SETTLE Stories is gearing up for another exciting two week festival of story-telling - and with a leading academic on children's literature and fairy tales as its guest director.

Centred on the theme 'When Fairytales Speak Truth to Power', the Yorkshire Festival of Story promises 'enchanting tales, thought-provoking discussions, and incredible headliners to captivate audiences' of all ages.

Running from Friday, November 3 to Sunday, November 19, events will take place at Skipton Town Hall, other venues,  and also online - following the success of the event during the coronavirus pandemic which saw the festival go virtual, and reach record numbers of people who were able to enjoy it from the comfort of their homes.

With more than 40 events both in person and online, Settle Stories says there will be something for all – from family-friendly workshops to adult-oriented music, talks, and comedy shows, it aims to explore storytelling in all its forms, shedding light on a wide range of subjects including injustice, social change and the nature of power.

And, following in the footsteps of poet and novelist Ben Okri, and writer Joanne Harris; Jack Zipes, one of the world's leading scholars on children's literature, folklore and fairy tales, will be this year's guest director.

Professor Zipes, whose books include The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales and Buried Treasures: The Power of Political Fairy Tales, as well as The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood, will lead the way in exploring the potential of storytelling in achieving justice and change.

Prof Zipes will host the online event, Buried Treasures, where he will take people on a journey through enthralling stories of writers and illustrators from the 19th and 20th centuries.

He said: "I’m proud to be a part of this year’s Yorkshire Festival of Story, the line-up is incredible and I’m looking forward to be talking story, myths and speaking truth to power."

Historian, art critic, and novelist, Dame Marina Warner, will be in conversation at Skipton Town Hall with a workshop ‘A Living Almanac: Imagining, Orientating, Belonging. As a writer and scholar, Marina focuses on myths, symbols, and fairy tales, using them to shed light on contemporary issues. Her work explores the interplay between imagination, reality, and the societal impact of storytelling.

Marina will chat about her non-fiction publications, fiction novels, children’s books, short story collections as well as articles, essays and other writings which covers a broad range of topics including art, culture, literature, film, Shakespeare, and the Arabian Nights.

Marina said: "Humans are a storytelling species – we make up stories in the same way we make tools and food. The stories we inherit from one another stretch our experience far beyond what we can know at first hand. They can uncover truths and build possibilities and hope. But they’re also dangerous and can entrench prejudice and falsehoods. Handle with care."

The award-winning, Reg Meuross, will take the stage to share stories that 'urgently need to be told'. His music has a unique power to move and inspire, Reg is a true modern troubadour, representing contemporary English folk writing at its best, and Miss Nobodies, featuring Ruth Cockburn and Keith Carter will feature storytelling with sketches, songs and poetry that will have people laughing, crying and singing.

Usifu Jalloh - also known as The Cowfoot Prince - makes a return visit to the festival with a family event inviting people to experience the magic and nostalgia of childhood. Usifu will bring Skipton Town Hall alive through his music, drumming, dancing, and storytelling as he shares the warmth and colour of Africa, making this a performance for all ages.

Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman - The dynamic duo behind the successful play and film Ghost Stories return with The Warlock Effect. Taking place at Skipton Town Hall, the writers will discuss their twist-filled novel that combines magic, adventure, and espionage, promising a 'thrilling discussion of their journey in exploring the golden age of magic' and possibly the odd sleight of hand.

Amy White - In a special writer's workshop, The Story Code, will demystify the art of storytelling. With a track record of helping writers connect with their target audiences and achieve their goals, her coaching is invaluable for aspiring authors. This once-in-a-lifetime workshop has limited spaces, so booking early is recommended.

Sita Brand, chief executive of Settle Stories, said: ‘We have a wonderful line-up of incredible artists, storytellers, writers and esteemed professionals to bring us an event that will help us to look deeper into speaking truth to power. Let’s explore the power of storytelling while having fun.

"Don't miss the chance to be part of this remarkable storytelling festival. YFOS invites you to embark on a journey where stories not only entertain but also inspire change and justice."

Find out more about the festival at: or for a full schedule: