FROM tall tales to horror stories, Icelandic sagas to Aesop's Fables, stories are part and parcel of growing up.

Friday marks national Tell-a-Story Day and people across Scotland will be making, sharing and listening to stories in schools, libraries, community centres, churches, hospitals and a few more unusual venues.

The annual event brings individuals and communities together to discover the enjoyment of telling and sharing stories.

The Village Storytelling Centre in Pollok, Glasgow, will adopt a Hallowe'en inspired Pollok Phantom Tales parade, which will take go from St James's Parish Church to Crookston Castle, where audiences will be told spine-tingling tales by storyteller Laura Bradshaw.

A spokeswoman for the Storytelling Centre said: "This is part of a bigger programme called Express Arts For All and has been funded by Glasgow City Council.

"As the storytelling centre for west Scotland, it is important we recognise National Tell-a-Story Day."

The oldest storytelling club in Glasgow, the Better Crack Club, will also be holding a meeting at Tchai-Ovna Tea House, Hillhead.

The club was set up 18 years ago by award winning storyteller Michael Kerins and author and storyteller Ewan McVicar and has gone from strength to strength. It has also spawned the Even Better Crack Club for children.

"It was really high time for a storytelling club in Glasgow and west Scotland, based on our mother club in Edinburgh – The Guid Crack Club," said Michael.

"We set up a basic group that encouraged new and experienced tellers to practise their ancient art.

"Over the years both clubs have changed venue but we have never changed the ideology behind what we do."

The club holds an open mic night at Tchai-Ovna on every third Friday of the month for anyone who wants to join in or just listen.

Frances Logan, club organiser, said: "We have had stories in Chinese, German and Catalan and a poem in Japanese – anyone who wants to give anything is welcome."

Last year Frances joined a delegation representing charity Scottish Language Action Towards Education and, helped by a Creative Scotland grant, went to Perm, Russia, as part of the International Festival Of Motherhood.

While there, she and Michael spread the storytelling bug.

"Even using an interpreter, stories do work," Frances said. "One of the most unexpected joys was the storytelling in a bookshop in Lunacharskogo. The idea of live performance in a bookshop was a new for those involved. There was standing room only."

Frances is hoping a lot of people will go to Tchai-Ovna on Friday.

"It is very relaxing, sitting and listening to people telling stories and seeing them in your mind – the same story will have different pictures in different minds," she said.

"No one is forced to tell, you can just listen. Some people sat for a year before they opened their mouth."

Reading Allowed has also been meeting once a month for 10 years, also at Tchai Ovna.

Dr David Manderson, the club founder, is an author and lecturer in Creative Writing & Screenwriting at the West Of Scotland University.

"We have regular readings and everyone is welcome," said David.

"There is a great atmosphere and everyone has a great time, with published and unpublished authors reading."

He is organising Reading Allowed's activities for Tell-a-Story Day. He said: "Without these grassroots events, you would not find a place where people could air their stories and, culturally, it would be bad."

David Panzeri, of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, is urging anyone who wants to organise an event for Friday to contact the centre for advice and information.

He said: "We want to inspire everyone and it is a chance for people to share stories from their experiences, as well as traditional tales – maybe a tale your grandmother used to tell you.

"We are trying to reach out to people to rediscover the ancient art of storytelling and see how contemporary and powerful it is."

l For more information on Tell-a-Story Day, see the website:

l For information on Pollok Phantom Tales at Crookston Castle, call the Village Storytelling Centre on 0141 882 3025. Entry is free.

l The Better Crack Club will meet at Tchai Ovna, Otago Lane, on Friday at 7.30pm. Entry is free but donations are appreciated. For more information, e-mail

l For more information on Reading Allowed, e-mail