Seanachas community events and residencies

The community events aspect of our Year of Stories were an important way of reaching as many people as possible all over the island. We engaged with people in their own communities, and in the native language of Gaelic where possible, to tell their – perhaps previously unheard- stories.

The first series of community events began in April, with author Donald S Murray based in the rural west side village of Bragar. There were drop-in sessions with Donald at Grinneabhat Centre and he visited local storytellers (or seanchaidh) in their own homes in an attempt to gather as many local stories as possible.  A live event took place at the end of his residency with Donald reciting stories he has heard, encouraging people to discuss, share their comments and similar stories they may have heard. Donald also produced a series of poems based on his residency which will be available on this page shortly.

Further information on Donald’s work can be found here


In celebration of Eilean Fraoich, the classic Lewis songbook, a concert was held in An Lanntair in July 2022.  Featuring Gaelic singers Josie Duncan, Mischa Macpherson, Alice Macmillan and Isobel Martin, the songs and stories from the book were presented in a sell out evening for Year of Stories. Clips from the concert can be viewed above.

Thirdly, and importantly, we placed a focus on children’s tales.  Therefore a series of events where we encouraged our young participants to talk about or create their own stories took place, including some special story telling events at Christmas time.


And finally, UHI lecturer  Catriona Murray ran a series of story-exchanges throughout the island in October, on the topic of the Supernatural. Watch below for the event that took place at our Faclan book festival.