Launching 10 years of Telling Tales

Through stories, we learn that anything is possible. It’s remarkable how a bold idea for a free children’s literary festival has been so strongly embraced. Over the past decade, Telling Tales has evolved into a year-round literacy program – one that links storytelling superheroes with our community.

“Telling Tales has succeeded over the years because we have an extraordinary community with a very real commitment to literacy,” says Susan Jasper, Telling Tales Executive Director. “To every child, parent, caregiver, presenter, volunteer, partner, supporter great and small – thank you for caring and helping us to achieve this milestone! You are our heroes!”

Telling Tales all-star line-up

At Telling Tales we believe authors and illustrators have the superpowers to lead us on amazing journeys, transport us to new places, new times and new worlds; in their company anything is possible. This year, Telling Tales celebrates its 10th anniversary with an all-star line-up of programming. This is without a doubt our strongest line-up ever.

Our six superhero headliners have all contributed to Canada’s international reputation for children’s publishing. Canadian poet Dennis Lee returns to delight fans of all ages with his unforgettable rhymes. He will share bedtime poems from Good Night, Good Night, the fourth story derived from his best-loved book Alligator Pie. One of Canada’s leading Indigenous children’s authors, David Bouchard, will entertain with enchanting flute playing and illuminating stories. Telling Tales has become a very important launching pad for new stories. Internationally renowned young adult author Eric Walters launches his 100th book, Elephant Secret, with us!

Kevin Sylvester transports teens and tween readers to a planet filled with action, adventure, and warfare in his MINRS series. He will also introduce The Almost Epic Squad: Mucus Mayhem, his contribution in a hilarious, new, multiple-author, action-adventure, almost-superhero series. The one and only Kenneth Oppel launches his latest middle-grade novel, Inkling, a hilarious story about an ink blot that comes to life. Sarah Mlynowski is coming from Manhattan to enchant tweens with fairy tale fun from her latest book in the New York Times bestselling Whatever After series.

Alongside these international stars, Telling Tales is proud to feature the talent of local presenters including: Lana Button, Creative Theatre Company, Sara General, Hamilton Children’s Choir, Hamilton Youth Poets, Jude Johnson, LONE Rhubarbarian and the Hamilton Choir Project, Jennifer Mook-Sang, Mr. Ben, and Steve Newberry.

This year’s line-up features over 35 award-winning Canadian authors, illustrators, storytellers, and musicians to engage and delight children, youth and their families. Embrace the Power of Stories with these superheroes:

Jean Assamoa

David Bouchard

Lana Button

Heather Camlot

Paul Covello

Creative Theatre


Melanie Florence

Sara General

Joyce Grant

Vicki Grant

Hamilton Children’s Choir

HPL Puppeteers

Hamilton Youth Poets

Jude Johnson

Jess Keating

Fartumo Kusow

Andrew Larsen

Dennis Lee

Qin Leng

Hilary Leung

LONE Rhubarbarian &


Sarah Mlynowski

Jennifer Mook-Sang

Mr. Ben

Mr. Chris & the Gassy     


Evan Munday

Steve Newberry

Kenneth Oppel

Itah Sadu

Kevin Sands

Richard Scrimger

Heather Smith

Sydney Smith

Chad Solomon

Kevin Sylvester

Vikki VanSickle

Eric Walters

Telling Tales Festival: a 10th stage, and new program for teens

Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 16, 2018 for the 10th Annual Telling Tales Festival and Sunday, September 23, 2018 for Teen Tales. The first day of the festival takes place at the picturesque Westfield Heritage Village in Rockton, Ontario. It’s a celebration of stories in all forms – written, illustration, storytelling, drama, music and poetry – for kids of all ages. To celebrate our 10th year we are introducing a 10th stage featuring visual storytelling. Be sure to take advantage of the convenient, FREE shuttle service operating from neighbourhoods in Hamilton. We have expanded our programming to offer a second afternoon of inspiring presentations and creative writing workshops designed for teens. Don’t miss Teen Tales on September 23, 2018 at the Hamilton Public Library.

Celebrating stories in our community and schools

As our year-round programming grows there are many opportunities to help children and youth discover their reading superpowers, including community events, school literacy evenings, author visits and workshops. Visit for a complete list of events.

Your superhero mission is to connect with us online at! On our website and social media channels we are reaching out to inspire new reading superheroes. Discover the 2018 Telling Tales Reading List. Kids from 6-16 can join the Telling Tales Press Club. Everyone can enter our new 10th Anniversary Video Contest. Sign up for our Dragonfly Newsletter to keep up to date on upcoming events, plus resources and book lists from award winning Canadian authors.