Shonaleigh

Word weaver, tradition bearer and educator

Shonaleigh is a dedicated and committed storyteller actively working to expand and share the Drut’syla tradition.

Brought up in the Drut’syla tradition by her Bubbe (Grandmother) she has a repertoire of over three thousand stories which can be adapted as appropriate for the theme and audience with whom she is working.

Get in touch

For all enquiries, please use this form to send us a message.

New website coming soon

A new website is being knitted for Shonaleigh, and should be ready to keep us warm and cosy during June 2020.  In the meantime, we’ve included some key information below.  If you need anything else, please do get in touch ✨

COVID-19 update

These are strange and changing times and we are having to change with them – so, as you will know, we have decided to hold a sabbatical year and use the time to offer all our students time and space to delve deeper into the tradition. But although this is a sabbatical year for us in real time we will be running some exciting online courses, some introductions to the tradition, some lectures and conferences and some live storytelling – please keep checking the diary page as details will be added as and when we finalise arrangements.

2020 Diary

In the city of onion domes at the top of the world under a dancing curtain of light, two men meet. One sells beautiful carvings made from goathorn, the other buys and as they exchange stories and kind words, neither know that this meeting will change the course of their lives, and the lives of their children, forever.

For in his palace the ruler of that city wishes to do them harm; and in a cave a hungry ogre waits for his supper; and in a distant palace an ice-fish dreams of a girl who will save him; and out, in the darkness, stands a firewolf, its burning soul watching, waiting, its breath hot on the cold earth…

This is the story of a Diamond girl, a goathorn bee and so many more. Join Shonaleigh Cumbers to hear part one of this incredible, epic tale that takes us from the high mountains to the edge of the icy sea.

Live online storytelling from 8pm to 10pm. Click here to book your ticket – we recommend a donation of £5.

Please book separately for part two.

You do not have to attend part one, but it will be helpful to understand the story.

In the city of onion domes at the top of the world under a dancing curtain of light, two men meet. One sells beautiful carvings made from goathorn, the other buys and as they exchange stories and kind words, neither know that this meeting will change the course of their lives, and the lives of their children, forever.

For in his palace the ruler of that city wishes to do them harm; and in a cave a hungry ogre waits for his supper; and in a distant palace an ice-fish dreams of a girl who will save him; and out, in the darkness, stands a firewolf, its burning soul watching, waiting, its breath hot on the cold earth…

This is the story of a Diamond girl, a goathorn bee and so many more. Join Shonaleigh Cumbers to hear part one of this incredible, epic tale that takes us from the high mountains to the edge of the icy sea.

Live online storytelling from 8pm to 10pm. Click here to book your ticket – we recommend a donation of £5.

Please book separately for part one.

In the city of onion domes at the top of the world under a dancing curtain of light, two men meet. One sells beautiful carvings made from goathorn, the other buys and as they exchange stories and kind words, neither know that this meeting will change the course of their lives, and the lives of their children, forever.

For in his palace the ruler of that city wishes to do them harm; and in a cave a hungry ogre waits for his supper; and in a distant palace an ice-fish dreams of a girl who will save him; and out, in the darkness, stands a firewolf, its burning soul watching, waiting, its breath hot on the cold earth…

This is the story of a Diamond girl, a goathorn bee and so many more. Join Shonaleigh Cumbers to hear part one of this incredible, epic tale that takes us from the high mountains to the edge of the icy sea.

Live online storytelling from 8pm to 10pm. More details to follow.

An online evening course over 4 weeks.

We are living through a unique time and so we thought to bring you a unique opportunity.

Wildwoods is a three year training course with tradition bearer Shonaleigh Cumbers where students learn the Midrash – a set of storytelling techniques and tools handed down to Shonaleigh by her Grandmother that allows story-lovers at all levels of experience to engage deeply with narrative.

At the heart of this course is learning how narrative and story work. In the same way a silversmith must learn the nature of silver and a carpenter must learn the nature of wood, a storyteller must learn the nature of stories – how do they work and how can we work with them?

This is an online introduction to the three year course, giving you a glimpse into some of the exercises, approaches and relationships with story that are built through this brilliant approach to narrative.

Although this is no replacement for face to face training, this course will introduce you to the nature of story and, hopefully, inspire you to learn with Shonaleigh in the future.

There are only 30 places on this course. Please secure your place by emailing [email protected] We ask for a suggested donation of £40.

Sessions are 8pm-10pm (Zoom room open from 7:30 for catch up and questions) on Monday 1st, Monday 8th, Monday 15th, and Monday 22nd June 2020.

A unique, one-off immersive 10-day telling of the Gem Cycle.

Have you ever sat and listened to a story and thought, “I want to get lost in this”? This is a chance to do that. To get lost in that world. To walk the in-between. To embrace your inner crone, princess, hero, or whatever. To lose yourself in a world of story.

Story Labyrinth is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get totally immersed in stories. By coming together for 10 days we create the space for Shonaleigh to tell all the stories in a particular story cycle – in this case the Gem Cycle: the Ruby Tree, the Diamond Girl, the Opal Forest, the Sapphire Staff and the Emerald Sea. So the lattice can be unfurled with all its links, pathways, junctions, intersections and more.

There’ll be stories from Shonaleigh in the mornings and evenings, and in the afternoons a chance to relax, explore the local area, or join in some creative workshops.

This event is hosted at charming and quaint Unstone Grange. There are residential, camping and non-residential options available at this basic but homely venue in Derbyshire, UK.

For more information call Claire at +44 (0) 7970 409 824.