Amongst the oldest form of creative communication, storytelling still has a strong presence in the here and now: from school classrooms to grand theatres; from local libraries to international festivals.
The British Awards for Storytelling Excellence (BASE) are annual awards, where most of the categories will be voted on by members of the public.
The aim is to celebrate, promote and acknowledge storytelling in all its diverse forms, and the many talented and highly creative people who keep this incredible tradition alive.
HOW DOES THE VOTING SYSTEM WORK?
We have tried to make the voting system as transparent as possible. We invited nominations from across the British storytelling world over the summer of 2012. Storytellers who were nominated were notified, and those with the most nominations were shortlisted. We’re continuing with pretty much the same formula, but (after wide consultation) with a few important tweaks.
Anyone can use the contact form on this site to nominate a storyteller or project they believe to be worthy of an award. The descriptions of each award, and the nominations received so far, can be found on the nominations page. You can nominate tellers/projects until until 9pm on the evening of the closing date. Then once the shortlists have been announced, you can return to this site and vote for those who have been shortlisted. We publish all nominations here, because even if someone hasn’t been shortlisted, it is a good platform for people to get to know their work and gives them a better chance in future years. Voting will remain open for approximately one month.
All nominations, with supporting material (YouTube clips, soundfiles, etc.), will be published to this website. In most categories, shortlists will be drawn up based on the number of nominations received.
However, after our open, public consultation, it was felt that some awards require a decision made by people with an awareness of storytelling over the long term, and/or, expertise in that field. Accordingly, it was decided that shortlisting for these awards would be done by panels made up of storytellers, audience members, librarians, and storytelling club organisers. The awards in question are: Outstanding Female, Outstanding Male, Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding Library Service and Outstanding Performance. The panel will be announced once all members have accepted. In the event of a conflict of interest, that panel member will either step aside, or be replaced by the current Chair of Phrase Arts (the panel will always consist of an odd number to avoid stalemate).
With two exceptions, shortlists will then be put to a public vote. The exceptions are Lifetime Achievement, and Outstanding Library Service, in which case, uniquely, the award as well as the shortlist will be decided by a panel.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE THE CATEGORIES?
For 2012, we talked to some leading storytellers and artists and came up with ten categories. After reviewing how well that worked, and taking suggestions for this year from a variety of storytellers and audience members, we have added new categories, and split existing ones, to come up with the current award categories.
CAN ANYONE MAKE A NOMINATION?
Yes indeed. So far we have let people know about BASE through Facebook, Twitter, storytelling forums, personal websites, Society for Storytelling, folk clubs and storytelling clubs as well. We do not yet have any advertising budget so at the moment we particularly appreciate goodwill and word of mouth – the storytellers’ standby!