a book of stories and pictures. Mentored by Lea, Elaine worked at a Mayfield primary school where Lea was resident storyteller. Storytelling was part of a ‘well-being through stories’ programme in the school.
To gain further insight into local tales Elaine was mentored by James Spence, author of Border Tales. During lockdown Elaine has continued her storytelling development work with Rona Barbour an accredited storytelling mentor, and Grampian Association of Storytellers.
Elaine’s work as a professional storyteller began in 2021 with zoom workshops and storytelling with groups all over the world. Being invited to tell with the Federation of European and Asian Storytellers was one of the highlights of the year. Joining online storytelling groups from all over the world to share stories with others was a real silver lining of the pandemic. Giving rise to the opportunity to share the practise of story, songs and use of puppets with University Students from Turkey who enjoyed a workshop covering the techniques used in Folk Tales, Burns poems and songs, and children’s stories with puppets. Elaine joined a group of storytellers who performed at The Audacious Women Festival and is a member of The Burgh Blatherers who are working on a Year of Stories project.