Published on 26.02.2023

STORY FEST: Book lovers enjoy the first ever Story Fest at venues across town…

More than twenty Alnwick shops and businesses took part in the inaugural Story Fest, hosting a fantastic range of events, with a great range of subject matter suitable for all ages.



The selection of pictures here, kindly supplied by Lynda Wearn, shows (left) Jackee Holder, Mike Pratt, and Jessie Greengrass at Green Tales in the Treehouse which discussed how connecting with nature will heal your life and the world.





Story Fest also had its own Fringe Festival, which was sponsored by Alnwick Music Festival and        foot-stomping music was the order of the day when Pistol Pete Wearn played at The Tanners Arms.



Newcastle United Stole my Heart was the title of a talk at Alnwick Castle Guest Hall by playwright Michael Chaplin. When, as a 5-year-old, Michael landed in a strange city of ships he looked in vain for something that would anchor him to it, make him feel at home. Then, one Saturday afternoon, it came: the roar of a crowd, and a football team to support. Young Michael became an avid Newcastle United fan and has remained one for over sixty years.


International bestselling author LJ Ross pens atmospheric crime and mystery thrillers, which have sold over 7 million copies worldwide. Her bestselling DCI Ryan series of Northumbrian murder mysteries is the second bestselling series of all time on Amazon. On Saturday she spoke at a special dinner in The Alnwick Garden for the launch of her upcoming DCI Ryan mystery, ‘The Poison Garden.’ She is a longstanding supporter of numerous local charities, as well as running her own philanthropic initiatives, including the new Northern Film Prize in association with Alnwick Storyfest.



That most stylish of stories, Peaky Blinders, where characters are known for their sharp suits, waistcoats and eponymous caps, was celebrated in the window display of Hotspur 1364.





A poetry reading  session by the award-winning local poet and writer Paul Mein was held at Salts Deli & Café.

Paul draws his inspiration from north-east landscapes and characters and is widely published,  notably for his prizewinning short story A Canny Day Oot.





Stories  relayed through song and the spoken word by choir The Alnwick All Stars along with a delicious cream tea drew people to the White Swan Hotel for this fringe programme performance.

(Photo : Alnwick All Stars)






Alnwick Town Mayor Councillor Geoff Watson praised the Story Fest organisers for including such a large number of venues: “From fashion stores, to cafes, theatres, churches and of course bookshops, the whole town has embraced this initiative. Alnwick Town Council was delighted to offer financial support to this event, it really has put Alnwick on the literary map!”

Photographs by Lynda Wearn