BEWDLEY was treated to an extravaganza as Wyre Forest’s first children’s story festival took place.

Step into Stories with Bewdley Festival last Saturday hosted a range of children’s authors, poets, storytellers and comic book creators.

Sponsored by Edshed, a local education app company, and supported by The Elmley Foundation, it created a cultural experience at family-friendly rates, including several free events.

One of the highlights was MG Leonard’s Story Train at the Severn Valley Railway.

She read from one of her books and talked all things train to a carriage of delighted children who travelled in style from Kidderminster to Bewdley.

There were West Midlands writers Serena Patel and Ben Davis while Chrissie Sains travelled from further afield to treat her audience to breakfast at her Jam Factory with alien pal Fizzbee.

Picture book authors Clare Helen Welsh and Giles Trigg entertained the younger readers.

Simon James Green chatted to the teen audience about how to ‘own the awkward’ through humour.

Poetry was put centre stage with the energetic Joshua Seigal along with a special guest slot from Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate Amelie Simon.

There was poetry with added parrot for younger children with rising star Attie Lime.

Storytellers Ian Douglas and Suzanne Tumnus weaved tales in Bewdley Museum’s sawyard and Neill Cameron brought his amazing illustrations to life with his comic book workshop.

Not forgetting the adult audience, award-winning head of The Golden Egg academy Imogen Cooper gave a workshop on writing for children.

The whole town was buzzing with excitement as children hunted for clues on the Storytale Trail around the shops on Load Street and got involved in the Big Bewdley Book Swap.

With events in Bewdley Library, St George’s Hall and Bewdley Museum, there was a festival atmosphere across the whole town that had everyone smiling and sharing their love of children’s stories.

Ruth Stevenson, local teacher and one of the organisers, said it was a joy to see children meeting amazing authors in real life and watching them light up with the power of stories in all their forms.

After all the positive feedback, Bewdley Festival organisers are keen to make this new venture an annual event and also working hard to expand their calendar with a new music and sustainability festival on July 13 called One Earth Festival.

It will be another community effort with local volunteers helping to make the day possible alongside a partnership with The Bewdley School where the festival will take place.

Ruth added Bewdley Festival would like to thank everyone involved in organising and supporting Step into Stories.