Brother Blue Winner 2017 – Lauretta Phillips

On March 25, 2017 at The Northeast Storytelling Conference “Sharing the Fire” held this year in Plymouth, MA, the Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award was presented to Lauretta Phillips of Andover, NH.

This award serves, as Brother Blue said, “to honor those who give their lives to storytelling to change the world.”

Lauretta was nominated by Simon Brooks and Angela Klinger and this is what they had to say (Simon in italics, Angela in plain font) in the introduction read by Simon:

Hey everybody, hello pretty kitties – hello cool cats – greetings dapper gentlemen, and dear lovely ladies

I’m Simon Brooks

Brother Blue can you hear me? Remember me? You jive talked Shakespeare at me, you showed me the star you are and your beautiful wife, the most beautiful woman in the world, and you told me. She is sacred, Ruth is the truth.

You’re all just in time to get down.

You wanna get down?

Let’s get down.


In recognition of their “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,” the Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill and Dr. Ruth Hill award was established in 2002.  This prestigious “Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award” has been presented annually at STF to individuals recognized and nominated for their “demonstrated dedication toward creating and nurturing a strong storytelling community.”

I first met this storyteller 1,000 year ago. Elegant, dancing with words, laughter like bells, church bells, finger bells, bells, laughing bells

I was welcomed by this storyteller, into this world we now all share, as this storyteller welcomes everyone – with wide open arms, a bright star -ahhhh

The many letters of support received, from novice to professionals and listening community, this year’s nominee has been invariably described as warm, welcoming, flexible, positive, generous, giving. The nominee is genuine and nurturing. And they are a mentor, encouraging and elevating other tellers to their highest potential.

I’ve seen this, I know this, I have seen the nominee’s star brighten the way for others, the nominee has lead others with bells – ahhhh

Always at the forefront in connecting people to venues, this nominee’s commitment, effort and tireless work toward promoting the art of storytelling, community outreach and the building of a community of storytellers that will benefit all members of society, this nominee is widely known as helping people see that they do indeed have stories to tell and that their stories are valued, following the ethos and footsteps as it were of Dr. Brother Blue.

         On behalf of Brother Blue, on behalf of the sacred and most beautiful Ruth Hill, on behalf of me and Angela Klingler who couldn’t be here tonight…

From the middle, middle of me, to the middle, middle of you…

This survivor, this hot rod driving, yes, I said it, and it is true, this hot rod driving nominee has had her finger on the pulse of storytelling in New England, for years. This biker chick, yes I said it, and it is true, this biker chick embodies the intended spirit of the Brother Blue Award and it is an honor to present the 2017 award to New Hampshire’s own, well and Michigan’s, Lauretta Phillips.

More about Lauretta, not included in the presentation:

Lauretta tells stories all over New Hampshire and the Northeast. She encourages and mentors others to do the same, whether the stories are traditional folk and fairy tales or their own tales of their families and growing up and living in New England.

She works tirelessly to promote storytelling in New Hampshire and the Northeast. She starts story circles, produces events, creates venues, writes grants, gets local financial support, talks up a storm in publicity and welcomes all.

She is a founding member of the Central NH Storytelling Guild, founder of the NH Storytelling Alliance, co-founder of the Granite State Storytelling Swap, producer of Tea & Tales, a member of Southern NH Storytelling Guild, the New Hampshire Writers Project, Northeast Storytelling and the National Storytelling Network.

Lauretta Phillips has been telling stories professionally since 1987. She writes most of her own stories but her repertoire also includes folk tales, fairy tales, legends, urban tales, tall tales, small tales, cat tales, rat tales, and just plain tales. She has told stories at churches, schools, inns, retirement centers, women’s organizations, seniors groups, and for radio and television, on her own and as a part of the duet Sisters Too.

Her website is

For more on The Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award visit


Submitted by Ruth Niven

Written by Simon Brooks &

Angela Klingler

Photograph by Peter Brodeur