Award-winning authors and performers will share the state’s rich heritage during the 2015 Storytelling Festival hosted by the West Virginia University Extension Service on Wed. Oct. 14, at WVU Jackson’s Mill near Weston.

The public storytelling event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Hall with an informal reception featuring traditional autumn cider and light snacks. Storytelling begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until 8:30 p.m. Authors are available for book signings before and after the event.

The stories will cater to all ages and audiences and be told by award-winning authors and performers.

Adam Booth is a four-time “state champion liar” focusing on hand-spun, family-style tales.

Ilene Evans specializes in multicultural tales inspired by “Affrilachian” life and folklore.

McDowell County native Fred Powers depicts his life growing up in a coal mining community and the vivid experiences he encountered in the 20 years he worked underground.

“Susanna “Granny Sue Holstein is a ballad singer, published writer and storyteller.

The cost is $5 per ticket but a $4 discounted ticket is available for groups of 20 or more. Tickets are available at the door or can be purchased in advance by calling 304-293-2694 before Oct. 13. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Terri Collier, WVU Extension Service’s literacy and academic success specialist, says that oral storytelling is a great way for youths to not only connect with a heritage, but also tap into an appreciation for reading and the arts.

“Storytelling helps us unite people of different backgrounds to celebrate tradition and reminds us who we are,” said Collier. “In West Virginia, we believe in celebrating our heritage and storytelling enables us to do that while expressing ourselves creatively.”

The storytelling event is part of an annual, two-day festival targeting children’s literacy in first through fifth grades. The private portion of the festival is open to area schools who register in advance by calling Brittany Furbee at 304-293-2696.

To learn more about WVU Jackson’s Mill, visit, or call 304-269-5100.



CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service

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