Debut Authors' Festival

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 8-Sun 10 Jun

There’s a certain logic to Scotland’s new writing theatre hosting an event which focuses on new writing in other mediums, but this year, there’s a stronger link than ever between this festival of first time writers than in the previous two incarnations of the event.

For one thing, there’s a discussion led by performers Karen Glossop and Karen McLeod, both debut authors, on how to get writing performed. But there’s far more than this, from a kind of jam session where new writers read their work and are given instant feedback by a panel of judges and an audience, to a session on famous first books. There’s a kind of interactive spirit to the weekend long event, so participate if you wish. ‘I make sure that all the talks have very clear themes, so there are talks about love, about how to make new writing, and about how to make a performance of work, and so on,’ explains Pru Rowlandson (pictured) director of Authortalks.

And there’s a logic to the whole shebbang: ‘It’s not just for people who want to write books - I have no intention of ever writing a book. If you love music you go and listen to new bands, so if you like reading, why not go to see new authors?’ Rowlandson adds. ‘Literary festivals are full of celebrities, people off the telly, people who’ve won the Booker Prize, even people who’ve won the Nobel Prize. My festival is different, because it’s purely about the writing itself, these aren’t well known people.’

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