28-30th October inclusive, so arrive on Friday 27th October 2017

Storyteller in Residence: Joel Ben Izzy

For over three decades, Joel ben Izzy has traveled the globe, gathering and telling tales from Tel Aviv to Tokyo, Manhattan to Managua, Paris to Petaluma and Rome to Rwanda.  A frequent early stop on his travels was Zurich, where he befriended a high school teacher who had been a refugee from Nixon’s America and his multi-lingual wife, Chuck and Nell Kruger.  They shared many stories and a love of storytelling, sparking Chuck’s dream of founding a storytelling festival somewhere in Ireland.  In 1994, Joel was the first teller Chuck booked for the inaugural Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival.  For many years Joel’s travels kept him away from Ireland during that first weekend in September, but this past summer Joel was delighted to return to share stories at the festival.

In the intervening years, Joel has become renowned as both storyteller and author as well, of the highly acclaimed memoir, The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness (Algonquin, 2003)  Now in its 7th printing and 18 foreign editions, it is currently in development as both a film and a musical.  Joel is also a highly-sought after story consultant, with clients ranging from The United States Federal Reserve Bank to Pixar Animation.

Wherever he goes and whatever he does, however, there is one place in the world that he always longs to return to hear and share stories, and Joel is delighted to be returning to Cape Clear for this workshop.

Workshop: Sifting Through Our Lives For Stories

Our lives are rich in stories. The challenge is recognizing, crafting and telling them.  This is a workshop that will help you do just that, through a series of fun, highly participatory exercises and, of course, stories. All levels of skill are welcomed, from novice to professional, to discover and tell your own tales.

In the process, we’ll be discovering how these stories connect to aspects of the rest of our lives.  For active storytellers, this might mean building bridges from the stories we find to the folktales we love, creating something that can enhance our performances.  For novices, as well as those who simply love stories, this may mean connecting our stories to the work we do, however we may define that, whether personal or professional.

It’s a fun, naturalistic approach to storytelling, and we’ll plan for a full weekend on Cape Clear.  Participants can expect to come away rich with stories they did not know they had.  As we say in the storytelling biz, “Hear today, tell tomorrow.”

Timetable: Where and When

To be held in cottage 6 behind Ciaran Danny Mike’s Pub

SATURDAY 28 October
10:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m
Morning Session

1:00 p.m – 2.00 p.m

2:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m
Evening Session

9:00 p.m – 11:00 p.m
Optional Stories/music
location to be confirmed

SUNDAY 29 October
10:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m
Morning Session

1:00 p.m – 2.00 p.m

2:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m
Evening Session

6:30 p.m – ….. p.m
DINNER in a restaurant on the island
location to be confirmed

MONDAY 30 October
9:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m
Morning Session

1:00 p.m – whenever p.m
Optional Island Walk

4:00 p.m
More ferries, Monday morning at 7:15 a.m or 9:00 a.m

Tuesday 9:00am or 4:00pm

Open to all but limited to c. 16: A fun yet heuristic opportunity for aspiring storytellers, practicing storytellers, teachers of all levels, librarians, social workers, politicians, actors , priests, publicans. . .

When Applying


Early Bird Total €170:- €130 for course plus a non-refundable €40 registration fee;

Late Bird Total €200:- €150 for course plus a non-refundable €50 registration fee.

Lunch on Saturday and Sunday will be served at cost €10 per meal, and a special banquet for all held Sunday night will also be extra, price (and location) yet to be determined.


email Michel (michschell followed by @gmail.com) to book a place,

Early bird registration by August 10, 2017: ( €40 )

Late registration from August 31, 2017: ( €50 )

Workshop fee by October 1st 2017. ( Early €130/ Late €150 )


Registration process: 

1. Send an email to michschell ( complete the address with “@gmail.com“).

2. You will receive an email-confirmation that you have been placed on the registration-list on a first-come first-serve basis.

3. Make sure to pay the non-refundable registration fee within *two weeks* of your email confirmation. Please note that if you have not paid your registration fee within these two weeks, we may no longer be able to guarantee your place.

4. Once all places on the workshop have been filled, we will keep your name on a reserve list through which you may still obtain a place should someone cancel.

*Note: the workshop fee can also be paid in one go with the registration fee at the time of registering *


Accommodation options: usually a gang of us stay in the Hostel, where we can make our own breakfast’s and dinner’s. Email hostel direct to book a place, prior booking is best, capeclearhostel@gmail.com

There is a B&B – Eileen Leonard 028 39160 (close to Chucks house, that will now be a 20 min walk to the new venue for our workshop )

We will be working in the Holiday houses close to North Harbour, there is an opportunity for people to stay there, so if  up to 6 people would like to club together you could rent a house, one en-suite double room and two twin rooms, so hardly any walking involved, please contact Mary O Drisceoil 0044 7553359596, please organize this amongst your selves


Leaving Baltimore:   (€16 return)  45 minute crossing

Friday ( 27th ) ferry service to Cape Clear

Sailing: 11am or 5.30pm

Leaving Cape Clear:

Ferry is at 4pm (Monday 30th)

More ferries, Monday morning at 7:15 a.m or 9:00 a.m

Tuesday 9:00am or 4:00pm


The Storytelling Workshop, sister to the Storytelling Festival, is also in it’s 23rd year. Chuck and Nell Kruger, founders of both the Cape Clear Storytelling Festival and the popular October Weekend Storytelling Workshop, are sadly leaving the Island. However a bunch of hard core attendees have decided to keep it going in their honour, and also because they love it too much to let it die.

*Please note that the location for holding the workshop has changed on the island, it will now be held in the holiday houses behind Ciaran Danny Mikes Pub, not far from where the ferry comes in.