78 – Spring Writing Challenge Party

Special guests Tom the Tale Teller Phillips and his daughter Emmy join in to read the funniest reader submissions sent in to the Spring Writing Challenge. Tom was featured as the show’s Leicestershire Children’s Writer for the month of March.

During my interview with Tom the Tale Teller over Zoom, I couldn’t help but admire the excellent painting of a cow hanging on the wall behind him. I asked what the cow’s story was, and it didn’t have one, so Tom and I decided that needed to change. I asked for silly stories, and boy did you listeners deliver! In this episode you will hear a lullaby, a haiku, the best poem ever written about cow flatulence, a short story, and a surprisingly touching story about a cow who finds out she is wonderful just as she is.

Featured in this episode are the following delightful works:

“Lydia the Dancing Cow” by Tillie, read by Emmy Phillips
“Moo Haiku” by Edie, read by Chloë Townsend
“Bovine Lullaby” by Chris, sung by T.Q. Townsend
“Cow Power” by B.C. Byron, read by T.Q. Townsend
“Lisa the Cow and Her Missing Spots” by Olivia Lee, read by Tom the Tale Teller Phillips

Many thanks to all of you who contributed. Children’s literature is not just something that belongs to the past, and it would seem that the current generation of writers is a healthy one!

67 – Interview with Tom Phillips

March’s Leicestershire Children’s Writer is Tom Phillips, also known as Tom the Tale Teller. He’s the author of Leicestershire Folk Tales for Children, a collection of local stories from the spooky and fantastic to the sad but true.

In our conversation, we talk about the importance of keeping in-person storytelling alive. It’s more important than ever in a world full of digital distractions. Tom explains how he selected the stories for his book, how he dealt with the problem of multiple versions of a story, and how he managed to simplify the very complicated tales of Lady Jane Grey and Richard III. We also mention two places that have inspired storytelling for each of us — Bradgate Park here in Leicestershire and Sycamore Canyon in Los Angeles.

You can find Tom the Tale Teller online. Give him a follow to see videos of past storytelling and find out where you can see him in person!

Check out my previous features of Leicestershire Children’s Writers. Each month this year I’ll be featuring an author from my community!