Share a story at the IW Story Festival

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Riverside Centre, Newport Quay
21st–22nd February 10.30am-4pm

Stories are all around us; not just in books and poems and plays and songs, but also in the news and history and the places we live. 

Family-friendly, creative festival, the IW Story Festival lets you get lost in stories of all kinds. The festival has evolved from its beginnings in the Youth Zone at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival at Northwood House, to become an independent, two-day story festival, re-located to a venue at the centre of the Island.
Their aim is to:
• Let children and their families CREATE; whether through stories and poems, junk modelling or other crafts; to have fun together and discover new talents.
• Let authors, poets, actors, illustrators, spoken word artists and others INSPIRE you to create your own stories; to discover new worlds and new ideas.
• Let us all IMAGINE the amazing things we can do and the amazing things we can be.
Visitors will get the chance to see exceptional national and local authors, and enjoy performances, story-tellers and fun activities, including sensory play, shadow puppet workshops, World Book Day costume making, fantasy map making, a family cafe and reading and writing corners. This year’s headliners include illustrator, Korky Paul and writer and illustrator Nick Sharratt, well-known for his work with Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson and Jeremy Strong. Nick has won many awards, and has also been the official illustrator for World Book Day.
Born in Zimbabwe, Korky Paul is a highly aclaimed artist now working in Oxford. The popular Winnie and Wilbur series is among his portfolio of illustrated works. He regularly visits schools to promote his passion for drawing.

Winnie the Witch, by Korky Paul

Another headliner, illustrator and writer Sarah McIntyre, is known for books such as Dinosaur Firefighters, The New Neighbours, There’s a Shark in the Bath and Vern and Lettuce. She has also worked on other books with people, such as David O’Connell with whom she co-wrote and co-illustrated Jampires.
Local authors to showcase their works include Kieran Larwood, Zoe Sadler, Debbie Webb, Peta Rainford, Jules Marriner and many more.
The team behind the  IW Story Festival includes: Elspeth Giddens (long-term Director of the Youth Programme for the Isle of Wight Literary Festival); well-known local storyteller Sue Bailey; and established local authors Jules Marriner, Peta Rainford and Debbie Webb.

One of the themes of this year’s IW Story Festival is ‘nature’ and children will have the chance to meet bats from the IW Bat Hospital, do some Glorious Gull spotting and making with Dave Fairlamb and take part in a Bats, Bugs and Bunnies walk with storyteller Sue Bailey.
Local authors will be running sessions on their nature-themed books: Jules Marriner will be launching her brand-new nature journal, Bloomin’ Marvellous; Paul Barrett will be there with A Rabbit’s Tail, while Peta Rainford will be reading her Dark Skies book, Jacob Starke Loves the Dark and making nocturnal animal masks.
And nature’s very own ‘Harry Potter’ – with its invisibility cloak and the ability to fly – the Blue Morpho butterfly will also feature at the IW Story Festival.
Butterfly expert Adam Barron, will be running a session at the event explains: “There are many butterflies with this ability to appear a certain colour, when in fact they are not that colour at all. So yes, it is like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak…My favourite butterfly with this ability is called the Emerald Green Swallowtail.”
The session is a must-see for nature enthusiasts of six and over, as Adam will be sharing the knowledge and amazing facts he has learnt in his life studying nature, there will be lots of hands-on things to do, practical advice on setting up a butterfly patch in your garden, and the chance to get up close and personal with some of Adam’s creepy crawly friends.
It is well documented that reading can have many positive effects on child development, including improved communication skills, independence, creativity, parent-child bonding and brain development. Reading gives children the opportunity to explore their imagination, which can stretch far beyond their wildest dreams. The Isle of Wight is incredibly lucky to host such an inspiring event, which reminds children and families to snuggle up with a good book, no matter how old you are.
You can find out more and book tickets for your family at

Friday 21st February

• IW Bat Hospital, £3
• World Book Day Costume Making, FREE
• Footprint Trust
• Korky Paul Winnie and Wilbur £5
• Make poems for our tree, FREE
• Footprint Trust
• King Tinkerman’s Troubadour, £3
• The Amazing World of Nature, £3
• The Ark and Dove, £5
• Frogs and Foxes, Bats and Bugs, £3
• Junk Modelling, FREE
• Glorious Gulls spotting and making, £3
• Fantasy Map Making, £5
• Stevie Stegosaurus, £3
• Dragon Poetry, £3

Saturday 22nd

• Grumpycorn with Sarah McIntyre, £5
• A Rabbit’s Tail, £3
• Footprint Trust
• You Choose in Space with Nick Sharratt, £5
• Make a Monster Design, £3
• Nature story walk, £3
• Bloomin’ Marvellous, £3
• 3D Story Boxes, FREE
• Emergency Turtles, £5
• Chase your Dreams, £3
• Make your own book, FREE
• The Legend of Kevin with Sarah McIntyre, £5
• Shadow Puppet workshop, £3
AFTER 15.00
• Bats, Bugs and Bunnies, £3
• Nonsense poems, £3

Enjoy free sensory play and craft activities all day, as well as a Reading and Writing Corner and Family Cafe, open all day on both 21st and 22nd.
*Please check recommended ages online for each activity before attending.


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