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YSOY 2010 - report

Graham Langley, YSOY Director, says: "I cannot imagine a more sensational day of storytelling than the Young Storyteller of the Year held in Birmingham on 13 March. The enthusiasm, energy, creativity and sheer exuberance of the telling was a delight. Twenty one competitors all told ten-minute traditional stories to a packed Library Theatre. This included two judges who had the unenviable task of choosing who should receive a prize.”

The Young Storyteller of the Year title was awarded to Sam Aitken and Jonathan Wingard of Matlock, who tell together under the joyous title of Banterous Potentials. The judges also highly commended Rosy Thurston from Cumbria and Joe White of Wem, Shropshire. Look out for all of them at Festival at the Edge in July, Whitby in August and other festivals over the summer.

In the under-18 section the outright winner was Mark Jelinek from Hungary, while Daragh Quinn was highly commended. The best group award went to Smira Mahmoood and Nisha Mukhtar from Park View School in Birmingham.

This year, for the first time, a generous donation meant we could offer a People's Prize, chosen by the audience themselves. During the day, the stewards collected and displayed the votes, and counted them while the judges were making up their minds. The stewards ensured the 'one person, one vote' system by the cunning use of post-its. Each member of the audience had to give a reason for their choice or the vote was not valid. This gave the storytellers lots of useful feedback, which you can read here. The audience and the judges agreed, and Banterous Potentials won the People's Prize for 2010. We welcome any offers to sponsor a People's Prize for 2011 - contact us.

All winners | Gallery of the event

YSOY has always had an international flavour and this year we had a visit from three young Italian storytellers from the Raccontamiunastoria company based in Rome. They visited Birmingham schools before the event and then took part in the Many Voices workshop on the Sunday. One of them, Matteo Ciocci, performed as a guest storyteller whilst the judges carried out their deliberations.

There is a lot of interest in YSOY from groups in Europe and we anticipate a more international flavour at future YSOY events.