Carl Merry Talespinner

Stories Told with Humour, Passion, Wit, and Understanding


About Carl Merry Talespinner

My name is Carl Merry, and I am a storyteller with considerable teaching and entertaining experience. In addition to being a past director of The Society for Storytelling, I have been a member of the society since its inception. What’s more, I have an enhanced DBS certificate and as an Equity member, I have full public liability insurance for performances. Get in touch today to find out more.


Since leaving teaching in July 2000, I have worked full-time as a storyteller visiting many schools and entertaining all age ranges. I have contributed several courses for teachers run by Essex Schools Advisory Service; told as part of The Essex Book Festival both as a solo artist and with Essex, Storytellers, as well as at eight East Anglian Storytelling Festivals. I am a founder member of The Essex Storytellers with whom I have performed all over East Anglia, and beyond.

As a member of Essex Storytellers, I have been involved in creating adult tellings based around the folklore and history of Essex, with "The Battle of Maldon," "Essex Islands," and "Tales Across the Colne" all being featured. " I performed "Scratching The Surface" an adult telling of tales based around Mersea Island in theatres and arts centres around East Anglia during 2005, and in 2007, and performed "A Green Mist Rising", the story of the Essex witch trials of 1645, in museums and schools all over Essex.

During my 27-year career as a teacher of English, it was my love of stories, which helped make me popular with my students. Whether teaching younger children or “A” Level students, I always attempted to engender understanding and appreciation in my students of the language and images used by the writers.

After attending a course in 1986 where I listened, for the first time, to a storyteller, I began to explore the power of oral storytelling for myself. As a result of this, during my time as a teacher, I ran storytelling workshops, an oracy in-service training day for a special school, established an oracy week at one school, a storytelling day at another, and wrote a storytelling unit for Year 9 students.

As a long-serving mentor on the Walking the Wild Woods course, which attracts people from many countries I have mentored storytellers from the UK, New Zealand, and the USA. I continue to work with course leader Shonaleigh Cumbers and the other mentors to this day.

Most recently, starting in September 2022, I studied folktales of the Welsh fairy folk for an MA in Applied Storytelling. I submitted my dissertation in August 2023 and am awaiting my results.

Past Events

  • East Anglian Storytelling Festivals (1997 – 1999; 2015 – 2023)
  • The Tendring Show (1997 – 2018)
  • Essex Book Festival (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • The Royal Academy, London (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Essex Schools Advisory Service Events
  • “Summer Literacy Schools” (2001)
  • “Primary Schools Speaking and Listening Conference” (2001)
  • “Writers in The Wings” (2005)
  • “Family Literacy Conference” (2005)
  • Tendring Adult Community College Outreach Programme (Working with Fathers and Sons) (2002, 2003, 2004)
  • Launch of New Harry Potter Book (2007)
  • Jibber Jabber Storytelling Festival, Chelmsford (2011)
  • Pensthorpe Medieval Spectacular (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • Hull Freedom Festival (2015)
  • “Mahabharata Project” – A Telling of the Hindu Epic (2005)
  • Tales in a Tipi – A Celebration of 100 Years of the Girl Guides (2010)
  • “Parklife” – Milton Country Park, Cambs (2004, 2005)
  • Raby Castle, County Durham (2010)
  • Hertford Castle – Medieval Weekend (2009)
  • Rochester Dickens Festival (2009)
  • Kenilworth Castle – Medieval Weekend (2008)
  • Colchester Oyster Fayre – Medieval Weekend (2009)
  • “Winter Tales” Festival, Sandwich, Kent (2006)
  • English Wine Weekend, New Hall Vineyard (2005)
  • Mersea Seafood Festival (2009)
  • Barking Folk Festival
  • The Fling Festival
  • Brownstock Music Festival

Storytelling Training

  • February 2005: Winter’s Edge Storytelling Master Class (Five Days Training with Shonaleigh Cumbers)
  • November 2009 – 2011 and November 2014 – 2015: Walking the Wild Woods (Five Years Training with Shonaleigh Cumbers
  • December 2010: Repertoire Workshop with Ben Haggarty
  • July 2011, September 2014, and October 2015: Weekend Courses with Taffy Thomas
  • September 2022 – August 2023: Study and Research for Applied Storytelling MA Course

Looking for a Storyteller?

As you can see, I have extensive experience as a storyteller in many different settings.

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