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Festival of the Artisan: at home
26 and 27 March 2021
The UK's best acoustic music livestreamed to your home.

Your Extraordinary Story

Call for submissions: your real-life hero celebrated in a brand new song

Every family has a great story, everyone knows a hero and celebrating the extraordinary stories of ordinary folk is the belief at the core of the Festival of the Artisan philosophy.

But what is your story?

Here is a chance to help create something special for someone special. The Festival of The Artisan is looking to hear your story and has asked the acclaimed songwriter Steve Bonham to choose one and turn it into a song which will be premiered at the Festival in March. The song will be recorded and videoed and you will have the pride of seeing your own hero rightly celebrated.

Your Extraordinary Story
"Steve writes the most amazing stories and what is astonishing is how he turns them into songs. His observational writing is probably the best there is." Simon Birds, Country Music UK / ARC Radio
Steve Bonham

Steve Bonham is an author, songwriter and performer with a vagabond spirit who is fascinated by the tales he is told by the folks he meets on his travels. He has written many stories including those close to his heart and based on his own family.

How to submit your story for consideration

Drop us an email ( or message us on social media, answering the questions below, in around 100-200 words.

Send us your story

Who is your hero?
What were their circumstances (job, relationships, where they lived, their character etc.)
What was the specific challenge they faced?
What did they do that was special?
What happened afterwards?
Anything else Steve should know

Closing date for submissions is 5pm on Sunday 28 February.

We'll be in touch about the story Steve thinks he can best bring to life soon after to discuss more. Please include your email address / contact details in your message to us.

Here a couple of examples of songs Steve has written about the heroes in his ancestral family.

They Came Home

The story in Steve's words:

"It all came together on a remarkable evening with my 90-year-old uncle and my brother searching out very old photographs of the family.
"My uncle showed us a family photograph, taken in 1914, of my grandfather, his three brothers and four sisters. All the boys are in uniform.
"'They joined up in 1914,' said my uncle, 'and come 1918, they were all still alive. We call this picture 'They Came Home'.'
"I stared at the photograph in surprise. With so many families losing their fathers, sons and brothers, I wondered, 'How could this be?'"

A single taken from the album "Songsmith" by Steve Bonham.

Don't Call Me An Angel

Nell Carter served as a front line nurse at Gallipoli and the Western Front. She survived shelling and being torpedoed. Resigned with traumatic stress, then withdrew her resignation 12 hours later - and went back to the front!

This song is written by Steve Bonham, her great nephew, and sung by Sammy Carter, her great, great niece.