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Girl Tales and Dorktales Storytime’s Neurodivergent Feminist Fairytale Fills a Critical Void in Children’s Podcasting

Girl Tales and Dorktales Storytime’s Neurodivergent Feminist Fairytale Fills a Critical Void in Children’s Podcasting

Girl Tales and Dorktales Storytime

April 1, 2024

Two Podcasts for Kids Celebrate Autism Acceptance Month with Empowering Representation

Girl Tales and Dorktales Storytime, two podcasting powerhouses renowned for their commitment to inclusivity and diverse storytelling, have joined forces on the creation of an autistic feminist fairytale to be released in April 2024 for Autism Acceptance Month. “Owen and the Order of the Ancient Cedar,” is not just another fairytale; it’s a celebration of neurodiversity and feminist empowerment, weaving together a tapestry of voices and perspectives not seen enough in children’s podcast media.

The project includes an all-autistic cast, featuring Imani Russell, who made their Broadway debut in November 2023 in the new musical How to Dance in Ohio, as the main character “Owen.” Jonathan Cormur, a seasoned SAG-AFTRA voice actor and co-creator of Dorktales Storytime, lends his talents by portraying multiple characters, while Anna Maguire, known for their flagship fiction podcast Find Us Alive, voices the character of “Vivien the Witch of the Bog.” This inclusive casting not only brings authenticity to the narrative but also aligns with the project’s mission of genuine representation.

Chad Chenail, Girl Tales Executive Producer for the project, expressed his enthusiasm, stating,

“This project came about from the Inevitable Foundation’s Elevate for Podcasters fund. We were excited to have the funds and resources to feature an all-autistic cast for this episode, which we are grateful to the Inevitable Fund for making possible. We are firm believers in not creating stories about communities without their direct involvement, and so working with performers who matched the cultural identities being represented is always incredibly important to us.”

Molly Murphy, co-creator of Dorktales Storytime and writer for the project, shared her perspective on breaking free from autistic stereotypes, saying,

“I approached this story the same as I would any other story. I wanted to make characters with dreams, goals, and a little magic—celebrating everything that makes them who they are, and not reduce them to being the representation of what it means to be autistic. This is, at its heart, a tale about a young person on a quest to find their path and a sense of belonging.”

“Owen and the Order of the Ancient Cedar” will be released on Girl Tales on April 1, 2024 and on Dorktales Storytime on April 11, 2024, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other popular podcast platforms.


Download illustration:

Caption and Credit: Scene from Girl Tales and Dorktales Storytime podcasts’ Owen and the Order of the Ancient Cedar (Illustration by Arthur Lin)


“Big breath, magic at my fingertips, and a quest in my heart!” Owen, a spirited sorcerer, leaves the safety of their beloved library to begin a brand new, boundless adventure. With courage and curiosity, they head deep into the Great Forest and face puzzling challenges to find fellow sorcerers at the Ancient Cedar. Owen uses their wit, grit, and the encouragement of enchanted creatures to discover how to listen to the beat of their own magic and become the legendary Owen the Wayforger–Creator of Paths and Empowerer of Others!

Owen and the Order of the Ancient Cedar is brought to you by Girl Tales and Dorktales Storytime podcasts to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month and the rich diversity, individuality, and power of neurodiversity.

Both Girl Tales and Dorktales Storytime have been selected by Common Sense Media and Apple Podcasts for “outstanding entertainment that has been recognized with an official seal for quality and impact.”


Rebecca Cunningham is the CEO of Cordelia Studios, a kids’ media company that is dedicated to placing all children at the center of their own narrative. She and Chad Chenail started Girl Tales, a podcast featuring reimagined fairy tales where the girls take control of their own destinies, turning favorite fairy tales into exciting new feminist adventures. Girl Tales is part of Starglow Media, a purposeful parenting company. For more go to


Be the hero of your own story with Dorktales Storytime, the award-winning podcast for kids and their pop culture loving grownups. Enter their Once Upon a Time world where hosts, Jonathan Cormur and Mr. Reginald T. Hedgehog, take you on a journey of curiosity and acceptance. You’ll explore reimagined fairytales and fables with social emotional themes, discover inspiring stories of history’s hidden heroes, and experience imaginary tales of boundless possibilities. For more go to


The Inevitable Foundation is a non-profit that invests in disabled writers and filmmakers so they can achieve artistic and financial freedom and use film and television to destigmatize disability and mental health globally. For more go to


Starglow is a purposeful parenting company, dedicated to helping families find their screen/life balance through kids podcasts, parenting resources, screen-free activities, and family products. They understand that life is busy, screentime happens, so are here to help with alternatives and tools when you need ‘em. For more go to