The Story Museum office currently looks like the storage room of a theatre. The place is bursting with props and costumes (we’re all fighting over who gets to wear the fairy wings), and you can hardly walk through the building without bumping into trees, swords and thrones. Books are balanced in precarious piles, and the renovation continues; paint and plaster fall from the ceiling as banging echoes from above.

We are counting down to our most exciting project yet: our upcoming exhibition, 26 Characters, will open on Saturday, April 5.

We’ve invited 26 of Britain’s best-loved writers and storytellers to transform themselves into the characters they most loved as children. Award-winning celebrity portrait artist Cambridge Jones has captured a rogues’ gallery of rascals, witches, wizards and wild things, which will unfold through our atmospheric and unfinished spaces.

Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman has gone green to become The Wicked Witch of the West, Terry Pratchett brandishes his catapult as Just William, and Neil Gaiman has donned stripes as a well-known woodland creature. The portraits will be hung in spaces brought to life by designers including Michael Pickwoad (Doctor Who) and Alix Harwood (Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Hugo, Thor).

You’ll have the chance to become part of the exhibition yourself, by dressing up and having your portrait taken for our online gallery. A brand-new season of events will begin in April, with storytelling, drama, talks and printing workshops. Our popular Wonder Walks (interactive family tours of Oxford’s stories) will return during the holidays, and we’re already looking ahead to Alice’s Day on July 5.

Crews of volunteers are clearing out rooms, painting walls and creating costumes for our dressing-up box. Our volunteers are a vital part of our team, and we’d like to thank all of them from the bottom of our hearts. If you’re handy with a paintbrush or needle, we’d love to hear from you – and if you’d like to be part of the team who’ll be running the exhibition, shop and café, please do get in touch at vacancies. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled next time you walk down Pembroke Street: you never know what might be around the corner. Pay a visit to our website to see what we’ve got planned, and if you meet any of us… don’t be alarmed if we’re wearing fairy wings.