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First Settle Storytelling Festival set for success

  • Date: 24 September 2010
  • Area: North
woman singing

Jan Blake, appearing at the first Settle Storytelling Festival. Credit: Courtesy of Settle Stories

An exciting new storytelling festival is to be held for the first time in North Yorkshire this autumn.

The Settle Storytelling Festival features a wide range of events at locations across the town that will appeal to story lovers of all ages. The Festival, which is organised by Settle Stories and supported through a Grants for the arts award from Arts Council England, includes storytelling events from leading writers and performers, workshops, and the chance to submit stories for inclusion in an exhibition.

In the run up to the Festival a series of workshops will take place in schools across Settle.

A series of performances, 7-10 October, will feature an array of accomplished storytellers, including Taffy Thomas, the UK's first Storytelling Laureate, award winning singer and fiddle player Jackie Oates, and Jan Blake, who will be sharing tales from Africa and the Caribbean accompanied by storytelling performances from students at Settle College.

Alia Alzougbi and Sita Brand will tell ghost stories deep into the night, and Nick Hennessey and Simon Heywood from acclaimed theatre company Adverse Camber will present an atmospheric evening of storytelling and music that draws deeply from Irish mythology.

The storytelling will continue after the Festival ends, with a new quarterly storytelling club and the opportunity for members of the public to write an original story on a postcard. The postcard stories will feature in an exhibition opening later this year at Settle's Gallery on the Green.

Sita Brand, Settle Stories Director, said: 'We're delighted to announce the first Settle Storytelling Festival. The essence of storytelling is not only in the telling but in the listening. So as the nights draw in, and a cold wind begins to blow, audiences are sure to find the Festival a warming autumn experience. Except, of course, if you come to the late night ghost stories that are sure to send a shiver down your spine.'

Mark Hollander, Senior Manager, Funding Programmes, for the Arts Council in Yorkshire, added: 'Through the simple power of the spoken word the Settle Storytelling Festival will bring together people from all across the local community. They might well already have a love of reading, writing, and performance or this could be their first experience of this most immediate of artforms. Either way the Festival truly has something for everyone and it will, I believe, enrich the lives of everyone who takes part - during the Festival and afterwards, as the stories, the inspiration, the learning and the words live on in the minds of the community.'

A festival Merlin Pass gives a chance for people to see the four main events at
a special price.

For bookings and more information please visit