Explanation of the Award Selections
The winners and honors for each year's Storytelling World Awards are shown on the back cover of either the April/May issue of Storytelling World/Storytelling Magazine and are showcased inside the issue by categories. The resource title, author (performer), and publisher are provided-along with a short byline describing the item. These resources can be located in libraries, in bookstores, through Internet on-line services, or through the publishers/authors/performers. The addresses of each year's publishers are provided both in the magazine and on this web site. Companies will send free catalogs that include not only these award-winning resources but many additional storytelling publications as well.
Award Rationale. Thousands of new and adapted stories are published each year. Storytellers (and story seekers) are looking for "just the right story" for a variety of reasons and occasions. Most professionals just don't have the time to read all of the new publications, so Storytelling World assists in this search through this annual awards program. Our staff publicizes the awards program through this web site, by e-mails to publishers, and through limited mailings. Anyone (individuals or publishers) may nominate resources to be considered for these awards. A staff of professionals proceed through the evaluation/selection process that culminates the following April.
Judges and Decisions. Numerous storytelling professionals spend a vast amount of time in the careful study of each year's nominated materials-to arrive at approximately a dozen awards for each category. This is no simple task. If several mathematicians attempting to solve an identical problem, all who are correct in their calculations might arrive at the same answer--but not so in storytelling. Had you been a judge for any year's resources, your final list might have varied greatly from those presented on these award lists. Our judges do not all agree--nor should they. Each year's selections reflect the compiled opinions of all of our evaluators (who always represent different age groups, ethnic backgrounds, geographic regions, religious persuasions, and storytelling experiences). All judges are very carefully trained for this specific evaluation process. Electronic ballots are designed and used for tallying their opinions. All judges will remain anonymous; however, if a question about the judging should arise, feel free to contact the Storytelling World editor, Dr. Flora Joy.
The Selections. Each year's final selections are quite varied--with a range of original, adapted, short, long, serious, humorous, culture-specific, religious, historical, traditional, literary, poetic, scary, and unusual choices. Some are intended for beginning tellers, while others may challenge the esteemed professionals. All were published in resources copyrighted during the previous five years, although some selections may have additionally appeared in earlier works. Modifications of the classics (public domain and traditional stories) allow us to appreciate these authors' adaptations, and they inspire us in designing our own retellings of favorite story motifs. Most printed stories will need some recrafting to fit a teller's individual style. All awarded personal stories are intended to be viewed only as models for those preparing their own personal material. (Storytelling World strongly recommends that tellers not perform the personal tales of others.)
The Categories. The seven Storytelling World Award categories are identified in the "Details and Deadlines" section of this web information. The first four categories are stories for listeners of various age groups, although they aren't restricted to those identified ages; i.e., tellers searching for stories for adolescent listeners might also wish to examine the adult awards and the pre-adolescent award selections. Award stories in the adult-age category are sometimes found in what appears to be children's picture books. However, don't be deceived by the format. Only the story content was considered in these judgments, and many picture books are filled with wisdom best understood by mature listeners. Tellers of the award stories in all four age categories may need to make "audience age" adjustments in their delivery as they adapt these stories to their own individual performance styles. Category 5 involves story collections in books. Category 6 is judged for ear (or eye) appeal-including the entertainment value of the recordings. Category 7 includes a variety of special resources, especially informational and non-story material.
Permissions. Permission to use these award stories or resources for professional/financial gain will need to be obtained through the author or publisher. Classroom teachers and librarians may enjoy copyright's fair-use allowances. In all cases, courtesy and professionalism dictate giving credit to the original resource.
Future Nominations for Storytelling World Awards. If a storytelling resource is not nominated, then it cannot be considered for these awards. (We frequently hear about a "great" storytelling book or recording that wasn't on our awards list; yet, when we examine our records, we learn that the resource in question had not been nominated.) We strongly encourage everyone to alert the authors/tellers/publishers of your favorite storytelling resources to participate in this awards program! This is our way to publicize new materials to storytellers.