Giant's Heart Storytelling School

by Svend-Erik Engh, Alice Fernbank and Linda Perttula in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 8th August 2021 we successfully raised £8,025 with 97 supporters in 73 days

A people’s school of oral storytelling arts, open to story lovers worldwide, inspired by Nordic and Scottish traditions of shared learning

by Svend-Erik Engh, Alice Fernbank and Linda Perttula in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Hello, friend, and a warm welcome to Giant’s Heart.

My name is Linda, and I’m a professional storyteller and the founder of Giant’s Heart. I’d like to invite you to our Summer School, or to be one of our wonderful supporters. 

Let me tell you the story.

The seed for Giant’s Heart was planted last year, in the middle of the lockdowns. I felt lonely and frustrated, bereft with the lack of physical interaction, bored with everything online. My brain was slush, I was not learning or creating anything, and my personal development as a storyteller was simply dead in the water.

Then, I took part in online masterclasses run by my mentor Svend-Erik. They were a wonder and a revelation. 

I forgot about the screens. Suddenly, I was in a warm space with a group of peers and a nurturing teacher, all of us trying to find out what it means to do storytelling as an art form. It challenged me in ways I hadn’t imagined and yet it always felt safe to be open and vulnerable. Through practice and feedback and many many conversations with Svend-Erik and the other students, my stories started to come to life, to become real and true. 

I absolutely would not have believed this was all possible online. Then, the seed planted itself in my brain: 

Surely, other people could enjoy this as much as I did?

So, I asked Svend-Erik if he would like to join forces to found a proper, permanent online school, based on all of his accumulated experience and coaching philosophy. Svend invited his partner Alice, who is another brilliant storytelling teacher with a completely different background and approach, and then we talked and worked and thought and talked and worked. 

Slowly, through winter and spring, our baby seedling grew into this: Giant’s Heart Storytelling School. An online school for lovers of stories all around the world, based in Scotland, yet inspired and modelled on the Nordic people’s school where everyone learns from everyone. I’m so, so excited about it. 

Imagine it for yourself.

You’re at a Giant’s Heart workshop. Surrounded and supported by your peers who share your goals, while all bringing their own experiences and skills to the table. All gently steered by a warm-hearted, experienced coach. Imagine being challenged to stretch and take risks, when that is what you need.

If you’re a beginner — imagine standing up to speak at work or at a family gathering, nervous, but confident in your ability to say what you want to say. Imagine discovering the abilities and stories that have been niggling at you, unformed and undefined, and doing with them what you will. Imagine telling your story.

If you’re already a storyteller — imagine taking your performances further than ever, connecting to your listeners right from the deepest centre of your heart. Imagine embodying your story, deeper and truer than ever.

I promise that you will surprise yourself.

Storytelling is like music: it is for everyone. 

Maybe you prefer listening. Maybe you’d like to try playing a simple tune. Or maybe you’re already playing in front of crowds. Also like music, storytelling can be a simple pleasure, or a life-altering experience.

In the same way, Giant’s Heart is for everyone. You can join us for an evening of listening to stories, from the comfort of your home. You can dip your toes in learning to tell a story, safe in our support. Or if you’d like to safely stretch and reach further as a storyteller, you can find new depths and dimensions with us.

Scroll through the rewards and pick the one that calls to your heart. 

During this campaign, you can join Giant’s Heart for one off discounted prices.

Gather a group of friends, and book us for a tailored online storytelling performance. Or we can even visit you virtually for a good night story for you or your family!

The Summer School is an especially fantastic deal. You receive 36 hours of live teaching in a small group, and the chance to take part in at least 15 hours of extra drop-in sessions (probably more, because we tend to get very excited about these things).

All of our rewards take place online, in the comfort of your home. Performances, individual coaching, and business workshops will be arranged at a time convenient to you. The Summer School courses take place three days a week, four hours at a time including breaks, over three weeks. If you have to miss a session, there will always be opportunities to catch up. 

We would love to tell you stories, and we would delight in listening to yours.

With love

Linda, Alice, and Svend-Erik

MORE INFORMATION

What is the Summer School?

Giant’s Heart Summer School is for everyone who loves stories. We welcome all genres, whether you want to tell traditional folk tales, ancient myths, personal stories, create stories of your own - or don’t know yet.

It runs for 3 weeks, Monday 26th July to Friday 13th August 2021. Workshops take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and there are also optional drop-in sessions.

The Summer School consists of two programmes:

  • In the Beginners Programme, you can dip your toes in learning to tell a story, safe in our support.
  • Or if you’d like to safely stretch and reach further as a storyteller, you can find new depths and dimensions with us in the Committed Storytellers Programme.

The Beginners Programme

Perfect for those who are completely new to storytelling, or just want to try out something novel and creative. Led by Alice.

The beginners programme gives a warm introduction to the craft, and an opportunity to try out storytelling in a safe, supportive environment. You will learn about the fundamental skills of shaping, crafting, and creating stories, and receive one-to-one coaching from your teacher. You will practise telling a range of tales to help you grow accustomed to the art form.

3 Pillars:

Week one - Crafting stories

Week two - Tuning the instrument

Week three - Preparing to tell

Between sessions there will be fun assignments to prepare for the next session.

The Committed Storytellers Programme

A deep dive for oral storytellers who are committed to developing their art. Suitable from those with some experience to professional level. Led by Svend-Erik.

You are invited to bring your work in progress. You will work together with the teacher and the group to really sharpen your story, sharpen your telling, and leave with a tale which is much clearer, brighter, and deeper than when you began.

Each workshop session has three parts. 

The first part consists of a warm-up, telling, and a feedback session where you will receive and give supportive and honest feedback which always serves to lift both the story and storyteller. 

In the second part of the session we will work in groups, and there will be one-to-one feedback from the teacher.

Finally, we meet once more to tell part of the story that we have worked on the whole day. 

You will have a chance to perform at a live Ceilidh performance.

Practical details

  • Duration:

3 weeks; Monday 26th July to Friday 13th August 2021

  • Workshops:

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

From 2pm to 6pm / 14:00 - 18:00 BST, breaks included. (Check your time zone!)

  • Drop in sessions:

You will also have access to drop in sessions throughout the weeks, which include 

Tuesday Myth Session — Hear a professional storyteller tell a myth and then explore it in a facilitated response session. (Editor’s note: I love these conversations so much.)

Thursday Ceilidh — A collective opportunity to share stories, songs, poems, music, and dance.

Saturday Storyteller — A Storytelling Performance with a fantastic guest storyteller.

  • Your teachers:

Svend-Erik Engh and Alice Fernbank

  • Booking:

Join us via our crowdfunding campaign for a one-off discounted price of £295. Please scroll through the rewards and choose the appropriate programme.

Contact us if you have any questions, or to schedule a free 30 minute one-to-one ‘strategy session’, where we will discuss your wishes. We would love to hear from you.

Who are we?

Svend-Erik, Alice and Linda are professional storytellers who live in Edinburgh, Scotland. Together, we have a wealth of experience to support our school.

Svend-Erik is a Danish storyteller who has worked internationally as a storyteller, story coach, and theatre director for over 30 years. He started creating his unique coaching method while teaching in a folkehøjskole in the 1990’s. The method has been described as Fluid Storyguiding by one of his students. During the pandemic, he transferred his in-depth storytelling masterclasses to the online environment, providing the original impetus for Giant’s Heart.

Alice is a storyteller from England who has performed and taught storytelling both in Scotland and internationally for the last 10 years. She trained and worked as an actor before specialising in oral storytelling, and has honed her skills through frequent live performances and with the close guidance of renowned masters in storytelling and theatre arts. She has coached private students, academics, school teachers, and business professionals, striving always to reveal the most authentic storyteller in all her students. 

Linda is a Finnish storyteller with 15 years of previous experience as a professional administrator, fundraiser, and event manager. 

Why are we crowdfunding?


We are raising funds to get Giant’s Heart Storytelling School off the ground by enabling us to run the Summer School and take what we learn from it to set up the permanent project. Our firm aim is for Giant’s Heart to become a permanent and self-sustaining people’s school.

Between the three of us, to run the Summer School and then set up the permanent school based on what we learn from it, we need to raise £12,000 to cover our research and development, teaching, administration, and marketing.

Thank you for your support!

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£100 or more

GIANT VOUCHER worth £125

£125 credit towards future Giant's Heart courses, workshops and performances. You have the option to choose a gift voucher that will be sent to you as an e-mail attachment, ready to print. Or gift it to yourself. Or one of both! (A bit too much? Choose the HEARTY VOUCHER instead, to get £60 for £50.)

£10 or more

Thank you on our website and social media

A mention on our website and social media to thank you for your support.

£10 or more

Valosta pimeään — Tarinakävely Edinburghissa

Virtuaalinen kävely Edinburghissa tarinankertoja Lindan kanssa. Kuljemme kirjallisuuden, tieteen ja rakkauden valosta kaupungin pimeälle puolelle, murhien ja kummittelujen tapahtumapaikoille. Kävely järjestetään 15.10. Tule mukaan livenä tai katso video itsellesi sopivana aikana.

£20 or more

Ticket to the Summer School final performance

Join us to enjoy the fruits of the Summer School at our final performance on 13th August 2021. A traditional Scottish Ceilidh of storytelling and song, online, in the comfort of your own sofa.

£30 or more

4 of 10 claimed

Bedtime story

An online bedtime story, with Alice, Svend-Erik, or Linda - whomever you like best. Date and time to be agreed with you.

£50 or more

HEARTY VOUCHER worth £60

£60 credit towards future Giant's Heart courses, workshops and performances. You can choose a gift voucher option that will be sent to you as an e-mail attachment, ready to print. Or keep it all for yourself! (Not enough? Pick the GIANT VOUCHER to get £120 for £100.)

£50 or more

0 of 10 claimed

EWG PRIVATE EVENT

Private event for members of EWG only

£95 or more

1 of 3 claimed

One-to-one coaching session with Alice

Two hours of private storytelling coaching with Alice. Bring a story or an idea, and develop your storytelling skills. Date and time to be agreed with you.

£95 or more

0 of 3 claimed

One-to-one coaching session with Svend-Erik

One-to-one coaching session with Alice Two hours of private storytelling coaching with Svend-Erik. Bring a story or an idea, and develop your storytelling skills. Date and time to be agreed with you.

£150 or more

2 of 3 claimed

Storytelling performance for you and your friends

Two hour online storytelling session and conversation for you and your friends. Relax, find a good spot, and dive into the magical world of stories; a mix of different tales from around the world, on a theme of your own choosing with Alice, Svend-Erik, Linda, or all three.

£295 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Summer School BEGINNERS Programme

Full participation in the beginners' programme of our summer school, 26th July - 13th August 2021. Be the first to experience Giant's Heart. This greatly discounted price will only ever be available here. 3 days of teaching per week, 9 days total. Times to be arranged to suit students' time zones.

£295 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Summer School COMMITTED STORYTELLERS Programme

Full participation in the committed strand of our Summer School, 26th July to 13th August 2021. This programme is for storytellers with some experience and full commitment to developing their art. Be the first to experience Giant's Heart. This greatly discounted price will only ever be available here. 3 days of teaching per week, 9 days total. Times to be arranged to suit students' time zones.

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