This month sees the start of the 12th National Storytelling Week, a fantastic annual event which has events running throughout the country. The event was founded by the Society for Storytelling  in 2000. The Society for Storytelling (a charitable organisation founded in 1993) brings together storytellers, listeners and enthusiasts to celebrate the power of the spoken story. As well as coordinating National Storytelling Week, the Society also has a directory of storytellers available for events and has listings of storytelling events. They also hold an annual conference (known as the Gathering) with storytelling performances and workshops.

Storytelling Festivals are also held during National Storytelling Week including Bristol Storytelling Festival (from Jan 26th - Feb 5th) and also York Festival of Storytelling (3rd-4th Feb). Whilst I have included some of their events here, please see their individual websites for further information.

National Storytelling Week events for children

Where an event runs several times during the week, I have included the first listing. Please check the Society of Storytelling‘s website for further dates, booking info etc.


  • Family Saturday Stories at Moss Bank Library, St Helens, 10.30 & 11.30am. Come and hear some ancient tales. With Read & Rhyme Time activities at 1.30pm and Round Robin Storytelling for 6years+ at 10.30am.
  • Family Storytelling Event at Harrow Arts Centre,  London, 2.30pm with Claudia Mernick and Pippa Reid. Admission free, please apply to Harrow Arts Centre.  Family storytelling event … 
  •  The Changelings, Watershed, Bristol, 11am. Tickets: £5/£7.  Suitable for ages 6+. After the success of The Mermaid and the Selkie last year, The Magic Illuminarium presents a brand new show . A delightful mix of storytelling, puppetry and live music telling a moving tale of two people uncertain of their place in a changing world. The Changelings …
  • The Storytelling Bus, BristolThe Storytelling festival teams up with City Sightseeing Bristol once more to trat festival-goers to a tour of Bristol with live storytelling bringing its sights to life.Two departures:1.) 1.30pm Local Legends Enjoy tall stories and folktales. 2.) Salty Tales  brings the high seas to life. Watch out for dastardly pirates and ghostly sailors. The Storytelling Bus … 
  • Creepy Tales from the Crypt,  Bristol, 8pm.  Suitable for adults and older children. Ghostly stories, spine chilling music and a very spooky setting.
  • Winter Wassail, Bristol, ‘Stories, music, singing, dancing and apple tree ceremony – fun for all ages!’
  •  Horniman Storytelling, Horniman Museum, London. Come and listen to stories from around the world with professional storytellers at 4pm. (NB Storytelling events running throughout the week at the Horniman Museum. Please contact the museum for more details. Horniman Museum 


  • Read and Rhyme Time, 9.30am, Newton-le-Willows Library, Merseyside.
  • Read and Rhyme Time, 10.30am, Haydock Library, St Helens
  • Fairy Tales Read and Rhyme Time, Eccleston Library, Merseyside
  • Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Session,  Rainhill Library, Merseyside


  • See, Hear! Bristol, Join Sarah Mooney for stirring stories of the high seas especially for pre-school children.
  • Thali Tales, Bristol, after school family storytelling event.
  • Read and Rhyme Time, St Peter’s Library, St Helen’s


  • Read and Rhyme Time, Central Library, St Helens


  • Read and Rhyme Time, 11am, Parr Library, St Helens
  • Join Marion Oughton’s monthly storytelling sessionat 4pm at The Hours independent bookshop and cafe in Brecon.


  • Beyond the Hero, 8pm, Wild Goose Space, Bristol. Soulful storytelling from Martin Maudsley, founder of the Bristol Storytelling Festival. For adults and older children.
  • Enter the Dragon! Tales of Magic and Mystery from the Orient, 1-2pm, Penn Room, York. (York Festival of Storytelling)
  • Tellin ‘ t’ Tale, 2-3pm. Fun session of folk tales and Yorkshire dialect stories.
  • Wee Folk! 4-5pm, Penn Room, York. Favourite folk songs are given a twist in this family fun session.
  • Fairies in the Gutter, York, 7.30-9pm, A compilation drawing on actress Ursula Holden Gill’s childhood


  • Tales of Ice and Snow, 1.30 and 2.30pm,Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.  Join storyteller, Dabid Heathfield for a 45 minute storytelling session featuring fascinating folk tales linked by the themes of ice and snow. Suitabel for ages 4+. Admission free, no need to book.
  • Family Storytelling event, 2pm, Wealdstone Library, Middlesex
  • Cat’s Tales.  Storyteller Cat Weatherill (described by Michael Morpurgo as ‘one of our great storytellers’) visits Bedstone College.
    10.00 - 10.45 Big Happy Stories for ages 3 - 7
    11.00 - 11.45 Magic & Mischief for ages 8 - 11
  • Bristol Storytelling Festival, 10am-6pm, Eight hours of free family storytelling

The rest of the events today are all held as part of the York Festival of Storytelling. Please see the festival website for more details.

  • The Songs of Odin and his Quest for Power, 11am
  • On Mountains and Moons: Puppetry and Story Show, 11.30am
  • Ask the Oldest Animals, 12pm
  • Indian Tales: a Mystical Experience with Manasimitra, 12.30pm
  • The Ghost Bear: a puppetry and story show, 1.30pm
  • Stardust and Sandwiches, 2pm
  • The Wild Woman Tales, 2.30pm (suitable for older children)
  • Magic, Monsters and Minstrels, 3.30pm
  • The Court of the Kingdon of Never Sleep, 7.30pm
Other storytelling events and festivals run throughout the year. Please see their individual websites for more details:
  • Festival at the Edge, Shropshire, 20-22nd July 2012
  • West Country Storytelling Festival, Embercombe, near Exeter, 24-27 August 2012
  • Beyond the Border, Wales’ International Storytelling Festival, St Donat’s Castle, Vale of Glamorgan, 29th June-1st July 2012
  • Scottish International Storytelling Festival, 26th Oct - 4th Nov 2012