The tale behind the Storytale Festival

The tale behind
Storytale Festival


We’re on a mission to bring storytelling and books to children across the city of Bristol. Storytale Festival believe that all children should have the chance to be inspired by the power of stories – whether told, heard, read or watched.

We work with venues, authors, and illustrators in Bristol to create a series of events and activities that appeal to families with children from tots to teens with some events for adults in between.

Bristol is full of amazingly talented people who create wonderful books for children; access to the world of books varies so much and we’d love every child in the city to have a chance to be inspired by books made by people who live in their city. Stories have the power to take you on a journey, broaden your imagination, teach, inspire and spark imagination.

Storytale Festival CIC aims to:

  • Showcase local talent.
  • Give children the chance to meet creative people from their community.
  • Inspire people to become authors and illustrators themselves one day.
  • Create a festival that makes the most of community buildings in Bristol.
  • Put on affordable events for all.

Our Story

Our story began in early 2019 when our protagonist, Ellie Freeman, decided to follow her dream of putting on Bristol’s first ever citywide children’s book festival. 

Ellie approached some of Bristol’s wonderful children’s book authors, illustrators, and storytellers and invited them along with her on a journey to encourage a new generation of book lovers. During this part of the adventure Ellie discovered Kate Frost, author of children’s book series Time Shifters and Nicola Kear, owner of Grounded Cloud provided all things branding, graphic and website design. They both have since became co-founders of the festival. 

There were many others who played important roles too, including:

  • Jenny Farrington, freelance Copywriter helped craft our tone and get Storytale out there.
  • Greet Pauwelijn, from Book Island, provided invaluable support and advice, and helped grow awareness of the festival.
  • Laura Humpage, from Colourful Minds, dedicated a whole term of her story and craft workshops to celebrating books by Bristol authors and illustrators, curated by Storytale Festival.

The fantastic team behind Storytale Festival. Learn more about them here. From left to right, Kate Frost, Ellie Freeman, Jenny Farrington and Nicola Kear.

Chapter 1 of the Storytale Festival began at venues around Bristol on 25th October 2019, with prequel events starting earlier in September with all the events were under £5, or free! The plan is to make them affordable for book lovers, forevermore.

As with every good story, ours hasn’t been without tricky twists and turns with a real life pandemic in 2020 and 2021, which forced us to adapt how we worked. Chapter 2 and 3 of the festival continued online with inspirational events published to our Storytale YouTube channel, which can still be enjoyed at home today.

We were elated that for 2022’s Chapter 4 we were able to bring back in-person events and are excited to see what awaits the festival for Chapter 5 in 2023. 


We continue to strive to grow our partnerships with local Bristol businesses and organisations. We already have some wonderful trusted partners who are integral cogs in the Storytale Festival works, take a look at some key supporting characters in the Storytale Festival story and how they’re helping to shape the future of the festival.

Redland Green School, Bristol

Redland Green A Level Film Students work hard at documenting the festival events. This partnership enables Redland Green students to have real life experience and a product which can then be used to aid their UCAS applications. And luckily, Storytale Festival have some wonderful films to use in our marketing and on our YouTube Channel.

Curiosity Connections

Curiosity Connection’s aim is to connect people and organisations wishing to promote, support and deliver inspirational STEM education in primary schools across the West of England region.

Our partnership provides reach to a different audience for their spectacular STEM events, making the most of using venues such as museums, visitor centres and libraries.


UWE’s Creative Writing and Events Management students will be working with us to gain experience of managing events and working with authors and other book industry people.

Brought to you with help from our sponsors


How are we doing?

Thank you for visiting the Storytale Festival website. We would love to hear about your experience of using our site. We’d like to learn about what’s working and what could be better so we can make your experience a great one!


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