8 May 2012

“BORED” Children at risk of missing out on EPIC Family STORIES

One in three kids find their grandparents’ old stories “boring” – and would rather play computer games or talk to their friends on the phone, it emerged today. And many parents (42%) admit that although they try, their children often “tune out” when personal and family stories are discussed at the dinner table or at family gatherings, putting them at risk of being forgotten forever.

The research marks the launch of Nation of Storytellers (www.nationofstorytellers.com), an initiative by Blurb, the creative publishing platform, to encourage people across the UK to share and record their stories for the benefit of their families and generations to come.

The Nation of Storytellers research report also found only 18 per cent of children regularly sit down with their parents or nan and granddad to listen to stories about the “old days”.  The research carried out among 2000 parents with children under 19, showed that most families feel strongly (68%) that such stories are of great personal significance and should be documented for future generations, yet only 2 in 10 (19%) are currently planning to do so, leaving them at threat of being lost forever.

Eileen Gittins, CEO and founder of Blurb, who commissioned the report said: “Our families are the guardians of the some of the richest stories never told. Unless these personal histories are captured in some shareable form, our children and their children will never understand nor appreciate the contributions our relations made to events both large and small. Great Britain, in particular was at the epicenter of some the most seismic events of the 21st century; in my own family we have the American clan and the British clan and our grandfathers on both sides served in WW1. Knowing that really brings that chapter in history to life in a very personal and meaningful way."

Britons have experienced a number of significant historical events in the past 100 years: from the sinking of the Titanic to the raising of the Mary Rose; from two World Wars to mass peace protests; from Royal coronations to the departure of the “ten pound poms” to Australia. Many families are also guardians of specialist skills, such as rural crafts like thatching and dry stone walling, or have memories of adventures from the past, all of which are at risk of being forgotten.

Gittins continued, "Blurb launched the Nation of Storytellers campaign to uncover and document these fascinating stories. We all have great stories to share, and using services like Blurb, it’s so affordable and simple to preserve them in an elegant, timeless way.”

Liz Fraser, parenting expert, says “With so many things now competing for our children’s attention – whether that’s computer games, mobiles or watching TV – it’s really important that as parents we carve out some time to properly engage with them about our family stories and history. Much of the trick is turning these family narratives into compelling stories and even physical books, so kids are as excited about what Grandad did in the “old days” as they are when hearing the latest Harry Potter or other favourite books at bedtime.”

Liz continued, “It’s also hugely important to provide our children, and even ourselves, with the knowledge of who we are, where we came from and what our ancestors did, so that we can help instil a sense of identity and pride, which we hope will then aid in future development.”

Nation of Storytellers is a campaign to uncover treasured stories from across Britain, which will be turned into a beautiful book so they are never forgotten.  People with stories to share can visit www.nationofstorytellers.com and submit a short synopsis. The judging panel will then select twenty of the most inspiring stories for publication. Each winner will receive five copies of the final collection of stories to share with family and friends, as well as a voucher worth £250 to make books of their own in the future. Entries close on 31 May 2012. The book will be published in September 2012.

Blurb makes it easy for anyone to design, publish, market and sell professional-quality books. With its free bookmaking tools, no matter what your skill level you can make a book or ebook, with prices starting at £1.75.

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