Friday, 4 May 2012

Nation of Storytellers campaign

From Laura Bevan on behalf of Blurb (

The Nation of Storytellers is a campaign which has been driven by the fact that so few of us record our family history – or indeed our own lives – and that if we don’t the memories, experiences and stories could be lost forever. It was spurred by some research which Blurb conducted which found that a third of children find their grandparents’ stories ‘boring’ and would rather play on the computer or talk to their friends than listen to their history – and as a result family stories and skills (what your grandparents, relatives and parents have done or witnessed in the past) are under threat of being lost forever.

The Nation of Storytellers research report found only 18 per cent of children regularly sit down with their parents or nan and granddad to listen to stories about the “old days”. The research carried out among 2000 parents with children under 19, showed that most families feel strongly (68%) that such stories are of great personal significance and should be documented for future generations, yet only 2 in 10 (19%) are currently planning to do so, leaving them at threat of being lost forever.

Eileen Gittins, CEO and founder of Blurb, who commissioned the report said: "Our families are the guardians of the some of the richest stories never told. Unless these personal histories are captured in some shareable form, our children and their children will never understand nor appreciate the contributions our relations made to events both large and small. Great Britain, in particular was at the epicenter of some the most seismic events of the 21st century; in my own family we have the American clan and the British clan and our grandfathers on both sides served in WW1. Knowing that really brings that chapter in history to life in a very personal and meaningful way."

To get people talking, and to try and capture and celebrate the rich and fantastic stories that exist in households throughout Britain, Blurb is encouraging people to enter a short (300 words) synopsis of their story – or that of someone close to them – at the website:

They’ve already had some great entries but are on the hunt for stories from anyone and everyone. It doesn’t have to be a momentous occasion or a life-changing event – sometimes the simple, everyday stories are some of the ones that are at the biggest risk of being lost forever. The hunt does have a competition element – where the people who submitted the 20 ‘top’ stories will have a professional photographer and journalist come to their house to help them capture the story exactly how they want it. All of these will be gathered up and turned into a beautiful printed book. Not only will the winners get copies of the book (plus extra to give to friends/family), but they’ll also get £250 of Blurb vouchers to make photo albums/books/whatever they like with Blurb.

(With thanks to Laura Bevan)


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