SLO County first-grader’s tale about a ‘portal chef’ lands on popular kids podcast
On his first day of summer school in Morro Bay, Lincoln Elliott, who was 6 at the time, saw a piece of paper on the ground that reminded him of a magic portal.
Elliott, a first-grader at Baywood Elementary School in Los Osos, said the idea sparked his imagination in a big way. It was something he thought about his first day of summer school through to his last day, he told The Tribune.
That moment became the basis for a whimsical short story called “The Portals” that Elliott, now age 7, wrote and submitted to the popular children’s storytelling podcast, Story Pirates.
“The Portals” was selected by the podcast to be performed by the voice actors on season 5 finale of Story Pirates. The episode debuted Thursday.
“I was like, ‘Why don’t I make a story about it?’” Elliott said. “And then I was like, sometimes I cook with my mom, OK, what about portal ... chef!”
Elliott’s father, James Elliott, was in charge of typing while Lincoln narrated the story.
Elliott estimates it took the pair two or three storytelling sessions before “The Portals” was finished.
The family decided to submit the story to Story Pirates and see if it got picked up to be performed on the podcast.
SLO County boy tells more about ‘The Portals’
The story begins with the portal chef out in his forest garden, where he harvests portals to be sold in his store, which, Elliott said, looks kind of like a house.
After stumbling upon a strange-looking gray portal in his forest, the portal chef “didn’t think it could be too bad,” and put the portal in his pocket.
Elliott explained “a portal is something that’s round and then it has a bunch of circles inside of that circle, and then when you go through it, you go to a different place.”
While back in the store, a customer asked the portal chef if he wants to try out the funny-looking gray portal he harvested from his garden.
That gray portal took the portal chef on an adventure-filled journey complete with a maze, a password wall, a three-headed dog inspired by Fluffy from the Harry Potter series and a lot of mud and bad smells.
Does the portal chef makes it out of the gray portal and back to the shop? You’ll have to listen to find out.
Podcast writer shares why SLO County boy’s story was selected
The Story Pirates podcast, hosted by Nimene Wureh, Lee Overtree and Peter McNerney, is one of the top three family podcasts and has been downloaded more than 65 million times, according to the Story Pirates website.
That means “The Portals” has reached a wide audience of listeners.
Will Jacobs, the writer for Story Pirates who adapted Elliott’s version of “The Portals” for the podcast, said he picked the story because of its creativity and humorous details.
“I chose ‘The Portals’ because it introduces such a fun and inventive world,” Jacobs said in a statement. “From the ‘portal chef,’ to the wild maze, to the customer who decides he needs to work the store, the writing was so chock full of silly details and jokes, as well as exciting action. I just hope we did it justice!”
Story Pirates podcast is SLO County family’s favorite
Mother Allison Elliott said her son is a creative storyteller who has submitted an original tale to the Story Pirates podcast before.
That first story didn’t get chosen to be read on the podcast, but the producers wrote back with more tips on how to write an effective narrative, she said.
The Story Pirates podcast is a family favorite that the Elliotts have listened to every week for years, Allison Elliott said.
“Each episode is full of sketch comedy and songs,” she said. “Sometimes they make the stories into songs and sometimes they make it just into stories.”
Elliott’s story was transformed into a sketch comedy skit that closed out season 5 of the podcast.
When Elliott is not writing stories and listening to podcasts, he enjoys playing soccer and basketball and takes piano lessons.
The 7-year-old sometimes likes to tell his zany stories to his little sister Nova, age 4.
Listen to “The Portals” on the Story Pirates podcast on Apple Podcasts or www.storypirates.com/season-5-podcast/cupcake.