Patrick Ryan Storyteller > Projects

Patrick Ryan Projects
  • Patrick Ryan telling stories at October Plenty Festival, Borough Market, with Lions part Theatre Company.

  • ECIS Triennual School Libary Conference. Chennai, India, February
  • International Children's Book Festival of Bologna IBBY Ireland Events.  March.
  • Sidmouth International Folk Festival.  4-10 August 2018
  • IBBY CONGRESS Athens, Greece, August-September
  • Armstrong Storytelling Busary Launch, Grand Hotel, Belfast. September 2018
  • Discover Story Centre: Catching Words. Conference and training day.  October 2018
  • October Plenty, with the Lion's part Theatre CompanyShakespeare's Globe and Borough Market, October 2018
  • The Glens Storytelling Festival  Schools work, Cushendall and Cushendun, October 2018
  • 12th Night with the Lion's part Theatre Company, Bankside, the Globe and the George Inn, Southwark, 6 January
  • ELSA TDD, Paris, France. March 2019
  • Chippenham Folk Festival. May 2019
  • The International Research Society for Children's Literature Congress. Stokholm, Sweden, August 2019 (I'm presenting a paper with fellow panelists from Ireland: Jane O'Hanlon, Sibhan Parkinson, and Ciara Ní Bhroin)
  • October Plenty, with the Lion's part Theatre CompanyShakespeare's Globe and Borough Market, October 2019
  • Centro Internazionale Studi.  Residency in Italian state middle and secondary schools, December 2018
  • International School of Bologna, December 2018
  • Armstrong Storytelling Bursary / Peace IV Project: Cliftonville Integrated Primary School and Abbots Cross Primary School
  • National Storytelling Week, January 2019
    • Wyburn Primary School
    • St Mary's RC Primary School, Chingford
    • St Joseph's RC Infant School, Leyton
    • Blue Gates Fields Infants and Junior Schools, Tower Hamlets
    • Prior's Field School, Godalming
    • Rye St Antony's RC School, Oxford
  • Tour of Midwest Schools,  February 2018
    • British International School, Chicago
    • Sherman Elementary School
    • Williamsville Middle School
    • Lim Family Library, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
  • Borrow National School, Dublin
  • Castle Park School, Dalkey
  • Authors Aloud  Visiting London and Southeast England Schools over the week of World Book Day. March 2019
    • Rush Green Primary School, Romford
    • Fairholme Primary School, Feltham
    • Bordersley Village Primary School, Birmingham
  • Tour of Paris, March 2019
    • International School of Paris.  
    • ELSA (English Langauge Schools Association) Conference.  Workshop Facilitator.  Paris 20 March, 2019
    • École Jeannine Manuel
    • ELSA Poetry by Heart Competition, Paris 23 March, 2019
  • Tower Hamlets Library Services' Chatterbooks Project--storytelling for Harbinger, Marion Richardson, and Globe Primary Schools (Authors Aloud), April 2019
  • Aston Village Educate Together Nationa School.  April 2019
  • Our Place, Poetry Ireland.  Writer-in-Residence, St. Colmcille Primary School, Ballymena, April-May 2019
  • Italian International Schools Tour:  International School of Florence, ICS International School, Milan, and International School of Bologna May, 2019.
  • St. Thomas Senior National School, Jobstown. May 2019.
  • Methody College, Belfast. June 2019
  • Embassy International School, Krakow, Poland. June 2019
  • Rye St. Anthony School, Oxford. June 2019
  • Somerleyton Primary School, Suffolk. June 2019
  • Kings Park Primary School, Lurgan.  June 2019
  • Wexford County Libraries Children's Book Festival. October 2019


Me Myself and I. Poetry Ireland / Writers in Schools Project

Our Place. Poetry Ireland /Writers in Schools Project

Leeds Children's Books Awards.  Consultancy and training, to support Leeds Libraries as they expand and improve their wonderful Children's Book Awards prizes, which are decided by local children in participating schools.

Armstrong Storytelling Busary.  Projects and events with NI Libraries, in library branches, community centres and events, and schools

Continued research and work on a book on Story Listening and Experience with Donna Schatt, University of Chicago

Click here to dowload a PDF file


ECIS Triennual School Libary Conference. Chennai, India   Presented a paper and workshop on the positive effects on of frequent, regular story listening experiences in early childhood, when the story times are led by classroom teachers and school librarians.

International Children's Book Festival of Bologna IBBY Ireland Event  Joint presentation with Jane O'Hanlon, president of IBBY Ireland and director of the Education Programme at Poetry Ireland: a talk and discussion on the importance of storytelilng in education and how it fits into the PI WiS philosophym, strategy and practice.

Sidmouth International Folk Festival 2018  Premier long-running folk festival, a regular event in my work calendar.

IBBY CONGRESS Athens, Greece  I presented "Three Jacks and a Queen" a paper analysing 4 Canadian picture books based on traditional Newfoundland Jack Tales, the books are by Andy Jones and Darka Erdelji

Armstrong Storytelling Busary Launch  A special event and fund raiser supporting a programme that places storytellers and storytelling in every public library in Northern Ireland, brings storytelling to old peoples homes and schools, and trains emerging storytelling practitioners.

Discover Story Centre: Catching Words  A long-runing intervention and enrichment programme for Year 2 students in London, Hertfordshire and Essex schools, developing their storytelling and creative writing.  

Chippenham Folk Festival, Festival at the Edge Storyteling Festival, Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival  Three major festivals I was delighted to return to.

International School of Amsterdam Storytelling Festival  A special festival, with Niall De Búrca, Pat Ryan, Stuart Stotts, Morgan Schatz Blackrose and Roman Schatz.  This is a festival for international school teachers, with performances and storytelling sessions but also workshops, lectures, and  seminars.

International School of Brussels Summer Institute A summer school for teachers, with instructors from across the world leading in many specialties in education. Donna Schatt and I delivered a 3 day course on storytelling. The group included 4 teachers, 3 librarians and 3 interns who successfully developed their storytelling abilities and some wonderful stories, and who are supporting each other to continue weekly storytelling throughout the academic year.

Catching Words A long-running project with schools across East London boroughs and schools in Hertfordshire and Esses, which I joined in 2013.  Poets, storytellers and writers work with year 2 students to provide experiences in all these areas and support the children's storytelling, literacy, and creative writing.  This year sees the project expand further, to include KS2 classes as well.

Transatlantic Connections Conference 2, Bundoran, Donegal and Drew University, Janaury 2015  One of the best conferences I've been to in ages.  Great presentations by everyone, in a wonderful setting by the sea and in view of the Donegal mountains.  So many outstanding talks and performances, but Mick Moloney's and Theo Dorgan's talks stand out, as does the singing and music of the Henry Sisters, and of brothers Rory and Conor Corbbett.

World Cup Story Book and Football Shorts, July 2014  A great festival, telling stories with coaches, writers, and poets representing Tottenham Hotspurs, Arsenal and Crystal Palace Football Clubs.  We told and read stories and poems, talked about football and took part in a fun piece of drama, all held in a Pop-up Theatre in the shape of a City Gent's Bowler Hat set up in the middle of Pater Noster Square, right in the shadow of St. Paul's Cathedral.  Great fun was had by all. 

Storyteller in Residence at Moscow Children's Book Festival, July 2013.  A wonderful weekend and amazing experience.  I was asked to tell stories and run creative writing workshops for the annual Book Festival in Moscow. The children were great fun and enthusiastic to tell and write, and to listen to stories. The interpreters and translators were marvelous, and my hosts fantastic organisers who were supportive and who provided lots of opportunities to talk to and learn from Russian writers,  storytellers, actors, academics, and children's publishers, and other visiting writers from Portugal and Sweden.  The also found time to take me around many famous Moscow spots. A memorable delightful journey.

Storyteller in Residence for CARDAN in the Deptarment of the Somme, Picardy, France, July 2013  A week-long residency involving storytelling, creative writing workshops, and oral history sessions. This was organised by CARDAN, a charity that develops formal and informal education in the community for all ages, but especially for adults with special learning needs and teenagers and children in areas of socio-economical deprivation. CARDAN focuses on developing literacy and bilingualism. Working with the local librarians who organised my itinerary and invited me into their homes, libraries, and favourite spots around the area, it was an enjoyable and productive week and provided new insight and ideas for work with adults, and with children and teens in bilingual settings.

Creative Change a project developing the curriculum, teacher training, and cross-community work in education with Liz Weir and other artists, and staff at University of Ulster. Creative Change used creativity to promote mutual understanding and cross sector collaboration between 10 schools in the Coleraine area. It was funded by the International Fund for Ireland ‘Sharing in Education Programme’ and the University of Ulster.  Liz Weir and Pat Ryan are provided training in storytelling to teachers, classroom assistants, parents, grandparents and carers, and told stories to children in nursery and P1 and P2 classes.  (see: 

CyMAL -- Wales' Museums Archives and Libraries Studies and Course  In my capacity as a Research Fellow at the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling, the GEECS and I were asked by CyMAL to develop and deliver an accredited course in storytelling to children aged give and under.  This course will be for all frontline staff in libraries and museums in Wales, and for volunteers in Welsh Museums.  In addition, GEECS was also asked to do an analysis of and report on current story time practices in museums, archives and libraries in Wales with recommendations for the future. STILL SPELL-BOUND: STORY TIMES IN WELSH MUSEUMS, ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES / YN DAL O DAN SWYN: AMSER STORI MEWN AMGUEDDFEYDD, ARCHIFAU A LLYFRGELLOEDD YNG NGHYMRU, a report for CyMAL is not available through CyMAL and the George Ewart Evans Centre, and an official Ministerial launch of the report will be on 13 March 2014.

Writer-in-Residence, Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada  This was a fantastic experience, with a focus on research and writing.  I also contribured various lectures on storytelling in many university departments, took part in the Thin Air Literature Festival for 2011, told stories at a fundraiser at Aqua Books, advised creative writing students on their work, and took part in local storytelling activities.  I met local tellers, and heard some wonderful authors including many Aboriginal writers, and heard fantastic musicians from all sorts of backgrounds.  My research and writing include various academic articles and conference papers, a new anthology, and with my colleague at Chicago, Donna Schatt, a study of a 120 year old educational storytelling programme which has significance for studies today in cognitive development, critical literacy and active learning.

AND:  Sports Stories and Kick into Reading:  Projects with the National Literacy Trust and professional football across England and Wales. Sports Stories and Kick into Reading used the power of stories to promote reading, writing and speaking to produce a book written by the fans for the fans. My job is to train football club staff: players, coaches, study support centre teachers, and scholars (apprentice players) to tell and read aloud stories to children. These new storytellers then go into libraries, schools and hospitals to entertain children and recruit them and their families to contribute to an oral history of their club created by the fans, which is made into a book. With this and Kick into Reading, an earlier NLT scheme involving storytelling and sport, I've worked with the following football clubs:

Oxford United
Charlton Athletic
Manchester United
Blackburn Rovers
Mansfield Town
Stoke City
Nottingham Forest
Colchester United
Norwich City
West Bromwich Albion
Plymouth Argyle
Leeds United
Cardiff City

Active Learning with Artforms Leeds. The resource pages and reports for Spoken and Written Word Active Learning are now up and running and live on Artforms' Webpages. The children, teachers, librarians and artists did a great job, and want you to make use of their ideas. Do check them out! Active Learning is a project giving teachers and artists the opportunity to learn together, supported by national arts specialists. I am the course facilitator for its 'Written and Spoken Word Programme'. This involves teaching and creating course materials to support 12 teachers, 2 librarians and 12 written and spoken word artists (wonderful poets, storytellers, writers, and performers).

NEW BOOK:  For Palgrave Macmillan with Donna Schatt, based on our research into: 'School Storytelling Programmes for 5, 6 and 7 year olds' Donna Schatt, researcher at the University of Chicago, and I are examining the records of a long-running storytelling programme. We hope to identify patterns in the choice of stories popularly told across generations of librarians and teachers, and to find a method for measuring the impact of such long-term storytelling programmes on learning and child development.'A Queen of the Fit-Ups, A Queen of Storytellers: The Life and Times of Mealda Hall' Mealda Hall (née Doherty) is a storyteller and actress, born and raised in Strokestown, Roscommon and a long time resident (and storyteller, women's activist and peace activist) in Belfast. For 15 years I've been recording Mealda's amazing life stories and have nearly finished compiling these in an archive we hope to make available for publication and for other scholars. Her life stories reflect the social and political history of the island of Ireland over the past 90 years, with unique insight into the Fit-Up theatres (travelling rural theatre companies where Mealda starred the '30s and '40s)

'Talking the Game' Over the last ten years I've been working with various football clubs in England and Wales, and football, GAA and rugby clubs in Ireland and Northern Ireland. During this time I've also been gathering stories by the players and coaches, and making observations of their stories and storytelling skills. I'm compiling this data for analysis in a range of academic papers.

'Seven Wise Masters and Seven Wise Mistresses' When researching Shakespeare's Storybook, I came across a medieval frame narrative equally popular in Classical, Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions. From the 17th through early 19th centuries in Ireland it was used to teach children to read. I'm looking at earlier sources of these two chapbooks, studying various stories from this series. I hope to develop these for performance and to use them in residencies and workshops to explore how stories link and are even a fusion of ideas, narratives and experiences shared by diverse, interacting cultural groups.