What is this?

This Substack is written from Pepys House, the 17th century Cambridgeshire house in which Samuel Pepys, England’s most famous diarist, spent his teenage years. He later inherited the house, and even buried some gold here during the threat of a Dutch invasion…

Pepys kept a daily diary for 9 years in which he provided an honest account of his daily activities, reviewed art and culture, and reported on major events (like the Great Fire of London).

Pepys House is now rented out to storyteller and author Chip Colquhoun – me! – along with Emma (my wife) and Tito and Pippa (our kittens). This Substack is an attempt to live up to the reputation of the heritage of our home, whilst furthering my personal mission to empower others in their reading, writing, and love for life.

So who are you?

I began writing before I knew how to write. At the age of 6, I returned home after two years with a foster family, and discovered a short story I’d written before I entered the care system. Since I’d only been aged 4, if that, the ‘words’ were just scribbles – but they were punctuated scribbles, with full stops and paragraphs. My ambition was clearly fully formed even then.

Now I am one of the storytellers you can watch for free on the Oxford Owl and Epic Tales YouTube channels. I began storytelling professionally in 2007, and have since led storytelling performances and workshops in 10 countries, come to perform regularly at Glastonbury Festival, and represented the Roald Dahl Story Museum on ITV. In 2015 I was asked to write the EU’s guidance on using storytelling in the classroom.

But more recently, I’ve discovered a talent that I am hugely proud to possess – and one that is currently in huge demand: inspiring young people to read for pleasure. The UK Dept for Education’s National English Hub asked me to write a handbook to help educators spark this mindset among their learners, and the result is All the Better to Read You With – launching publicly on 24 January 2024.

I also co-produce the Fables & Fairy Tales series of children’s books with Winnie the Witch illustrator Korky Paul.

But, in classic haphazard creator-brained style, I often have multiple projects on the go. So here’s what I plan to share with this Substack…

What’s in here?

  1. The Pepys House Diary
    Weekly updates on my activities, and the news around me.

  2. Sam’s Substack
    Samuel Pepys wrote his diary in private – but what would he have written in a public Substack in this era of free speech versus GDPR? Take yourself back exactly 364 years ago to find out...

  3. All the Better to…
    Tips for using storytelling in the world of education.

  4. (Coming Soon) Books
    The works I’ve already released into the world: what they’re about, where the ideas came from, and where to find them.

  5. (Coming Soon) The Project Diary
    Developmental notes and milestones related to whatever I’m working on now, be they books, storytelling, music, etc.

Why subscribe?

The main reason? Subscribers turn this Substack into a community, letting me and other readers know they aren’t the only ones with these interests and/or goals. $;-)

Plus, being a somewhat prolific author (Korky and I will be releasing a new Fables & Fairy Tales book every month from January 2024, and that’s just the guaranteed minimum I’ll be publishing…), you’ll be among the first to hear about giveaways for signed books. $;-)

So unless you want to learn the benefits of paying to subscribe, why not take the free option by hitting the button below…?

Why pay to subscribe?

Ah, well then you’ll get to have your say! Think of it like buying me a coffee once a month to have a catch-up (you may notice the monthly price is about the same as a latte in a UK Costa). That wouldn’t be one way – you’d comment, I’d respond, and we’d have a jolly good time of it. $:-)

There will also be the occasional post that’s just for paying subscribers – some of which will have their own giveaways, too, giving you more opportunities to get your hands on signed books, plus other keepsakes and merchandise. And for the public giveaways, your paid status will give you two entries.

Plus, I’d like to meet you. My aim is to offer regular Google Meets so we can share stories, thoughts, and anything else you’d like to pick out from a writer/storyteller’s brain. You’ll receive the invitations to these by becoming a paid subscriber.

For all this (and maybe even a little bit more), hit the button below.

What do I get? Well, as well as keeping me going with caffeine, you’ll be enabling me to put time into my various projects. As a writer, I’m often not paid for projects until they’re complete – which can make the intervening periods quite tough. You’ll be providing a huge support with these challenges, for which you’ll have my mahoosive gratitude – in return, I hope, for some enjoyable content.

Plus you’ll be automatically helping me with another passion of mine: combating the climate crisis. 1.5% of all my subscriptions go straight to climate crisis charities.

Oo – and if you choose to be a Founding Member, you’ll get a signed copy of every book I release. No need to enter giveaways for ‘em. $;-) Of course, in my most prolific years, this could mean I end up making a loss on your subscription fee – but note that, unlike the other tiers, you can set yours to be higher than the advertised price…

Last time you’ll see the button on this page, I promise*.

*That is, unless Substack code it into their footer below this info… $:-/

To learn more about the tech platform that powers this publication, visit Substack.com.

That’s all for now – it only remains for me to say “Cheerio, and I hope to hear your story soon.” So…

Cheerio! And I hope to hear your story soon…”

Subscribe to Storyteller Chip

Home of the Samuel Pepys House Diaries, and the latest on all projects Storyteller Chip has underway.


A pro storyteller, I perform regularly at Glastonbury, wrote English Hub's handbook on inspiring reading for pleasure, and produce a book series with Winnie illustrator Korky Paul. I live in the former residence of Pepys, England’s famous diarist.