We now have a podcast!
After nearly seven years of running our storytelling nights, and recording almost every show, it’s taken a global pandemic and being confined to our respective homes for us to finally put out the podcast that we’ve been promising for ages!
You can stream the podcast here, otherwise it’s also available on:
Give our first episode a listen, and then please subscribe and tell your friends!
We’re also looking for story submissions for this blog, so if you’d like your piece of writing featured, get in touch (that reminds us, we also now have a Twitter account)!
Shonette & Will x
We’re setting mini story challenges on our Facebook group, and the latest one was ‘The view from my window’, here is the first submission we had!
Little Things, by Liam Tullberg
I see him every morning, sitting at the bus stop outside my window. He catches the number 73 at the same time every day. I don’t know if he’s noticed me or not. People look out of windows more than they look in, don’t they? It seems nosier to look in than out.
He’s not at the bus stop yet. But it’s only five past nine. I came back from breakfast early, worried that I’d miss him. Silly isn’t it? His bus doesn’t even come until quarter past. Sometimes I get nervous just waiting for him to come, like I’m on a blind date. That’s silly, isn’t it?
I haven’t told anyone here that I watch him. They’d just worry. They’d think that I was going to try and hurt him or something stupid like that. But I’ve never wanted to hurt anyone else. They all say they understand, but they don’t. None of them.
Like when the nurse came in a couple of weeks after I first got here. She was only about my age, a year older maybe. She took one look at me, at the bandages on my arms, and she said, ‘Why does a pretty girl like you want to do that to herself?’
I just looked out of the window. I didn’t say anything. I don’t anymore. There’s no point. They only think you’re lying anyway. And so I keep quiet. It’s best that way. Well, most of the time. Sometimes though, like today, I feel like a jug that’s filling up, just filling up with words and thoughts that are going to come spilling out at any moment.
And then I look at him at the bus stop and I think that he’s the person I’d like to spill my thoughts onto. I’d like to drench him in everything I’m holding in.
I know it sounds silly, but I think I can trust him. He looks like someone people tell things to, like someone who’s holding loads of secrets. He looks like he’s sensitive, thoughtful. He wears cords and he’s got a ‘Make Love Not War’ logo on his bag. It’s little things, I know, but it’s something all the same. Everything’s made up of little things.
I remember when I was younger, years and years before all this happened, and mum took us to a museum somewhere. I don’t remember what else was there, all I can remember is a huge picture of Donald Duck.
I said, ‘Look at that picture.’ And mum said, ‘Go and look at it up close.’
Sam and I walked over and we looked at it. It was behind glass which had tiny handprints all over it.
‘It’s all jelly beans,’ Sam said. She didn’t sound impressed at all. ‘It’s made out of jelly beans.’
She walked back to mum and I stood there looking at the picture of Donald Duck, at all the jelly beans that made him up. Yellow, blue, red, green. I thought that was one of the best things I’d ever seen, and all the rest of the day I wondered how they’d managed to make him look exactly the same as he does in the cartoons.
Sometimes, when I look at the man at the bus stop, I think like that. I think about all the little things that make him who he is. I think about where he went to school, about who his best friend was, what his favourite film is, what book he’s reading at the moment. I think about how he holds his knife and fork, about which side of the bed he sleeps on and whether he uses the shower gel or the shampoo first. I think about what the first tape he bought was.
I think about all these thinks, and I know it’s silly. But it gets me through the day. It gets me through the day because I want to find all these things out.
I can see him coming now. He’s wearing the hat. The hat and a pair of jeans. I’ve seen them before. One of the knees is torn. Oh god, I should look away. He’s going to see me. I should look away, but I can’t, I just can’t. He’s getting closer. He’s getting closer. Oh god, he’s looking in. He’s seen me. He’s seen me and-, and he’s smiling. He’s smiling at me.
He’s smiling at me.
And I’m smiling back.
2nd April 2020 – Foolish Behaviour
We’re back and better than ever in our new home, The Cloak and Dagger!
Join us for an evening of variety storytelling, where you can share your story in any format you like – anecdote, poem, song, spoken word, rap, doodle or interpretive dance.
Seeing as our event falls the day after April Fool’s Day, we thought it apt to go with the theme ‘Foolish Behaviour’, so start thinking about which tales you’ll tell…
19th November – Winter Tales
Winter walks, snowy landscapes, festive gatherings, mulled beverages, woolly socks and cosy corners…
Gather round and share some wintery tales, whether it’s some seasonally-inspired flash fiction, an anecdote from your own life, poetry, spoken word or your own interpretive dance of the first frost.
Or just come to listen and support our storytellers! Entry is from 6:30pm for a 7pm start.
***A FREE DRINK & MEDAL FOR WINNING STORYTELLERS***
10th September – Nostalgia
The summers of your youth, music of your teens, snacks of your school days – which memories, moments and objects inspire the most nostalgia in you?
Share your stories in whatever way you like – flash fiction, poem, song, rap, comedy sketch or intepretive dance, it all counts1 Or just come to listen.
***A FREE DRINK & MEDAL FOR WINNING STORYTELLERS***
Join the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2416165098657787/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LetMeTellYouaStoryJack/
16th July – By the Seaside
We’re back for another evening of open mic variety storytelling, and this time the optional theme is ‘By the Seaside’.
We want to hear your tales of family holidays, youthful escapades, boat trips, local characters and coastal adventures. Maybe you grew up in a seaside town, or visited every summer? Perhaps you’re a cliffside rambler, or had a penchant for penny machines?
Whether it’s an anecdote, poem, flash fiction, rap or stand up routine, we want your stories, tragic or funny, nostalgic or nightmarish. Or just come to listen!
***A FREE DRINK FOR WINNING STORYTELLERS***
Join the Facebook event here
14th May – Festivals and Music
Which song conjurs up a very strong memory for you? Were you in a teenage band project you want to tell us about, an obsessive pop idol fan, or do you want to share your adventures from Glastonbury 1998?
Whether it’s in the form of a short story, song, rap, anecdote or poem, we want to hear your music-inspired tales, from dusty basements to colourful festivals, bedroom dancing to life-changing concerts.
You’re also welcome to just come and listen if stepping up to the mic isn’t your thing!
*FREE DRINK & MEDAL FOR WINNING STORYTELLERS*
Tell your mates, and we’ll see you there!
Shonette & Will x
12th March – Mayhem and Madness
Have you ever had a situation rapidly spiral out of control, or ended up in quite the pickle of your own making? Maybe you momentarily lost your mind in the throes of young love, or found it hard to keep your temper during a confrontation.
Share your tales of chaos and insanity in whatever form you like – short story, poem, song, interpretive dance, haiku, or crudely-drawn doodle. As long as it’s a story and within the five minute limit, you’re in, or just come to listen!
***A FREE DRINK & MEDAL FOR OUR 2 WINNING STORYTELLERS***
15th January – Status and Reputation
Time to stick it to the man! Or something.
We want to know what you’ve gained notoriety for, when you stood up to the powers that be, or when you’ve been acutely aware of your place in a hierarchy.
Have you ever had a reputation among your peers? Was it good or bad? And how did it come about? Or maybe you’ve gone from zero to hero in a situation – whatever it is, we want to hear about it.
Tell you story in whatever format you like – flash fiction, anecdote, poem, rap, song, or bawdy limerick.
Entry is free, and our two top storytellers will receive a free drink and the much sought-after Let Me Tell You a Story, Jack medals!
Bring your tales and your friends, you’re more than welcome to just listen and support our storytellers if you’d rather not go up to the mic.
13th November – Milestones (and our fifth birthday!!)
Oh my word, how did we get to being five years old?
It feels like only yesterday that we were cramming 80+ people into the back room of the The Crofters Rights, the venue so fresh from their recent refurb that they didn’t even have a drinks licence yet (which meant BYO for us, wooo!).
Flash forward five years and we’ve hosted over 30 events, given out 50+ medals, heard hundreds of stories, and made more friends than we could ever have imagined along the way. We’ve forged a proper little community out of our eccentric events, and for that we’re both ridiculously proud and honoured.
Who’d have thought people would put up with five years of Will and I making up songs, improvising gameshows, pretending to be on a desert island or acting out our own version of Sherlock – it’s the free Maoams, right?
Sharing stories is such a powerful thing, whether it’s making people chuckle at your tales of teenage misadventures, or moving them with relatable memories of family, grief and lost love. I’ve laughed until I’ve ached at so many of our events, and I’ve also cried, cringed, screamed and winced. The bravery and openness of our storytellers always blows me away, whether they’re a seasoned raconteur or it’s their first nervous step on to a stage.
And all the way, our audiences have been just as brilliant – we’ve seen new faces every month, as well as managing to keep lots of lovely regulars who’ve supported us for years. Every month without fail, they’ve been respectfully hushed at the right times, and booming encouragement whenever it’s been needed. It’s what sets our events apart I think – an audience makes or breaks a show like ours, and for that Will and I are truly grateful for you always being awesome. Long may it continue.
So come and join us on 13th November in our new home at Left Bank on Stokes Croft to celebrate what we’ve achieved together over the years, and hopefully what’s still to come! The theme this time is Milestones, so bring along your tales of new experiences, key events and turning points to share in whatever medium feels best.
It would also be lovely to see as many of our medal-winning storytellers there as possible, wearing their medals and up for sharing a story – even if it’s of their first time at LMTYASJ!
See you there, legends.
Shonette & Will x
Sign up on the Facebook event for the latest info