Simone Schuemmelfeder, Fiona Dowling & Senem Donatan Mohan

Wisdom Fair

Beyond their great power to entertain, stories can also help us with the business of living. They can deliver little gems of wisdom offering the listener a new way of looking at a situation.

In ‘Wisdom Fair’, audience members propose life questions or dilemmas to a panel of three storytellers who will try to respond with a matching folktale. This is a one-of-a-kind storytelling event, for which we need your input! Give us some of your current life questions, moral dilemmas, existential conundrums, and the storytellers will look in their story repertoire for an appropriate tale.

To submit your question, simply click on the following link (entries are anonymous):

Wisdom Fair is an interactive celebration of wisdom stories, inspired by French teller Henri Gougaud."

‘Just wanted to say what a fabulous experience the Wisdom Fair in the Lexicon on Sunday was! I thought it was such a brilliant concept to highlight how beautifully stories can solve or answer so many human dilemmas, bring healing, shine light on problems in such a sweet and lovely way, so charming and touching. I think this deserves a much wider audience and would be very well received in a whole range of settings. The panel of storytellers was great, such a rich variety of styles, personalities and repertoires. Congrats on such an engaging event. Wonderful to see such creativity and something totally new. Thank you!’

Audience Member, Heather Bourke, 2016 (Wisdom Fair in the dlr LexIcon, Dun Laoghaire)

Simone Schuemmelfeder Ireland/Germany

Simone is a storyteller and writer from Germany. Born in the small rural town of Beverungen, Simone grew up surrounded by stories. Her hometown is close to the Fairy Tale Road which runs all through Germany and connects the settings of various Grimm fairy tales. In 2011, Simone moved to Ireland where she founded the storytelling theatre StoryGate ( together with Irish teller and puppeteer Michael Phelan. She has performed extensively across Ireland, to adults and children alike, in libraries, schools and at festivals, including the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival, the Kilkenny Arts Festival and the Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival. Simone also was Reader-In-Residence for Laois Libraries in 2018 and Artist-In-Primary-Schools for Tipperary Arts Office in 2019 and 2022. She is part of Poetry Ireland’s Writers In Schools Scheme and writes children’s books. Her writing is represented by literary agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor.

Fiona Dowling Ireland/France

I am a French-Irish storyteller and visual artist born in Dublin and educated in France. As a storyteller, I bring folktales, wisdom tales, myths, riddles and songs to primary schools, hospitals, libraries, pubs and festivals. As a visual artist, I tell my own story in autobiographical comics and paintings, and create participatory events building temporary communities around an art form. In order to bring new audiences to storytelling, I have told stories dressed up as a television (Live Television - 2009), had storytellers tell bedtime stories to adults (Story-Nap, 2010 and 2016), or answered the public’s existential questions with folktales (Wisdom Tales - 2016). In 2016, I was storyteller in Residence for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County and a featured teller at the Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival. In 2019, I represented Ireland at Vent de Paroles Festival in France and Verbale in Germany. I am passionate about the ability of stories to reflect the human experience in all its shades, from laughter to tears, build connection and community. For more information about my work, please visit:

Senem Donatan Mohan Ireland/Turkey

Senem is from Istanbul, Turkey and now living in Ireland. She has worked as a performing artist, director and producer for over 20 years. Since 2013, her focus has been on storytelling. She is the co-founder of Seiba (Tree of Life) International Storytelling Centre located in Turkey. She is a member of Storytellers of Ireland and a former executive committee member of Federation of European Storytelling (FEST). Senem has performed at festivals, in schools, libraries, museums, exhibitions, cultural and community centres, and at special events. Her motivation is to spread the magical healing capacity of storytelling as an art form since she herself has benefited many times from the merits of listening to a good story. She believes that stories are ‘soul food’ and they need to be served delicately in order to nourish the listeners well. In her performances, she likes merging the ancient wisdom of traditional stories with the contemporary life experience of autobiographical stories. For more information about Senem’s work, you can visit her website: