Cartoonist, illustrator, and children’s writer, Sir Quentin Blake, may be best known for illustrating books by Roald Dahl.
In 2002 he won the international Hans Christian Andersen Award for his contribution as a children’s illustrator.
From 1999 to 2001 he was the inaugural British Children’s Laureate.
He is a patron of the Association of Illustrators.
Sir Quentin spends part of his time living in Hastings.
Spoken word, dance, puppetry, carnival, theatre, conversation or digital media: diverse artists in exciting and accessible venues.
Most Hastings Storytelling Festival events are free and ALL are free to children under 10.
Hastings Storytelling Festival started in 2011 and is now a charity.
In 2022, three new Patrons pledged their support for Hastings Storytelling Festival
Poet, playwright, performer and graphic artist Inua Ellams was born in Nigeria and lives in London. Inua’s
work is now included in the secondary curriculum.
Displacement and destiny are reoccurring themes.
Award-winning writer and illustrator
Lauren Child’s books have sold
over 15 million copies worldwide
and feature much-loved characters
Charlie & Lola, Clarice Bean, Ruby
Redfort and Hubert Horatio.
Local author Thomas Taylor’s imaginary town, Eerie-on-Sea bears an uncanny resemblance to his
This mysteriously chilling place where strange stories seem to wash up features in his three books, Gargantis, Shadowghast and Malamandar,
which won the Awesome Book
It has been a huge pleasure to welcome these Children’s Laureates at Hastings Storytelling Festival
Lauren Child is a writer and illustrator, best known for her Charlie and Lola picture books, Clarice Bean picture books and Ruby Redfort Novels.
Dame Jacqueline Wilson
Dame Jacqueline Wilson's children's novels frequently feature themes of adoption, divorce and mental illness. She was a Nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014.
Michael Morpurgo is an Author, poet, playwright best known for children's novels such as War Horse.
Cressida Cowell is the author and illustrator of the bestselling The Wizards of Once and How to Train Your Dragon books series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. Her new series, Which Way to Anywhere, publishes in September.
She was the Waterstones Children’s Laureate from 2019 – 2022.
Storytelling Festival Team
Meet the team who make Hastings Storytelling Festival happen
Chair of Trustees
Sandra has been a trustee of the festival for 6 years. Sandra spent much of her professional career working in the voluntary and community sector. However, prior to this Sandra, was a Principal Local Government Officer being the link between the community and the local authority.
After a career in Legal Aid and audit for the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureau Kate became involved in local organisations including the Hasting's Old Town Residents Association. Together with Dick Edwards, they embarked on a storytelling pilot. Kate's contribution includes secretarial, governance and support for arts work in the schools.
After teaching Modern Languages and working as a Civil Servant, Richard took early retirement in 2010 and has been involved in many local voluntary organisations since then including Ore Community Land Trust, Big Local North-East Hastings, Hastings & Rother Credit Union, Ore Community Library and Hastings & St Leonards Museum Association. He was a school governor for around 25 years (Red Lake, Ore Village and Sandown primary schools) and Hastings Borough councillor for Ore from 1996 - 2002 and 2012 - 2018
Practising local primary school teacher Emma has been actively involved since the festival became a charity. She advises on schools and curriculum opportunities.
Lorna is an artist, researcher and curator who lives in Hastings Old Town. Her work spans artists' books, costume, handmade objects, painting, drawing and puppets, all with a link to collecting and re-imaging the past.
She directed the annual coastal Currents arts festival in Hastings from 2009 - 2015, and has since instigated and led a number of independent local community heritage projects, live events and productions. Lorna was delighted to be asked to become a trustee of Hastings Storytelling Festival in 2019.
Hilary worked in publishing for many years before moving to the third sector to start a new sport for development charity. She is currently Assistant Chief Operating Officer (Sport & Active Campus) for University of East London. In her spare time she writes poetry and is a national amateur boxing referee! She recently moved to Hastings and is delighted to join the Board of Trustees, hoping to contribute especially in the area of fundraising and community engagement.
Rounaq is from Hastings and has worked in the local area in the Health and Social Care field for a number of years. She was delighted to be asked to become a trustee of Hastings Storytelling Festival in 2022, as she has enjoyed the event as an attendee and looks forward participating and contributing more directly in future.
Creative Direction and Production
18 Hours Events
18 Hours' experienced team creates and delivers events and education across Hastings and Rother with a focus on global citizenship and diversity.
They have been producing Hastings Storytelling Festival since 2012, under the creative direction of founder, Dr Mandy Curtis.
As the Development Education Centre (DEC) for East Sussex, 18 Hours networks closely with local teachers to give them the skills, confidence and practical approaches to incorporate active global citizenship into their curriculum.
18 Hours is not-for-profit.