Some of the nation’s most highly acclaimed storytellers will make their way to Athens virtually in October for the city’s annual celebration of storytelling, tall tales and readings.

Now in its 14th year, the Athens Storytelling Festival goes virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be hosted online. The virtual festival will take place Oct. 23–24.

Organizers have said imagination will play a big role in the 2020 Athens Storytelling Festival. Instead of performing live under the big red-striped tent in downtown Athens, stories will be told through a ticketed Facebook group, where ticketholders will be able to view specially made storytelling videos from this year’s tellers.

Slated to appear virtually are many of the favorite performers from previous years, including author Donald Davis; National Storytelling Festival favorite Bil Lepp; internationally known Carmen Deedy; Andy Offutt Irwin, recipient of the 2013 National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Circle of Excellence Award; highly accomplished old-time, bluegrass and swing musician Josh Goforth; award-winning songwriter Michael Reno Harrell; and Kevin Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered."

New for this year’s event are two tellers for Children’s Days — British storyteller Simon Brooks and three-time Emmy Award winner Bobby Norfolk.

Tickets are $15 for early birds who purchase tickets by Oct. 1, and $18 regular price. Tickets provide access to the entire virtual storytelling festival, to be played out on a private Facebook group just for ticketholders.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Each ticket is good for one household.

Visit www.athensstorytellingfestival.com to purchase tickets or for more information, including a biography on each storyteller and a schedule of events.

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