Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship

Today I received the annual email from Storytelling Arts of Indiana reminding everyone that the deadline for the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship is coming up.  Grant applications must be received by April 30, 2008.

Each year, this grant is awarded to two storytellers to develop a new piece for adult audiences.   Fulltime tellers love it because their bread-and-butter usually comes from youth audiences.  The Basile grant gives them a chance to develop a piece that they might not have been able to justify spending time on otherwise.


Storytelling audiences love it because we get to see and hear new works that we would not otherwise have been able to enjoy.  I have been to every Basile debut event since the beginning.  I love the variety of styles and stories that have been shared over the years.  The whole spectrum of spoken word storytelling – from “pure” to “theatrical” – has been represented.

I am not a fulltime teller, but I was one of the lucky winners in 2006.  Receiving the Basile grant was just the push I needed to complete a project that I had been working on for years.  I read lots of Japanese folk tales, pulled together personal stories from the five years that I lived in Japan, and created a 45-minute piece for adult audiences called “Hoosier in Tokyo.”

I have told the whole thing twice, now, as part of receiving the Basile grant.  I have also shared excerpts to several more audiences.  Maybe I will submit the piece to a Fringe festival some day.  (Not the IndyFringe, though, because I want to be free to see all of the shows here.)

Maybe I will just continue to enjoy my peaceful feelings of accomplishment and gratitude.

If you have been thinking of applying, I encourage you to go for it!   Preparing the application is a useful activity in and of itself.  If you don’t win the grant this year, try again next year.

Here is an excerpt from the Frank Basile page of the Storytelling Arts website:

“In support of Indiana storytellers to create and premier new material, Storytelling Arts of Indiana offers annual fellowships to two Indiana storytellers. This program, The Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship encourages and recognized the talent and skills of our Indiana storytellers. This program is possible because of the generosity and commitment of Frank Basile to the art of storytelling.”

For more information, please visit the Storytelling Arts of Indiana website:  And good luck!

Hope Baugh –

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