Great expectations

Denise Mina

Denise Mina will appear alongside Jack McConnell and James Kelman at the Wigtown Book Festival

Programme announced at Wigtown Book Festival

Book lovers have little reason to be disappointed following the launch of this year's sizeable Wigtown Book Festival programme. Taking place over ten days, the event will boast over 130 talks, debates, theatre, film and activities, organiser's revealed last week.

Fast becoming one of Scotland most popular book festival's, this year's roster of names includes Fay Weldon, James Kelman, AL Kennedy, Bill Paterson, Bernard MacLaverty, Denise Mina, Sandra Howard, Louis de Bernières, Janice Galloway and Hardeep Singh Kohli. Hot topics ranging from the war on terror to the credit crunch will pave the way for appearances from such high profile figures as Daniel Johnson, Rosie Millard, Brian Keenan and Jack McConnell.

Poetry continues to be high on the agenda, with Donald Dunn launching the Festival's Poetry Competition at the end of September; so too, the incorporation of the Children's Book Festival into proceedings; an addition which this year boasts talks from Anne Fine and Michael Morpurgo.

A right royal endorsement comes from HRH The Princess Royal, who plans to visit the festival on Mon 29 Sep.

Elsewhere, this year's theatre programme has been expanded, including performances of The Play of St Ninian by Brian Hayward. Scottish Opera will also be on site hitting the high notes with their production of The Merry Widow.

'To the urban population of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, the Wigtown Festival provides high culture amidst breathtaking scenery; somewhere to get away from it all, but take all the good things with you', said Festival Director, Finn McCreath.

Fay Weldon who will be discussing her new book, The Stepmother's Diary, added: 'Readers are known to be dedicated, writers bring back glowing reports. Word soon gets round in the Festival world. The word is 'yes' if it's Wigtown - so Wigtown is the one you choose.'

See www.wigtown

Stena Wigtown Book Festival

Scotland's Book Town Festival celebrate's its 10th birthday with author events, music, film and theatre. Participants include Scottish Opera, Louis de Bernières, James Kelman and Janice Galloway.

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