When the nights draw in and the temperature drops, there’s nothing nicer than curling up by the fireside for a good story.

And there are stacks of tempting tales of every sort just waiting to be served up when the Fireside Festival returns to Baldock next week.

Last year’s inaugural festival at the town’s arts centre set the scene for an event which aims to showcase the many different styles and shapes that storytelling can take, from traditional yarns through puppetry, children’s shows, short plays or modern documentary talks.

This year’s programme, which runs from next Thursday, November 6 through to Sunday, November 16, will be welcoming back some of last year’s artists and as well as a lot of brand new faces.

Creative director Joanna Bowen, producer Grahame Hunter and festival co-ordinator Hattie Gregory have put together a timetable that promises stories to suit all ages and tastes.

Opening the programme is a lunchtime session in the company of Albert Einstein, the official launch event on Friday, November 7 features five different voices, and other highlights include dramatic Steinbeck adaptation The Pearl, seen in Letchworth earlier in the year, as well as Lavender Junction, a poetic monologue about marriage and motherhood, as well as shows where the accent is more on comedy.

The festival also features a Story Slam challenge, where all-comers can submit their gripping tales for possible performance on the last Saturday of the festival.

You can see the full programme online at www.firesidefestival.org.