Welcome to the 2012 Westcountry Storytelling Festival!

The festival will take place from Friday 24th to Monday 27th August at Embercombe near Exeter.

‘Patterns under the Plough’ is the theme of this year’s festival, paying homage to George Ewart-Evan’s inspirational book recording the oral & folk traditions of East Anglia. The focus of many stories at the festival will be the land on which we stand.  Patterns under the Plough is a reference both to farming and to the influence of the cosmos above us.



An open theme…

The theme is very open and invites anything from creation stories that tell how the land was made, through celebrations of our connection to the wild and tales of traditional land practices, to stories that question our current relationship with the planet and look to a future that may bring us back round to survival once again. There will be workshops and activities linked to all these themes.

The festival in 2010 sold out and to keep the atmosphere intimate, there are limited tickets available for 2012, so book soon and take advantage of the Early Bird discounts.

Click here to buy tickets  Tickets are available on-line only.  Day Tickets will only go on sale in August 2012 if there is still availability.

We invite you, if you can, to come for the whole festival and find a sense of community and connectedness to the earth.

You will need to know which accommodation option you are taking up to book tickets.
Do please read about the exciting possibilities of staying in yurts and tipis as well as camping for FREE.


Clips from 2010 WSF, Embercombe
Film by Alex Gater


Workshops and stories
for all ages…

* For mothers and fathers with babes and toddlers (0 – 3)
a special children’s tent  sponsored by Juno Natural Parenting Magazine with a space for feeding babies and listening to stories in a relaxed atmosphere.

* For 3 – 7s
a craft tent every morning, stories and activities in the afternoon, tractor rides  and walks, finishing with bed-time stories.

* For 7 – 12s
their own space for stories and activites such as den-building and wildcraft with late night tales around the fire.

Jan Blake



* for teenagers
a place in the wild wood to hang out, Robin Hood stories, music, poetry, discussion, the chance to make a film about the festival, true stories and ghost tales at night plus survvial skills workshops and story rounds for you to develop skills as a teller.

* For families
lots of family-friendly, day-time stories and activities.

* For adults
a potent mix of powerful stories, live music, workshops and story rounds including storywalks off site, new commissions, late night tales and Embercombe’s stunning 50 acre site to explore.



Westcountry Storytelling Festival 2010 at Embercombe
Young people’s film-making project with Take One Planet
Facilitated by Alex Gater


Festival Specials…

Ben Haggerty

Late night line-up:

Martin Shaw has promised a telling of local Dartmoor stories encapsulating 2000 years of history in one all night dusk to dawn telling….we are also planning a Midnight Feast including a “Star Trek” look at the night sky with food and fable from 11pm – 2am.

Ploughing a furrow:

Two giant shire horses will be ploughing a field during the Festival and the ancient threshing machine will be back by popular demand.  Take the chance to scythe and flail grain, grind it in a hand mill and bake fresh bread in the outdoor clay ovens.

Talking to trees:

Or you may be interested to learn about a native tree through drawing and observation and then make use of it in different ways including green wood work and basketry.



Early Morning circles:

For those who would like to share a seat around the fire, take a walk in the early morning air, tour Embercombe, sit in the woods, meditate or just ruminate – there will be morning circles on Saturday, Sunday and Monday to join when you can share how you are feeling and connect to others.

The Red Tent:

The Wood Sisters and Tarte Noire will be telling stories; telling fortunes; offering meditation and sacred time in nature as well as crafts and performing for women only and mixed audiences.

The Mythic Tent:

The Westcountry School of Myth will be back, telling tales in a tent and inviting deep discussion of some of the issues raised by myth and stories in connection with this year’s theme.  We hope to have a World Cafe style discssuion for as many as are interested.

Opening and Closing ceremonies:

We invite you to come for the whole festival and find a sense of community and connectedness to the earth over the three nights and four days.  The ceremonies will be simple, powerful and participatory – come and be part of the story.