Tales to inspire the mind and fire the imagination will be told in Settle as the market town hosts its first-ever storytelling festival.

The event, which runs from October 7 to 10, is designed to appeal to audiences of all ages.

It is devoted to the tradition of storytelling and aims to provide people with a rich and memorable experience. Visitors will be given a unique live experience as well as the chance to encounter voices from different cultures and traditions.

Highlights include a performance by folk musician Jackie Oates; tea and tales with BBC Radio 2’s Mike Harding and Settle’s Alan Hemsworth; an evening for three generations with England’s first Storytelling Laureate Taffy Thomas and late- night ghost stories with Lebanese actress Alia Al Zougbi and storyteller Sita Brand.

Other attractions include tales from Africa and the Caribbean with international artist Jan Blake; an evening of Irish mythology and song with Nick Hennessey and Simon Heywood and storytelling walks around the town led by Taffy Thomas. Festival director Sita Brand said: “The essence of storytelling is not only in the telling, but also 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, which are sure to send a shiver down your spine.”

Budding authors are invited to write a story on a postcard and have their work displayed at Settle’s Gallery on the Green. People can enter as many times as they like. Stories, which should fit on a 6ins x 4ins postcard, should be sent to Settle Stories, c/o Settle Victoria Hall, Kirkgate, Settle, BD24 9DZ, by October 31.

Visit settlestories.org.uk for the full programme.