The Law Winter Sunrise
Photo courtesy of Stravaiger

Our next storytelling session will take place in the Woolpack, Tillicoultry, on THURSDAY, 14th DECEMBER 2023.  Please note, this is our only meeting in the month of December, as we know that it can be a busy time for everyone, Hillfoots Tales included.

Our theme for this meeting, is, of course, Christmas.  So come along and share your story or poem about Christmas, winter, snow…. or anything you like!  Or just listen to Hillfoots Tales members share their stories.

Everyone is welcome!


Wednesday, 22nd November:  “The Supernatural”

We were back in the Woolpack, Tillicoultry, for our recent session, where we heard a variety of stories and poems with a supernatural theme.  Some new members joined us, too.

On this occasion we heard not one, but two original poems composed by two of our long-standing storytellers, “Ghost” and “Last Summer”.  Both thought provoking pieces!

Next we listened to a traditional tale, “Assipattle and the Stoor Worm”.   The stoor worm was a fantastical, gigantic sea creature which terrorised communities on the coasts of Scotland and other northern lands.

After that, a local legend of Black Bess was shared.  Bess was a female innkeeper of a pub in Alva, which Robert Burns is said to have visited and who was possibly a witch, buried in a shady corner of Alva cemetery, where the sun never reaches and it is always cold…..

Another traditional tale, “Mor of Lochlann” was retold.  In this tale, the deceased of a graveyard in Scotland rise up one night to the astonishment of the local woman who is watching over the graves.

We also listened to an original story from our youngest member, “The Viewing” in which a young woman finds that the house she is viewing has a lonely ghost in residence!

And finally, we learned “How Changelings Came to Be”.  A changeling is the offspring of fairies or elves substituted by them surreptitiously for a human infant.

It was a wonderful evening filled with laughter and learning!


Our next session will be on Wednesday, 22nd November at 7.30 – 9.30pm in The Woolpack, Tillicoultry.  Our theme for this meeting is “The Supernatural”.

So if you have a story of ghosties, ghoulies and things that go bump in the night, strange creatures or occurrences, come along and share it with us.  Or just come along and listen – you’re sure to be entertained… and maybe a wee bit scared as well!


Tillicoultry Glen
Photo courtesy of Stravaiger

Our next fortnightly storytelling session will be on Wednesday, 8th November 2023 at 7.30pm – 9.30pm with the theme of “Water”.

Please note we have a change of venue, Peppe’s Bar in Alloa.

Please join us to tell your own tales on the theme of “Water”, or just come to listen.

All welcome!


On Wednesday, 25th October 2023, another sell-out audience came along to the Dunmar House Hotel, Alloa, to hear our very own storytellers tell a wide variety of tales and poems.

The evening began with Mary Snaddon’s recital of “A Poyum Aboot Rights”.  Next, Eleanor Bell told the poignant tale of  “The Selkie Bride”.  After that, Gail Watson shared “The Wee Fiddler”, a story set in the village of Pathfoot on the road to Sheriffmuir.  Our fourth offering was an international story, “The White Swans”, told by Sue Bytheway and the final tale of the first half of our programme was an original by Heather Kirby,  “Tibbie’s Choice”.

After the interval, the audience was again delighted to hear Heather Kirby impart  “As Meat Loves Salt”, a tale of a daughter’s love for her father.  Next Eleanor Bel told of  “The Ferryman O’ Cambuskenneth”, where the Wee Folk teach a drunken monk a lesson.  The penultimate story of the evening was “The King and the Lamp” told by Mary Snaddon.  Our last story of the evening was Tania Dron’s retelling of “Catskin”, a version of Cinderella.

Boith audience and storytellers had a fantastic time.

We hope to see some of our audience at our fortnightly storytelling sessions in the future.










On Saturday, 21st October 2023, we held the first of three events as part of this year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Dunmar House Hotel, Alloa.

A sell-out audience heard tales told by our very own Joanne Dowd and Tania Dron, who were joined by West Coast, traditional Storyteller and participatory artist Shona Cowie, who delighted us all with several stories from her repertoire.

A wonderful, atmospheric afternoon was enjoyed by all.

Many thanks to our performers and of course to our audience for supporting us.





Due to the weather and possible encroaching storm, this evening’s session has been cancelled.

We are sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2023!

October marks the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2023! This year’s theme is ‘Right To Be Human’. Alongside our annual poetry competition, Hillfoots Tales is hosting three special events during the festival including:

Stand Up for Your RightsAn afternoon of traditional tales, as well as tea/coffee and biscuits! Sat 21 Oct, 14:30-16:30 at Dunmar House, Alloa.

Rights of the Round Table  – An evening of tales on the theme of right to be human. Wed 25 Oct, 19:30-21:30 at Dunmar House, Alloa.

Finding the Right Story  – A storytelling workshop for beginners in the cosy Ladybird Tearoom. Cake included! Thu 26 Oct, 19:30-21:30.

Tickets available on Eventbrite. Get your early bird discount now!


This Wednesday, 27th September, our theme is “a different perspective”.

Come and join us to hear some of our favourite stories told from a different viewpoint.

Everyone is welcome to come along to listen, or perhaps tell your own tale.

Hillfoots Tales Poetry Competition!


Today is the launch of Hillfoots Tales’ annual poetry competition!

This year’s theme is ‘Freedom’.

This coincides with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2023 in October. This year’s festival will explore the ‘Right To Be Human’, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ongoing human rights crises. Read more about the Festival here!

Alongside events during the festival, Hillfoots Tales is hosting a poetry competition. We invite local writers (both amateur and professional) to submit work (maximum 40 lines) on their interpretation of ‘Freedom’, be it personal, political, or freedom in nature.

Enter for the chance to win recognition and prizes! The winner and runners up will be announced following the deadline.

The closing date is 31st of October.

Send your submissions to

Good luck!