Doncaster Storytelling Festival returns in the run up to World Book Day

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Doncaster Storytelling Festival is back for a second year thanks to local literacy campaign, Doncaster Stories.

The festival brings together the town's cultural partners for a month-long celebration of children's literature, diversity and multilingualism in the run up to World Book Day.

Partners involved with delivering the festival which runs until March 3 include: Doncaster Cultural Education Partnership; Royal Opera House; Cast theatre; Club Doncaster Foundation; Doncaster Council/RWM Strategies; Doncaster Libraries; AFCL (Adult Family Community Learning) and more.

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The festival launched at the end of last month, which also marked the start of National Storytelling Week, with an event celebrating Black British authors and illustrators.

Doncaster Storytelling Festival has returnedDoncaster Storytelling Festival has returned
Doncaster Storytelling Festival has returned

Schools tuned in to a virtual event with three of the creatives behind Happy Here, an anthology that brings representation and inclusive stories into the classroom.

Children got to ask questions to authors Joe Coelho and Clare Weze, and enjoyed a draw-a-long with illustrator Dorcas Magbadelo.

Every school who took part were also sent a copy of Happy Here and those who missed it can catch up on YouTube.

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Other flagship events include an exclusive dance workshop from the Royal Opera House inspired by The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, a celebration of 25 years of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone along with a Miles of Magic reading challenge, and an author event with James Mayhew and Ian Eagleton exploring Nen and the Lonely Fisherman - a book that celebrates LGBTQ+ love, acceptance and faith with a gentle message about how to treat the oceans and each other.

Last year the festival reached thousands of local families with virtual events hosted during lock down. This year, there’s a mixture of in-person and online activities to inspire a generation of Doncaster children to fall in love with reading and build on their wider literacy skills; in 2019, only half of 11-year-olds on free school meals in Doncaster left school able to read well.

All of the events within the festival are free to take part in and events advertised for schools can be streamed by the public at a later date.

For more information about the Doncaster Storytelling Festival please visit the Doncaster Stories Facebook page or

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