Read all about Falkirk storytelling festival

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Once upon a time some people who liked reading and music decided to organise a special four-day event in Falkirk.

Their undertaking was to ensure that there was something for Bairns of all ages to do and to involve as many town centre venues as possible, as well as giving a platform to local authors and artistes.

Last year’s first-ever Falkirk Storytelling Festival proved such a hit with local audiences that the organisers decided to do it all again and the 2018 event kicks off next Thursday, October 4.

As well as storytelling, this year’s programme offers literature, music, performance and interactive games.

It will also hold appeal for everyone from babes in arms to the most senior members of the community.

While best-selling author Stuart MacBride and crime writer Russel D. McLean will draw the crowds who love their novels, there are several events showcasing home-grown literary talent.

It will also provide an opportunity for people to try their hand at producing their own stories.

The festival kicks off for local authors with Rooftop Writers presenting a workshop in the former Co-op High Street building at 7pm on Thursday.

Special guest will be author Laura Fyfe and in the second half group members will perform readings from their new anthology.

This event is organised by Ailie Wallace who runs Rooftop Writers.

She will also be appearing at Raging Goddesses on Saturday, October 6, from 4pm-6pm in Trinity Church.

The all-female line-up also features Adele Gavin, Angie Walker, Carole Allan, Carolyn Paterson and Suzanne Egerton in the packed programme of poetry and prose.

At 7pm on Saturday storyteller and musician Joe Allison will delight all those who pop along to the Acoustic Cafe with his music, song and tales from his travels around the world. Joe is well-known on the area’s music scene as a member of the folk group Lazy Boys of Banknock.

New poetry and song will be showcased at the Literary Lounge on Sunday from 1.30pm to 4pm upstairs in The Wine Library.

It’s organised by Janet Crawford whois a Falkirk-based writer as well as being the arts and media coordinator for FDAMH, Falkirk’s Mental Health Association.

Janet is also a “passionate advocate of the benefits which being involved in the creative arts can bring for health and wellbeing”.

Also participating are poet and novelist Emma Mooney, writers Colin Will and Suzanne Egerton, and Take 4 Quartet.

The Falkirk Herald’s well-loved history columnist Ian Scott will be appearing in the Howgate Shopping Centre from 3-4pm on Sunday in conversation about his 75 years a Bairn.

Lots of events for children will also be taking place over the four days in the Howgate, as well as Falkirk Library.

Margaret Foy, the shopping centre’s marketing manager, said: “We have collected an incredible array of events to suit all tastes and ages. This year’s programme offers an exciting mix of both interactive shows and author sessions. It’s great to see local businesses and groups working together to deliver this high quality storytelling festival in Falkirk’s traditional town centre.”

Gillian Gardiner from Trinity Church, where four events are taking place, said: “The festival offers us an opportunity to build on the success of other events we’ve hosted here, and help create a positive impact for the town centre.

“Stuart Cosgrove’s talk and book launch is a real scoop for the festival. We’re also thrilled to be hosting crime writers Alex Gray and Doug Johnstone, along with Saturday afternoon’s Raging Goddess event and the evening event with Stuart and Russel.”

Design and marketing company Eden is also involved in presenting the four-day event and its Douglas Cameron said: “The festival has a fantastic atmosphere and news has clearly got around about the fantastic stuff that took place last year.

“It’s been great to work with the Howgate and Trinity Church teams again, and with Yvonne Manning, Vikki Ring and Lynne James at Falkirk Library. We’ve also had great support from Waterstones when finalising the programme.

“There are some unmissable events and we hope that both locals and visitors will join in the fun and make it along to an event or two.”

Tickets and details for the event are available via the website www.falkirkstorytelling.com. Reservations for Howgate and Trinity Church events can also be made at the shopping centre’s help desk.