All photography and artwork by Simon and Aidan Brooks, unless otherwise credited. Copyright 2018.
Since 1991, British storyteller, humorist and raconteur Simon Brooks has been telling to audiences from all over the world. Most recently, he performed at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Simon became a full-time, professional storyteller in 2003, released his first CD in 2006, and his first collection of folk and fairy tales in 2018. Simon has won awards and honors for his storytelling albums from Storytelling World and Parent's Choice. Simon travels all over New England and to other parts of the USA, and has told his tales in Europe. He presents anywhere you want him, be it a school, college, library, festival, camp, hospital, business, restaurant, coffee house or home.
Simon lives in New London, New Hampshire, New England, New World with his wife, two children, a cat, and a dog called Moe.
Simon is a Children’s Literacy Foundation presenter, a member of the National Storytelling Network, North East Story Telling, and the New Hampshire Storytelling Alliance. Has performed and presented at the National Storytelling Conference, Northlands Confabulation, the Connecticut Storytelling Festival, and Sharing the Fire, as well as performing at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, and will be returning there later in 2019. He will be performing at Timpanogos in September, 2019, and at the Florida Storytelling Festival in January, 2020.
To spread and share the art of traditional storytelling to a wider audience. To show the power (and need) of the 'ancient stories' of folk and fairy tales, myths and legends. To encourage others to tell their own stories (and personal favorite tales). To keep the art of storytelling alive in all communities for young people and for adults, by performing live, conducting workshops, and producing a podcast of traditional storytelling.
Why should I be YOUR storyteller? I want to make sure I am the right guy for you, so here's a little about me. My background is varied, and experience wide. I began telling tales for free but people told me I was good and I should charge, so I did. And now this is how I make my living and support my family.
If you want someone upbeat, someone flexible to work with, someone who can easily identify with kids and adults, then we are off to a good start. I have always written, and my work has been published in poetry anthologies, zines, and magazines (both print and on-line) and in my book Under the Oaken Bough, published by Parkhurst Brothers. Under the Oaken Bough is a collection of folk and fairy tales and includes a tips on telling section, a suggested reading list, an author Q & A, and a lexicon or vocabulary list. I studied photography at college and that was my career for a long time. I ran budget accommodation and meals establishments working for the Youth Hostel Association (England Wales). I also have worked for corporate America. I have recorded four storytelling CDs, an audio of Gilgamesh, and over six audio books. If you want someone who brings a lot to the table, then I am your man!
Simon is one of 64 presenters who work with the Children’s Literacy Foundation
The presenters include artist/illustrators like Marty Kelly and Jason Chin, comic books artists such as Marek Bennett, and writers including (but not limited to) Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, Jo Knowles, Katherine Patterson, Erin E. Moulton, Eric Pinder and others, poets like Ted Scheu, as well as other storytellers.
CLiF has provided free and inspiring literacy programs and brand-new books to low-income, at-risk, and rural children up to age 12 in almost 85% of the communities in New Hampshire and Vermont. Since 1998, CLiF have reached 225,000 children in over 400 towns in NH and VT, and given away over 6,000,000 books. Their programs provide services such as Year of the Book, whose grant provides $25,000 worth of literacy programs, support, and new children’s books over one school year to help build a culture of literacy in elementary schools across New Hampshire and Vermont; Children of Prison Inmates, which inspires children of inmates to read more often, connects children and incarcerated parents through stories, and gives prisoners extra confidence to read to their children, even if they are not strong readers themselves. CLiF donates books to be used in prison storybook programs. These programs give inmates the opportunity to send a children’s book – and a recording of themselves reading the book – home to their children. Other programs include Rural Libraries, Summer Readers, and At-Risk Children.
For more information, please visit the Children’s Literacy Foundation by visiting their website: http://clifonline.org/
You can find my work in the following places:
In person when you hire me!
On my website on the Video, Audio, PR page
and on StoryStoryPodcast a great podcast produced by Rachel Ann Harding
My own podcast “Conversations with Storytellers” is on Stitcher and other podcast places!
When booking anyone in a school setting (or similar), please remember it is better to have smaller groups of, for example, around 50 students of similar age, than a single group of 150 people aged between 5 and 15. The younger the student, the smaller the group also helps. The understanding capabilities a five year old has is far different from a child eight years old, which is different from a twelve year old. If you have a large group of very young children, instead of booking a performer for an hour consider booking the performer for a shorter time in smaller groups. Budgets can be accommodated. If the age range is the same, it is sometimes better to again break up larger groups into smaller groups for a more intimate and personal performance. I am also capable of and have had experience of performing to large groups of between 200 - 1,000 people or more.