Storytelling Quilt

This is a picture of the, now completed, Storytelling Quilt I made for our son Jonathan Metcalf-Burton, formerly of the Twinbrook Tellers. Jonathan worked incredibly hard to learn these, and other, stories. He is also a musician, so the characters have instruments, most of which Jonathan plays. Raven, Stork, and Woodpecker are from the poem Birds of America by James Broughton. Spider Woman and the Yellow Birds are from the Navajo tale Zinnia: How the Corn Was Saved from the book by Patricia Hruby Powell. Raven and Eagle’s Daughter are from the Northwest Native American tale How Raven Saved the Ancient Peoples, told in several versions. Rabbit is from two stories: Lion and Rabbit, from Favorite Tales from the Panchatantra by Mrudul Tata, and Who’s in Rabbit’s House by Verna Aardema. The “Long One” , the caterpillar in the tree and Elephant are also from Who’s in Rabbit’s House. And the Lion is also from Lion and Rabbit.. The saxophone-playing creature in the middle of the quilt is The Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll.

All of the illustrations are original designs, my interpretations of the characters from the stories.

eve burton


VITG at The Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park

Way back in the beginning of June – June 3d and 4th –  storytellers from the D.C. Metro Area entertained audiences at the 37th Annual Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park. There was storytelling all day, both days in the Puppet Theater  and also on the Yurt Village Stage. Tellers included: Janice Curtis Green, Diane Macklin, Ming Diaz, Anne Sheldon, Arianna Ross, MyLinda Butterworth, Laura J. Bobrow, Michael Fleming, Chelise Fox, Tom Livengood, Jane Dorfman, Barbara Effron, Lauren Martino, Candace Wolf, Baba Jamal Koram, Gary Lloyd, Jennifer Hine, Marc Young, The Twinbrook Tellers, Miriam Nadel, Margaret Chatham, and Elsa Sellmeyer.

The Twinbrook Tellers

The Twinbrook Tellers








The Twinbrook Tellers

Eve Burton


Miriam Nadel

Margaret Chatham


Elsa Sellmeyer




Elsa Sellmeyer









If you don’t see a picture of your favorite teller from this event, it’s because I didn’t have a photo to include. Feel free to send us pictures from this event or information and photos about other storytelling events. We love to post them on our website!


VITG Monthly Story Swap at the Home of Jane Dorfman, June 10, 2017

On Saturday, June 10, 2017, five storytellers, one guitar player, and an additional three listeners enjoyed an evening of tales about brides, marriages, and a couple other things as well.

I, eve burton, started  with a long tale, The Silent Princess from the book Apples from Heaven by Naomi Baltuck. In it, the groom is “punished” by falling in love with the silent princess. There are three additional stories nested in the tale.

Zoe Sagalow, a former Twinbrook Teller, whom we have not heard telling tales at VITG swaps for quite some time, as she has been off at college growing up, told The Cheese Bride, a European folktale filled with good advice about listening to one’s mother and choosing a wife.

Keeping with the theme of choosing a bride, and not just any bride, but, in this case, the bride God intended the man to marry, Jane Dorfman told a Jewish folktale, The Stone Before the Door.

Our newest storyteller, Fred, shared with us the true tale of his daughter’s marriage to Owen, who now, when everyone else in the family gets the same thing for Christmas, gets whatever he wants!

Returning to folktales, Anne Sheldon told an old favorite, Tibbs Cat and the Apple Tree Man possibly from  Folktales of England by Katharine M. Briggs and Ruth L. Tongue

And for something a little different, Justin Metcalf-Burton, another Twinbrook Teller who has been off in the world for several years – at college in Indianapolis, IN, and dancing professionally in Little Rock, AR-  played guitar and sang a ballad he composed about his four years living in Arkansas.

Storytelling was followed by so many good things to eat that we never even got to open the package of chocolate-chip cookies! We had homemade brownies, custard fruit pie, nuts, popcorn, mango juice, herb tea and more!

Thank you, Jane, storytellers and listeners for a lovely evening!

submitted by eve burton


Here’s What Can Go Wrong

Here’s What Can Go Wrong

Some joker once said, “An oral contract is as good as the paper it is written on.”

Many storytelling agreements do not rely on written contracts but are based only on good faith.

And they happen well in advance. You are invited. You say you will appear. And your mutual agreement is as good as a handshake. (By the way, diamond traders still seal deals and exchange huge fortunes with a mere handshake.)

But now we are in the era of email, and the unreliability of cyberspace, and things have changed. Here’s what happened to me.

It was three months before my scheduled gig, fully three months after our handshake, when I found out that my name had been left off the schedule.

I wrote, “What happened?? You asked me to tell in August, and you even approved of the name of my session and now it appears that I am not on the program at all! I only found out when I tried to list the date in the Voices in the Glen newsletter. The editor notified me. And I’ve had it on my website all along. Oh, dear!”

She [the person who promised the gig] replied, “There must be some error. You were definitely on the list. I recall putting you on the list. I will double check. I am so, so sorry. My profound apologies. I am not sure how this happened. Please give me a day or two to rectify this. I had sent around a note to have people put their dates into a google doc to make sure I had the correct schedule. Perhaps you did not get that notice and somehow your date was given away.”


Perhaps I did not get that notice? I definitely did not get that notice. But the fault is mine for not following up sooner. I should have had suspicions about the prolonged silence.

I write this article as a caveat. Check and double check. If it seems too long since you have been in contact, be suspicious that, unlikely as it seems, something may have gone awry.

She ultimately offered to add my name to share the gig with the other tellers but, she said, they were unable to reprint the flyers that had gone into print a few days before she received my email. I replied that hers was one of my favorite places to tell and I had been so pleased when she asked me, and that I had planned my entire August around the schedule, and that it was a real calamity (I thought, but did not say, breach of contract) but to travel a distance from Virginia for a chance to tell a ten minute story and my name not even mentioned on the schedule ….It did not seem worth it.

Next year I am the first on the list and I get to choose with whom I want to share the stage. But ultimately the success of that transaction will depend on me. You may be sure

that I have already plugged an early tickle date into my computer along with her telephone number and note to myself that says, “Urgent.”

submitted by Laura J. Bobrow

Tim Livengood at the 44th MD Sheep & Wool Festival

Tim Livengood was the host for storytelling at the 44th MD Sheep & Wool Festival at the Howard County Fairgrounds, May 5th and 6th, 2017. There are empty chairs in these photos, but I’m not sure how that can be. Most of the time, every chair was filled, and there were people standing in the back. Everyone enjoyed the stories.

submitted by eve burton

Twinbrook Tellers at the Gaithersburg Book Festival

Eve Burton and The Twinbrook Tellers performed at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, Saturday, May 20, 2017. 

Their fearless leader, eve burton, (that’s me – or “I” if you’re fussy) began the telling with an Arabic folktale, The Three Liars and the Brass Farthing from the book The Fairy Tale Tree.

Eve was followed by Evelyn who told the story  In a Village by the Sea, from the book of that title by  Muon Van  and  The Moon Was but a Chin of Gold by Emily Dickinson.


Rishi made his debut with our group, telling  The Story of the King of Bright Moonlight.
He seemed as comfortable onstage as if he’d been doing it for years. Congratulations, Rishi!

Eve closed the set with a story for the parents, The Scholar of Bagdad, an approximation of the story as told in Apples from Heaven: Multicultural Folktales about Stories and Storytelling, by Naomi Baltuck.

Submitted by eve burton