Sidmouth storyteller Janet Dowling has won a US award for her book Folktales of the Cosmos.

It has won the US Storytelling World Award for the Best Anthology - an achievement that Janet compared to 'getting a BAFTA'.

Describing the book, Janet said: "It's a collection of myths and folk tales about the constellations above us - most people don't even know they are there.

"I start with the Greek myths - there are 48 constellations clustered into six major myths - then move onto how other cultures have seen the same stars but tell  different stories."

She said it took her five years to research and collect the stories: "In the end, I had so many, it was difficult to decide which ones to include.  I tried to be fair and have included several from each of the continents as well as the Greek myths."

The  US Storytelling World Resource  Awards are held every year to highlight the best resources such as CDs, anthologies, single story books, and other media.

Janet said: "It's mainly USA-based, but it's like getting a BAFTA in the storytelling world. They have done it every year for the past 30 years.

"I won it for Devon Ghost Tales in 2020, when it was for resources published in the previous year. However, 2024 is the last year they are running the awards, so they opened it up to any resources that have been published - which means the field was very big. That's why it feels so special  having won it again this year." 

Locally, Janet can be heard storytelling at the Norman Lockyer Observatory, during the Sidmouth Folk Festival, at Sidmouth Library, and at local events including the Sea Fest. She also performs at other story clubs and festivals across the country.