Seaside Stories with Zoe Gilbert

As we speed towards the Margate Bookie June litfest, we catch up with Zoe Gilbert to chat about her Seaside Stories event.

Zoe Gilbert









What’s Seaside Stories all about?

It’s about finding inspiration for new stories in old ones –specifically saltwater folk tales. Everyone finds their own meanings in folk tales and folklore, and that’s true of the sea too. We’ll talk about some traditional sea lore, and look at stories other writers have created from it. Then we’ll see what happens when we try this ourselves!


How did the idea for Seaside Stories come about?

My writing and teaching have both been inspired by folklore and tales for a long time. But when I moved to Folkestone, and could see the sea every day, my interest in saltwater folklore grew! I found so many great pieces of folklore, as well as new and old stories, that revealed how the sea moves people in different ways. This session is an opportunity to see how our unique imaginations interpret the sea, and create some new stories.


Who are you looking to reach with your event?

I hope people will come along who have never written a story before! I also hope the session will be inspiring for writers who are interested in using folklore and tales as a starting point for writing, or intrigued to see how that works. It will be relaxed and interactive, so I hope we’ll all be up for a chat.


Where and when can we see you at the litfest?

I’ll be at the Turner Contemporary for the Seaside Stories session at 2pm on 2 June, and will certainly be around and about in Margate that day. You’ll also be able to find my books, Folk and Mischief Acts, at the festival pop-up book shop.


Get your tickets here.

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