Storytelling and biodiversity

Georgiana Keable, founder of Opsal Farm, has been a pioneer for the storytelling renaissance in England and Norway.

Young people from Norway, Europe and the world live on the farm today, most of them for approx. one month. Most of the activities that take place are quite concrete – to support the forces of nature.

But stories also play a big role. By telling about, or as one of the other species, we can approach a respect and sometimes more understanding for our surroundings. We spend time observing, not just mapping, but also encountering nature with all our senses open. Then we use imagination to imagine how it might feel to be a tree, a fly or a swallow.

Georgiana was one of the first to start working full-time as a professional narrator in London alongside legends Ben Haggarty, Pomme Clayton, Hugh Lupton, Jan Blake and TUUP.

After she moved to Norway in 1997, she founded: Fortellerhuset, Fortellerfestivalen and the podcast FortellerRadio.

She loves environmental stories – myths, botany, fairy tales or historical dramas. With Per Jostein Aarsand, she has performed stories on the Pilgrimsleden in Oslo for 10 years with, among other things, Oslo DKS.

For 10 years, Georgiana has told about 1,000 children at Oseberghaugen every year, a story about life and death, wealth and the joy of walking barefoot (DKS)
For 13 years, she has worked with Klimafortelling for 8th grade, and played Thor Heyerdahl’s mother in his childhood home in Larvik (DKS).
In addition, she has promoted bilingual storytelling since 2006.

She has written the books “The Natural Storyteller” and “Fairytales Families and Forests”, both published by Hawthorn Press, and contributed material to many other books.

She has spoken at festivals internationally in many countries, traveling overland as much as possible. In 2015, Georgiana received Oslo City’s Artist Award for outstanding efforts within Oslo’s art life. More about storytelling can be found at and www.fortellerhuset.

Georgiana Keable forteller aften - evening of stories
Foto Stoppested Verden Christoffer Holenbakken

The Natural Storyteller has won two international prizes. You can find it on Amazon or at the publisher Hawthorn Press. It is also availebel as a audiobook at all audiobook apps. Here from Storytel and on Audible

48 stories from across the world, arranged into chapters as follows: Story Heart; Story Mind; Story Tree; Story Animal; Story Bird; Story Earth; Story Water; Story Weather; The First Party.

Extras: Myths from the Land of You – creating a new story from your own life. Riddles, story maps, story skeletons, songlines, quizzes, planting a tree, wildlife tracking, making a story party – some of the activities included in the book that play with and reinforce the art of storytelling.

For teachers and parents: Story Sources – the background and origin of the stories; Using the Story – how each story can work in your local area and with your children.

The Natural Storyteller is full of dynamic story seeds.

When you open the book and read a story seed, you plant it in yourself, unleashing courage, creativity and love of nature.

True stories of environmental heroines and heroes, botanical tales of living trees. Stories gleaned from the treasures of world traditions, but re-visioned for today’s child and told with great energy and panache.

Adventures between birds, animals and people. Fairytales from the forest and true tales of sea, earth and sky. Some so good readers will retell them at once.

Shared at bedtime or around the campfire under the stars, these stories inspire wonder and service for Mother Earth.

Here is a handbook for the natural storyteller, with story maps, brain-teasing riddles, story skeletons and adventures to make a tale your own; a vibrant invitation to embrace a world of stories all about nature, animals and plants – and our relationship with them.

Purple Dragonfly Book Award First Place badge

Georgiana Keable shows through a range of techniques – sometimes the power of the story alone – how to interpret, re-tell and pass these stories on for the future. This diverse collection of stories will nurture active literacy skills, and help form an essential bond with nature. The Natural Storyteller recently won first place in the Green Books/Environmental category of the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards.

Georgiana‘s nye bok Fairytales, Families and Forests er nå tilgjengelig og kan kjøpes fra forlaget Hawthorn Press.

If you want to tell stories to young children, you may have discovered that you are already a storyteller.

That your children stare at you with wonder in their eyes. But it’s not you they’re looking at. They see through you to a world of magic and high mountains that connect them with nature.

The book is packed with exciting stories, song games and verses for children from 0 to 7

  • a toolbox for parents, pre-school teachers, special pedagogues and you who teach at the early childhood level
  • builds trust so that you can create your own narratives and find the stories you need to solve current issues
  • a source for celebrating birthdays and the seasons
  • clarifies language development through the narrative tree
  • many stories about how we get along with the wolf cub, mouse, bee, sun and moon.

Stories that nourish our nature.

This superb resource and inspiration will empower parents, teachers and storytellers. Renata Allen, The Story Museum, Oxford

… opens the gates of wonder in ways that everyone can understand and share across the generations. Donald Smith, Director, Scottish International Storytelling Festival

What a magical and enriching book, filled with wisdom, knowledge and love. Danyah Miller, storyteller.

Legend gathering
– go on adventures to collect stories.

In the summer of 2012, Georgiana Keable set out on a long trip in Lofoten, Senja and Vesterålen. On the trip, she knocked on the door of people’s homes and asked ‘Do you have a story for me?’ Just as Peter Asbjørnsen did 200 years earlier.

This was something she had wanted to do for a long time. To find out if there were still many stories among the Norwegian population that were undiscovered. Stories about nature, about how humans have managed to cooperate with the elements over time, about brave fishermen, about the real Huldra or about how people are feeling right now. But did she get any stories? You can read about that on her blog

And you can listen to the program on NRK here