Writing and Performing Workshop For Queer Folks’ Tales Storytellers

We have a training and performance opportunity for aspiring LGBTQ+ storytellers in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Storytelling Centre and Bona Broadcasting Ltd together produce Queer Folks’ Tales a bi-monthly storytelling evening for LGBTQ+ stories to be told live on stage. The events for 2022 are funded by the City of Edinburgh’s Diversity and Inclusion Fund and have been very well attended and received by Edinburgh audiences.

We want to support and encourage a wide range of LGBTQ+ storytellers, writers, performers, poets, spoken word artists etc., to be part of Queer Folks’ Tales and to build a pool of queer storytellers from a range of backgrounds, who grow in confidence as the writers and tellers of stories. So we are delighted to host a short series of workshops in writing and performing short stories on stage for aspiring LGBTQ+ storytellers.

This workshop covers story writing and story performing, two very different skills which make up a successful stage storyteller. We will focus on stories of approximately ten minutes duration, as this is what we ask of Queer Folks’ Tales storytellers.


The workshop has three sessions. Two full day and one evening, giving space between sessions to (re-)write and rehearse stories. Everyone will get personal feedback on their stories and performance from the course tutor and fellow participants. Attendance is expected across all sessions.


The workshop explores writing your own short stories, especially creating stories that take live audiences on gripping journeys. We will cover:
• the universal principles at play when crafting rich story experiences for audiences
• short form storytelling: how complex should you/can you get in 10 minutes
• multiple storylines
• how the universal parameters change depending on the type of story you want to tell
• genres and styles: their unique elements, aims and essences, and the importance of consciously and powerfully choosing and using genre(s)/style(s) for your story
• understanding the difference of writing for a reader and writing for speaking/performing a story: writing subtext (which is one of the keys to the performing part of the workshop)
• emotional journey of the story
• aim of your story


We explore the key elements of bringing your story to life in front of an audience. This part of the workshop explores:
• learning your story for performance: mapping the story journey
• tempo: pacing your storytelling
• voice and body on stage: stage presence, use of eye contact, range of voices, movement, your outfit/appearance, ‘staging’ your story
• what are your strengths and weaknesses as a teller of stories? Playing to your strengths, overcoming or minimising your challenges
• identifying subtext: re-drafting the story when you start to perform it : performing the subtext
• bringing different styles of storytelling to life
• creating emotions: emotional journey of the story for the audience, emotions portrayed by the storyteller, audience feelings about the storyteller


Turan Ali has produced hundreds of stories for BBC radio. He has also written, abridged, directed and read many stories on radio. He has been a stage storyteller since 2012, including his own one-man Edinburgh Fringe storytelling show which toured internationally. He now performs internationally with 2 storytelling shows in Vienna every month, in addition to hosting Queer Folks’ Tales in Edinburgh every 2 months. He has also written, produced and directed many dramas and comedies for BBC radio over the last 30 years. He has trained writers in many countries, in many genres including soap opera, drama, short stories and comedy for radio and TV. His publications include a manual for writers of long running drama series, a book of stories about lesbian and gay parents and has many short stories published. His short story writing deals mostly with true queer stories from his many years of international travel.


At the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.


2 full days with an evening session in between
Saturday 9 and 16 July: 10am to 5pm
Wednesday 13 July: 6.30pm to 9.30pm
Successful applicants will be expected to attend the Queer Folks’ Tales event on Thu 7 July 2022, with free tickets available.


Free to Edinburgh residents (the majority of places on the workshop are for Edinburgh residents).
Non-Edinburgh residents can also apply, some spaces will be available for Scottish-based (non-Edinburgh) applicants (cost to be negotiated on a case by case basis).


Please apply by sending an email outlining the reasons for your interest, experience as a writer and/or performer and links to or examples of your written or performing work (if any).
We especially welcome applications from Edinburgh’s diverse LGBTQ+ communities, those under-represented on Scottish stages.
If you have any questions about this application or you need access support, please contact us and we will assist you in this process. Applications will be handled by course tutor Turan Ali and Scottish Storytelling Centre’s Programme and Events Manager, Daniel Abercrombie.
Phone: 0131 556 9579
Deadline for applications: 5pm, Monday 13th June 2022