Brother Blue Award

The Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award


This award is named in honor of its two original recipients Brother Blue (a.k.a. Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill) and Ruth Hill. Both have long been recognized and honored as tireless in their promotion of storytelling and storytellers throughout the New England region.

Each year in March at the Sharing the Fire Northeast Storytelling Conference the NEST Board of Directors presents the award to one recipient in recognition of his or her extraordinary commitment and efforts to promote a broader understanding of the art of storytelling and the support of storytellers in the development of their art. It serves, as Brother Blue, has said, “to honor those who give their lives to storytelling to change the world.”

For a candidate to be considered for this award they must have demonstrated their dedication in creating and nurturing a strong storytelling community, be it by individual mentoring, guild or event venues or by fostering a greater public awareness of storytelling and its applications in all areas of society.


Any NEST member(s) who meets the above criteria is eligible for nomination, but as this is a regional award, their work must primarily be of benefit to the Northeast region, or completed during their residency in any of the New England states or New York.

Any person may submit a nominee(s) for consideration by submitting a letter of nomination, a detailed essay supporting the candidacy, and three letters of support.

NOTE: Please submit all material requested; since there are many worthy nominations, incomplete applications will not be considered. If you have questions concerning the application process or the nomination materials, please contact LANES Administrator, Deb Roe at

NOTE: Nominations not selected in the current year will be held on file for one year, to be re-considered in the following year. Otherwise, previously submitted nominations may be re-submitted.

 Past Honorees of the Brother Blue Ruth Hill Award:

  • 2017 – Lauretta Phillips
  • 2016 – Judith Black
  • 2015 – Kate Dudding and Joe Doolittle
  • 2014 – Tony Toledo
  • 2013 – Jo Radner
  • 2012 – Laura Packer and Kevin Brooks
  • 2011 – Robert Smyth
  • 2010 – MASSMOUTH  – Founders Andrea Lovett, Doria Hughes,  Norah Dooley, and Stu Mendelson
  • 2009 – Karen Chace
  • 2008 – Ann Shapiro
  • 2007 – Onawumi Jean Moss
  • 2006 – Glenn Morrow
  • 2005 – Peg O’Sullivan
  • 2004 – Barbara Lipke
  • 2003 – George Radcliffe
  • 2002 – Brother Blue and Ruth Hill

A Facebook Living Tribute to Brother Blue

The passing of Brother Blue leaves a hole in our lives. That hole, though painful, also creates a space to be filled with good work. The recipients of this award and the tellers in the streets, prisons, schools, churches and around the table are A Living Tribute to Brother Blue.

The Story Space 20th Anniversary Celebration

On February 7, 2012, storytellers from Boston and beyond celebrated a milestone. The series begun in 1992 by world renowned master storyteller Brother Blue and his wife, Ruth Edmonds Hill marked the occasion with a blowout evening of top shelf storytelling and a few surprises.

Brother Blue has since passed on and Ruth Edmonds Hill is no longer involved in running the series, but a team of committed regulars carries the torch to this day with the same Tuesday evenings of eclectic open mic plus features from as far away as northern N.E., New York, other parts of the U.S. and even Great Britain.

To join the Story Space on Facebook group, click here.