National Share a Story Month – May 2023

National Share-a-Story Month takes place in May. Engage a loved one in a reading or story-sharing activity today. Every year, the entire month of May is dedicated to creating and celebrating stories in many different ways. The Federation of Children’s Book Groups founded the holiday to nurture the delight of reading in every generation of children and teens. From fairytales to cookbooks, books are great, and there is a genre for everyone. Encourage a child or friend to pick up a book today while you do a little reading yourself.

History of National Share a Story Month

National Share-a-Story Month originally started as National Tell-a-Story Week in 1974. The holiday was an initiative of Pat Triggs, the Vice-Chair of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups at the time. In 1998, the federation decided to extend the duration of the event to one month, and that was the beginning of National Share-a-Story Month.

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups is a U.K.-based national philanthropic organization. It publishes and markets children’s books to cultivate the reading habit in children and teens. In 1965, Anne Wood, a British children’s television producer and creator of “Teletubbies,” formed the first children’s book group to boost the zeal for and about children’s books. Subsequently, more groups emerged, and the Federation of Children’s Book Groups was formed in 1968.

The federation is run by volunteering individuals and organizations at the national level, through an executive, and at the local level, through local groups. They collaborate with publishers, libraries, schools, and other literacy bodies to promote National Share-a-Story Month each May. The federation is also responsible for National Non-Fiction Day (every November).

Book contests for children’s authors, events with visiting speakers, including authors and illustrators, and activities for children such as storytelling and book exhibitions are some of the events carried out during National Share-a-Story Month. Every year the federation gives a theme for the celebration and reading activities for the month. There is also a Share-a-Story Challenge on social media where everyone is free to participate and celebrate the event.

National Share a Story Month timeline

1974
National Tell-a-Story Week

The Federation of Children's Book Groups starts National Tell-a-Story Week.

1965
Anne Wood Forms a Book Group

Wood, a British children's television producer, establishes the first children’s book group.

1968
The Formation of the Federation

The Federation of Children's Book Groups emerges as the first of its kind.

1998
The Holiday Extends to a Month

The National Tell-a-Story Week is extended to become a one-month annual holiday.

National Share a Story Month FAQs

Where is National Share-a-Story Month celebrated?

National Share-a-Story Month is celebrated in the U.K.

When is National Share-a-Story Month?

May is National Share-a-Story Month.

Who started National Share-a-Story Month?

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups started National Share-a-Story Month.

National Share a Story Month Activities

  1. Get creative with stories

    There are so many ways to tell stories, and with no rules attached, you can spice it up as much as you want. You could craft a picture book, write a poem, song, some catchy rap bars, or even start an internet meme thread for a funny story. It is the 21st century after all!

  2. Organize a storytelling session

    Host an oral story-telling session with a few friends or family members. The story could be one you've all read. You can also encourage everyone to be present with their own story to share.

  3. Read a book

    Reading a book is also a great way to celebrate the month. Find a book that piques your interest, and get reading! In choosing a book, do not choose a lengthy book, find something you can finish in some weeks' time, so by the end of the month, you too will have a story to share.

5 Interesting Facts About National Share-a-Story Month

  1. It was originally just a week long

    The National Share-a-Story Month was originally National Tell-a-Story Week, a five-day event.

  2. It began in the late 1990s

    The National Share-a-Story Month started in 1998.

  3. The federation is 54 years old

    The Federation of Children's Book Groups in the U.K. has been around for 54 years.

  4. It was Pat Triggs's Idea

    The original Tell-a-Story Week holiday started out as an initiative by Triggs, the Vice-Chair of the Federation of Children's Book Groups at the time.

  5. It has two popular hashtags

    #NationalShareAStoryMonth and #nssm are the two popular social media hashtags for the holiday.

Why We Love National Share a Story Month

  1. Teach kids the literary way

    Children are known for picking up things from their environment. We get to develop a love of books in them by encouraging them to read and by doing so ourselves.

  2. Enjoy good books

    National Share-a-Story Month is an occasion for us to enjoy books by our favorite authors. We also get to write and tell some stories of our own.

  3. Appreciate children's book groups

    Children's book groups have worked hard to foster good reading habits in children and teens. They have been active since the 1990s and deserve our thanks.

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