The tale behind the Storytale Festival


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, a community activist, mum, and passionate book lover, started a mission to bring books, storytelling, and poetry to children across the city. Storytale Festival CIC aims to:

• Showcase local talent.
• Give children the chance to meet creative people from their community.
• Inspire young 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.


The fantastic team behind Storytale Festival. Learn more about them here.

So, 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, who became co-founder of the festival.

She also went about finding a key group of characters to help her organise the festival:


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

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

As with every good novel, the twists and turns of a real life pandemic in 2020 and 2021, forced us to adapt our story. Chapter 2 and 3 of the festival continued online with inspirational events published to our Storytale YouTube channel, which can be enjoyed at home at anytime.

Chapter 4, however, has a new beginning… Are you ready to become part of our journey? Let’s begin…

Brought to you with help from our sponsors


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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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