Weber State University's Storytelling Festival this year brings in four new national tellers and offers a competitive slam.
"We really have stories for everybody, from preschool to senior citizen," said Ann Ellis, chairwoman of the event.
The four national storytellers coming to the festival are Kim Weitkamp, Antonio Sacre, Eshu Bumpus and Motoko.
"Eshu Bumpus and Motoko are husband and wife, and they tell together sometimes," said Ellis, noting that they are based in New England. "Eshu tells African-American stories, and Motoko tells Japanese stories. Each has a wonderful and unique style."
Antonio Sacre is a writer and storyteller from California, with a Cuban father and Irish-American mother. "He tells stories in English and Spanish," said Ellis.
Kim Weitkamp comes to Utah from the East Coast.
"She is a very funny woman," said Ellis. "She has a deep passion for story, and is very sensitive to making the storytelling as rich an experience for the listener as absolutely possible."
All four tellers perform several times each day.
Another highlight comes at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in the WSU Shepherd Union Building: the new Brown Bag Story Slam.
"It will be hosted by national storytellers Kim Weitkamp and Antonio Sacre," said Ellis. "Audience members will be invited to share their own stories before a panel of impromptu judges."
There will be prizes for top tellers.
There are also stories for children, at Treehouse Museum and several local schools, during the festival.
"Then we have literally thousands of school kids coming to hear stories during the morning hours, and at those sessions we have our student storytellers, too," Ellis said. "If there's any legacy from the festival that makes it unique, it's the number of children who participate and have become good storytellers."
Storytellers showcase their best during evening sessions.
There will be bedtime stories and campfire tales, a "Utah StoryFest" and a national storytellers concert.