Festival of Stories logo

We look forward to welcoming you to our Festival of Stories.  Events will be taking place at Grimm & Co’s Emporium of Stories as well as schools across South Yorkshire from Monday 20th May to Saturday 1st June 2024:

Close up photograph of Michael Rosen by Soup Suds Photography.

Michael Rosen book signing

Friday 24th May, 11:45am-12:15pm and 2:30pm-3:00pm

Michael Rosen was Children’s Laureate 2007 – 2009 and is one of Britain’s best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults.  Best known amongst children for his performance of his poems, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, his obsession for Chocolate Cake and No Breathing in Class, he is hosting workshops for teachers and school classes at Grimm & Co’s brand new Emporium of Stories with two public book signings.  Come along and buy a book, and have it signed by the man himself!

Hannah, Alice and all the young people are smiling with their hands in the air in front of the Source of Imagination and light-up tree roots that are coming out of the ceiling. One young person is holding a piece of paper with 'The Custard Creatures & Co' written on it.

Saturday Club Band (AM) – The Custard Creatures & Co:  

Saturday 25th May 2024, 3.00pm-4.00pm

Grimm & Co’s Saturday Morning Club, aka, The Custard Creatures & Co are premiering their new song. They have been creating the song with Hazel Thompson, one of our Associate Artists and it is a hit! Come and give it a listen!

This event is a performance to showcase and celebrate the young people’s song.  Drop-in and enjoy the ride!

Photograph of the Lyrical CD. It shows pages of the inner booklet with words for some of the songs alongside the CD itself.

Live music showcase

Date: Saturday 25th May, 1:00pm-2:30pm

Join us in Cliffhanger Castle for some live music celebrating the song writing of children and young people from South Yorkshire.

In the summer of 2018, Grimm & Co invited children and young people to take part in free song writing workshops. With the young writers’ permission, we shared these amazing lyrics with a collection of marvellous musicians, each of whom chose one of the tunes and generously offered to set the children and young people’s words to music. As part of Grimm & Co’s Festival of Stories, we’re delighted to welcome back two of those artists to perform songs from the Lyrical album as well as their own material.

1:30pm-2:00pm – Lauren Housley 

Lauren Housley is an award-winning singer and songwriter hailing from Yorkshire who has already made her mark with three independent albums and two BBC Radio playlist hit singles. Housley’s innate talent of writing beautiful, engaging songs, was born from the intuitive craft of earthy storytelling and delivered with an emotive knock out vocal performance at their core.

Lauren will be performing a collection of her songs, including Light in the Dark, written by Charlotte Treloar.

2:00pm-2:30pm – David Eagle

David Eagle is one third of the three-time BBC Award winning folk band The Young’uns. He is also an award winning stand up comedian. He has performed stand up on BBC Radio 4, and his comedy songs have been described by the Guardian as “a comic tour de force.” He plays accordion, piano and sings.

David will be performing a collection of his songs, including Death Race, written by Sofia Verona and Daisy Whittaker.

Please note that the café area will be louder than usual due to these fabulous performances.  This may not be the time for a quiet cuppa!

Please come down and enjoy!

Cover of the book, Here Be Giants, featuring a Knight scratching his head and looking confused.

Here Be Giants – Adventures with Susannah Lloyd

Tuesday 28th May, 1-2pm

Join author Susannah Lloyd with her laugh out loud picture book, Here Be Giants, featuring hapless heroes on an adventurous quest to track down a giant.

Suitable for ages 3-7, with their grown-ups.

An open box of the Twists and Tales card game (designed by our children and young people). One of the cards reads "An intergalactic bar. Different alien species come here to watch sports".

Walk-in Game Play:  

Tuesday 28th May 2-4pm

Ages 3+

Come drop in for a relaxed afternoon of playing two of the games (Stems of a Story and Twists & Tales), designed by some of the children and young people who have attended Grimm & Co workshops. Grab some snacks and a cuppa from our Feastery café and play a game!


Front cover of a book created by Grimm & Co. The Title is Grimm & Co Story Picnic and it is surrounded by illustrations.

Story Picnic book launch

Wednesday 29th May, 10-11am

Join us as we celebrate short stories that were created by the children of Rotherham and their families in the launch of our new publication. Pop in between 10-11am to see the stories come to life.

Public readings of the work created with Early Years children and their families from St. Bede’s Catholic Primary School, Thornhill Primary School, Thorpe Hesley Primary School and Eastwood Primary School. These publications will be available to purchase in the apothecary. 

Families in a tent decorated with bunting - listening to a storyteller in a fancy cloak.

Storytelling afternoon (0-11yrs)

Date: Wednesday 29th May, 11:15am-3:00pm

Age range: 0 – 11yrs

At Grimm & Co, we love stories. So come and join us in Cliffhanger Castle and listen to our storytellers spin a yarn or two of adventure, revelation and tension!

The Travelling Troubadour will be twisting tales at the following times:

11:15am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:15pm

Stories and Stretch will be nattering narratives at the following times:

11:45am, 12:45pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm


These events are free and ‘drop-in’ – no need to book.

Photograph of poet Matt Abbott in an empty stadium. The Flux Rotherham logo sits above the words "Spread the Word".

Poetry Open Mic Sessions – Spread the Word

Come along and perform your own poetry or listen at our Open Mic Nights! These opportunities are for all abilities, we hope everyone feels comfortable enough to share.

Monday 20th May, 8pm-10pm

Wath Tap Pub, ages 18+. Free

Join us for a captivating free poetry open-mic night in Wath with guest poet Ray Hearne, South Yorkshire-based singer and songwriter.

Thursday 30th May, 7pm-9pm

Grimm & Co, 14+. Free/ pay as you feel

Join guest poet Matt Abbott, at Grimm & Co’s newly opened Emporium of Stories for an evening of sharing poetry. Matt is a Wakefield-born poet, educator, and activist. His ‘grown-up’ themes centre around identity, socio-political issues, and kitchen sink realism.

Three young people on stage performing their poem.

Spoken Word Power Showcase

Thursday 30th May, between 10am and 4pm

Join us in the Emporium of Stories where a poem will be delivered on the hour every hour from our Spoken Word Power project that we have been delivering in and out of schools for the past 3 years. 

No need to book – just pop in!

Photograph of author LD Lapinski.

Magic and maps with author L.D. Lapinski

Friday 31st May, 1-2.30pm

Join us for for a session with L.D. Lapinski, filled with wondrous world-building and creating maps of our magical worlds.

Ages 7-12

A photo of a collection of assorted items. There is part of a small, wooden treasure box next to a larger, antique-style suitcase that has various stickers from various places on it. The suitcase has two brown, vertical leather straps on it. In front of the box and suitcase are (from left to right): a brown paper bag containing a lump of charcoal, a rubber crocodile toy, two pine cones, a small, wooden, carved mouse, a slice of dried orange, a tiara, a large, old key, an ivory scroll tied with a crimson ribbon, and a jar of kidney beans, with a label that says “The Legumes of Lost Lands”.

The Lost Lands

Friday 31st May, 10am to 12noon

The Lost Lands was a 4-week project, involving a group of young people who are members of the LAC (Looked After Children) Council. Together, using The Legumes of Lost Lands and various props, they created a wonderfully immersive and imaginative world map, complete with a cast of unusual and never-seen-before creatures and characters/inhabitants.  

 This event showcases the young people’s created world and there will be some activities, which will give you a flavour of their creative experience with Grimm & Co. 

No need to book.

Photograph of an illustrated map of Rotherham with a magnifying glass in front of it. The map shows highlights including Grimm & Co and Clifton Park.

Festival of Stories: Counter-Tourism (Magical Tours around Rotherham)

Saturday 1st June, 10.30am and 1.30pm

The children on the Counter-Tourism project have created an alternative tour of a place and we’ve chosen to focus our imagination in Rotherham Town Centre. The young people have written stories about their surroundings and have created new histories for the town. Please come and join us on this tour.

Suitable for all ages.  Please bring a grown-up!

Photograph of a suitcase filled with greenery and a knitted doll next to a ball of orange wool. There is a copy of the book Ruby's Worry next to the case.

Story Picnics (3-7 years)

Saturday 1st June, 11-12noon and 2-3pm

Join us on a magical adventure where your children get to explore their imaginations through creative storytelling.

11:00am – 12:00pm – Ruby’s Worry

2:00pm – 3:00pm – Monkey Puzzle

Ages 3-7

Events taking place across Rotherham:

A child outside with a bamboo structure.

Pif-Paf Theatre, Right to Play

Sunday 19th May, Green Space opposite Calledine Way, Swinton. 11am-12:15pm & 1pm-2:30pm. Free

Join Pif-Paf to build your own adventure playgrounds, come as a family if you can, we’ll get you started then you can build as many times as you like. There might even be some tiny furry visitors!

Can we turn giant bamboo poles, a big stack of play mats, and some big bits of rope into an Adventure Playground? Yeah, we can!

Once we’ve made the playground can we fill it with playground games, skipping and stories and songs? Yeah, we can!

Can we have a brew and a biscuit when we come down with all the family? Yes, we can!

Come and join us, ages 6+, children must always be accompanied by an adult – bring your appetite for creativity play and adventure.

Photograph of two women sitting at a table enjoying a poetry session.

Poetry writing Session – Spread the Word

Tuesday 14th May, 10am-12pm, Garden Room, Clifton Park. Ages 16+. Free

Come along to our poetry session to chat and take part in some gentle creative writing exercises to help put pen to paper. Write just a few words, a full poem, or even a paragraph describing something important to you. There will be time and space to share your writing if you choose to, and we’ll also chat about how it is to be in a space, sharing our stories and writing on the page.

Led by poet Vic Leeson, whether you’re new to exploring creative writing or an aspiring poet, everyone is welcome!

Retro font with the words "Wentworth Woodhouse Road Trip". The logos for Flux Rotherham/Wentworth Woodhouse/Artful/Rotherham Creative Network are above.

Rotherham Creative Network – Wentworth Woodhouse Meet-up

Thursday 23rd May, 2-5pm

Wentworth Woodhouse – £3 includes a hot drink

Rotherham Creative Network are bringing you a social every month in 2024, this month we’ll be heading to Wentworth Woodhouse Gardens. We’ll explore the gardens, reconnecting with nature with a tour of the gardens from the Gardener’s Assistant, Helen. This is a great opportunity to meet other creatives, share insight and collaborate. If you’re a photographer, bring your camera. If you’re an artist bring a sketch book. If you’re a poet bring your notebook and favourite pen! We will be exploring the gardens, taking some time out and having a cuppa too.

Photograph of women holding up placards about the miners strike.

Daughters of the Coal Performance

Thursday 30th and Friday 31st May.  11am-11:45am and 2pm-2:45pm

Clifton Park Museum – outside the Walker Café

Free, no need to book.

Join Yorkshire based theatre company Chol Theatre for a family-friendly performance about the 1984 Miners’ Strike, all shaped by stories from across South Yorkshire.

Rotherham Libraries events

Rotherham Libraries host regular weekly activities across the borough such as: Lego clubs, Rhymetimes, computer classes, knit and natter groups, advice sessions, craft sessions, readers groups and local history groups.

For more information, follow Rotherham Libraries on Facebook.

For library events happening near you, visit the webpage of your local Library and Neighbourhood Hub or contact them directly.

Images of gelli printing on a pink background. The words "Free Creative session at Boston Castle" are printed above.

Free creative session at Boston Castle

Saturday 1st June, 11am-3pm

Have a go at gelli printing with Visual Artist Mandy Keating.

No experience needed. All ages and abilities welcome (children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult). No booking necessary, just come along!
Aprons will be provided but please wear old clothes.

Boston Castle, Rotherham S60 2BD

This Festival of Stories has been made possible thanks to funding from:

Arts Council England logo
Funded by UK Government and Levelling Up fund logos
Children's Capital of Culture banner, with illustrations covering the yellow background, and the wording on a white 'cloud' in the centre.
SYMCA logo (South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority)