“I love books and had this idea rattling around my head for five years,” says Ellie Freeman, discussing the upcoming Storytale Festival.
Co-founded by Ellie and middle grade author Kate Frost, it comes to Bristol in October.
The week-long festival is one of the first of its kind in the city and will celebrate all literature for young people, from picture books for infants to young adult novels for teenagers.
With over 30 events planned for the week of October half term, October 26 to November 3, Ellie highlights that there will be something for everyone, no matter what their interest in books is.
“There will be a real range and it’ll be interactive. It’s going to be accessible, affordable and it’ll take place in nearly all of Bristol’s neighbourhoods.
Over 30 illustrators and authors, all with a connection to Bristol, are offering their time for the festival. Most events will be free, and paid events will be no more than £5.
With events taking place in libraries, bookshops and community centres, people can expect workshops, discussions, craft sessions book trails and a chance to meet authors.
“It’s aimed at children, but it will be engaging for families too,” says Ellie. “It’ll be fun and exciting.”
With at least two events each day, it’s set to be a packed programme – the full lineup will be announced at the beginning of September.
Events already planned take place throughout the city. At Storysmith bookshop in Bedminster, Kate Frost, co-founder of the festival and author of Time Shifters, will support children to write their own stories through working together as a group.
The festival will also cross over with the Bristol Festival of Literature for some events, such as a ‘Writing for Children’ talk at the Watershed.
Sarah Baker, author of Through the Mirror Door and Eloise Undercover, and Bob Baker, who has written for Dr Who and Wallace & Gromit, will be giving an interactive talk about writing for children. This event will be suitable for everyone from 8-year-olds and upwards, and will be chaired by Lottie Storey.
For Harry Potter fans, there will be a craft session with Brave Bold Drama, four to eight-yeart-olds can enjoy a cosy woodland story with Alex Morss in Arnos Vale and there will be book trails on Gloucester Road and in Bedminster.
Anyone rocked by the recent climate change movement can attend a discussion and creative writing session on using stories to engage young people with Damaris Young.
With other events ranging from craft sessions to talks with comic illustrators, there’s plenty still to be announced.
“At a time of uncertainty and cuts, it’s a great time to inspire and engage in the world of books,” says Ellie.
To find out more, email Ellie at email@example.com