The best literary festivals in Scotland 2011

Wigtown, Borders, Inverness and Edinburgh host book festivals

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This article is from 2011.

The best literary festivals in Scotland 2011

Borders Book Festival

Borders Book Festival

Melrose’s delightfully titled Harmony Garden will open its gates to 65 events featuring an array of authors and personalities. Among the hotshot names appearing are Maureen Lipman, Michael Parkinson, Alexander McCall Smith, Kirsty Wark and Rory Bremner.

John Lloyd, comic writer: ‘Entrancing, hilarious and altogether delightful. Unforgettable fun and a triumph of brilliant organization. It was the best experience I’ve ever had at a literary festival by miles.’

16–19 Jun, www.bordersbookfestival.org

Inverness Book Festival

The Highlands capital hosts its eighth annual literary shebang with the Eden Court Theatre housing some very exciting proceedings. Confirmed on the bill are crack authors Christopher Brookmyre and Louise Welsh, and playwright John Byrne.

Kevin MacNeil, author: ‘Friendly, relaxed and inspiring, it strikes a fine balance between locally and internationally renowned authors and caters for all age groups, offering attractive events to fans of literary and popular fiction, history, cookery, ecology and biography.’

10–14 Aug, www.invernessbookfestival.co.uk

New Words

Across Aberdeenshire comes this showcase of new work by poets, fiction writers, dramatists, storytellers, actors, comedians, translators, musicians, composers, sound artists, choreographers, dancers and visual artists.

Paulina Vanderbilt, poet: ‘New Words is a unique opportunity for local authors who cannot yet live off their writing, but nonetheless have to live by their passion for it. The festival offers a wealth of writings in all shapes and sizes, and is a marvellous blend of amateurs and professionals.’

1–30 Sep, www.newwords.co.uk

Off the Page

The sixth Stirling book festival takes place across the city’s libraries incorporating their Off The Stanza poetry competition. Among those appearing this year are Mark Billingham, Caro Ramsay and Stuart MacBride.

Louise Welsh, author: ‘I loved Stirling last year. The audience was warm, well informed and asked stimulating questions, not all of which I had the answers for!’

10–17 Sep, stirling.gov.uk/offthepage

Wigtown Book Festival

Set in Scotland’s National Book Town, Wigtown was dubbed ‘one of the best autumn festivals in the world’ and with good reason: the bookshops in and around the town house over a quarter of a million books.

Barbara Trapido, author: ‘The whole thing was a delight, from the town, with all those bookshops and little cafes (I especially loved ReadingLasses), the people and the gasp-inducing landscape.’

23 Sep–1 Oct, www.wigtownbookfestival.com

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

At the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, a feast of performances, talks, workshops, discussions and fun family activities will once again take place. This year’s event will focus on Scotland and the Mediterranean with acts from Sardinia, Crete and Corsica appearing.

David Campbell, storyteller: ‘The Scottish International Storytelling Festival uniquely confirms that stories are the politics of the heart and celebrates our common humanity in a way our national bard would applaud, and embodies the prime Scottish virtue of hospitality.’

21–30 Oct, www.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk

Edinburgh Independent & Radical Book Fair

Run by Word Power Books, it’s a peculiarly high end event which can be enjoyed on a smaller budget. As well as author events and book launches, it features workshops, screenings and exhibitions.

Alan Bissett, author: ‘The Radical Book Fair is a unique and absolutely necessary forum in Scottish culture, one of the few that hasn’t been distorted by the market place. Marginalised authors and themes are given a voice regardless of media hype or publicity spend, which opens up a vital space for radical debate.’

26–30 Oct, www.word-power.co.uk

Dundee Literary Festival

Arguably the finest books bash north of the capital, the DLF brings together big names from the world of literature, journalism, philosophy and politics alongside workshops, talks, film, theatre, book signings, music and parties.

Kirsty Gunn, author: ‘The Dundee Literary Festival is a wonderful mix of events with internationally renowned authors with local author events, workshops and a chance to get advice from some of the most experienced professionals in publishing at our annual publishers panel.’

27–30 Oct www.literarydundee.co.uk

This article is from 2011.

Inverness Book Festival

Since its birth in 2004 the festival has played host to Jackie Kay, Ali Smith, Ian Rankin, Iain Banks, Christopher Brookmyre, Mairi Hedderwick and many more in a scenic week of literaRy events covering genres ranging across history, cookery, the environment, biography and fiction

Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

Tue 19 Aug

Times & prices vary / 01463 234234

Wed 20 Aug

Times & prices vary / 01463 234234

Thu 21 Aug

Times & prices vary / 01463 234234

…and 2 more dates until 23 Aug

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

It is easy to overlook storytelling amid the clamour of higher-profile artforms. This festival seeks to redress the balance by treating storytelling as a contemporary artform that is a rich part of Scotland's cultural heritage and this year looks at the past and how it has been handed down to us in story. Performance…

Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

Fri 24 Oct

Times & prices vary / 0131 556 9579

Sat 25 Oct

Times & prices vary / 0131 556 9579

Sun 26 Oct

Times & prices vary / 0131 556 9579

…and 7 more dates until 2 Nov

Wigtown Book Festival

Scotland's National Book Town hosts ten days of literary glories for bibliophiles, featuring guest appearances by a number of well-known writers. Rated by the Guardian as one of the UK's top five literary festivals, this is well worth a thumb-through. A new, extra element to the festival is the Wigtown Poetry Competition…

Off the Page

Over the last six years, this festival has attracted names such as Ian Rankin, Christopher Brookmyre, Iain Banks, Louise Welsh and Denise Mina to its adult programme, and Michelle Paver, Linda Newberry and Andy Briggs on the kids' side. Run by library staff, it will introduce a 'how to get published' event for local…

Dundee Literary Festival

With the magnet of the Dundee International Book Prize – the largest UK award for an unpublished novel, the festival draws in internationally acclaimed writers as well as local authors, and includes creative writing workshops, poetry readings and children's events.

Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair

Five days of free readings and discussions plus bookstalls with an emphasis on small and independent presses and writings from outside the mainstream.

New Words

North-east Scotland's innovative festival exploring the spoken and written word in performance with an emphasis on events that combine literature with other art forms.

Borders Book Festival

Taking place in the National Trust's Georgian Harmony Garden, the Borders Book Festival attracts world-class literary figures, this year including Michael Parkinson, Sarah Brown, Michael Frayn, Tom Conti and Alexander McCall Smith, and hosts the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. Family events include sessions…

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