Sheila Stark Phillips, storyteller, author, musician, Texan and former zoo keeper has returned this year to help us celebrate our 30th Anniversary. Here she shares with us some of her memories of the festival, gives advice to new storytellers and shares her thoughts on the timelessness of storytelling.

“When I had the privilege of telling at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival a few years back, it was only my second visit to Utah. I had also been a participant at that year’s Timpanogos Conference. I was thrilled to be there and initially struck by the beauty of the area. The friendliness of everyone I encountered was beyond welcoming and I have many times praised the organizers and worker bees because never have I been better cared for. The facilities were outstanding, and everything progressed like clockwork. From start to finish it was first-class. I was particularly impressed that each teller had their own cubby where they could relax and even take a nap when not performing.

My one piece of advice to any young or new teller is to be yourself. Don’t try to imitate someone you admire. Develop your own style, practice and go for it.

Storytelling is timeless. Going back to the earliest man who came back to his cave from hunting and with grunts and drawing pictures with a piece of charcoal taken from the fire pit told others of his adventure. Our daily lives are filled with stories. And, most importantly, stories are meant to be shared.”

What are your memories of the festival? Share with us in the comments below and be sure to come and celebrate with us at the 30th annual Timpanogos Storytelling Festival September 5-7 at The Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.