The Evanston Public Library welcomes some of the nation’s best storytellers to Evanston for the First Annual Evanston Public Library Storytelling Festival. The free festival, with entertainment for all ages, will be held Oct. 9-11. It will feature six nationally touring storytellers, MOTH GrandSlam winners, and favorites from Chicago’s fast-growing personal storytelling scene. Audiences will also hear accomplished student storytellers from Northwestern University and Evanston schools. Venues for the weekend-long festival will include the Main Library, an adjacent outdoor tent, and the nearby Celtic Knot and Woman’s Club of Evanston. Some events will be open to adults only, while others are geared to families.

Multicultural folktales, evening “fringe” stories, ghost stories, an open mic, a writer’s workshop, a panel discussion led by Northwestern’s Rives Collins, and a showcase of stories in honor of one of the country’s most revered storytellers, Evanston’s late Syd Lieberman, will all be part of the 25 festival events. Scott Whitehair and Stephanie Douglass, who together host the popular Chicago storytelling show “This Much is True,” will perform along with special guests. Karen Danczak Lyons, director of Evanston Public Library, and Susan Stone of the storytelling festival are co-directors of the event.

The festival begins in a tent adjacent to the Main Library at 7 p.m. on Oct. 9 with an outdoor showcase, or “Olio,” of all six headlining story-tellers. On Oct. 10, multiple events will run from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. at different venues. The next day the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A full schedule is posted on the Evanston Public Library website at

Volunteer opportunities are available through Mary Kling, Evanston Public Library volunteer coordinator, at or 847-448-8645.