Winnsboro hosting storytelling event

Kevin Boozer Staff Writer

November 22, 2013

WINNSBORO — Winnsboro storyteller Frankie O’Neal is directing an event Saturday that puts Fairfield County on the radar of storytellers throughout the region.

Thanks to her leadership and passion for telling a good story, Winnsboro is hosting a storytelling event at Abba’s Sweet Treats and Gifts Boutique as part of Tellabration 2013. Stories for children begin at 6 p.m. and stories suited for adults start at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

O’Neal was thankful for the slate of storytellers Winnsboro was able to book. The Winnsboro event features storytellers Elsie White, Suzette Hawkins and Darion McCloud.

Darion McCloud has appeared at the Newberry Opera House and will be featured at the Stone Soup Storytelling Festival this year. O’Neal said that White, who is African American, adds a rich texture to her storytelling and that she has a way with children.

“Suzette Hawkins is one of the best around for both children and adults,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said she knows a good story when she hears one or tells one and that these three storytellers also love a good story. That mutual affinity for narration led to networking opportunities for O’Neal who will not tell stories at this event, though she often tells stories at festivals and community events in the county.

Tellabration began in 1988 in Connecticut and its creator J.G. Pinkerton’s goal was the event growing to be an international celebration of storytelling. By 1990 Tellabration expanded nationwide thanks to the National Storytelling Network, which later became the National Storytelling Association. In 1995 Tellabration came to Japan and two years later the event was celebrated worldwide.

Sponsored by the National Storytelling Network, Tellabration takes place each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Rodger Ellingwood, president of the South Carolina Storytellers Network, will be on hand to open the festivities.

Contact O’Neal at 803 635-3027 or email her at francesleeoneal@gmail.com for more information.