Summer Festivals 2012: Books

Summer Festivals 2012: Books

Bloody Scotland

Essential info on Bloody Scotland and the Wigtown and Borders book fests

Borders Book Festival

Where: Harmony Garden, Melrose, 14–17 June, bordersbookfestival.org
Price: £9–£13 per event.
Line-up: Sir David Frost, Hilary Mantel, William Boyd, Alistair Darling, John Sessions
There have been a few eyebrows raised by this year’s Borders Book Festival programme, and suggestions that it’s not quite as bookish as it ought to be. Spangly as a Katie Price paperback (don’t worry, she’s not coming), the big names are mostly from the worlds of theatre, politics and media, with Rory Bremner interviewing several celebrities known more for their personalities than their prose. Still, serious bookworms have no cause to complain, with some of the finest novelists of the moment also poking their heads around the marquee flap.

Bloody Scotland

Where: Various venues in Stirling, 14–16 Sep, bloodyscotland.com
Price: £5–£9 per event.
Line-up: Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Quintin Jardine, Stuart MacBride, Christopher Brookmyre
Given that crime is Scotland’s most popular literary genre (and, depending on where you’re from, weekend activity), it’s startling that this is the nation’s first ever international festival of crime writing. Organisers and all-round crime fiction mavens Alex Gray and Lin Anderson aren’t holding back; they’ve seemingly rounded up every Scottish author that ever sketched out a calculating psychopath or brandished a fictional shiv. Stirling gets its sleuth on as it puts up more than 40 writers over three days for author events, sessions on morality and forensics, and the inaugural Scottish Crime Book Award. Bloody Brilliant.

Wigtown Book Festival

Where: Various venues in Wigtown, 28 Sep–7 Oct, wigtownbookfestival.com
Price: £3.50–£32 per event.
Line-up: Still under wraps; booking opens in August
It’s tricky to predict exactly what Wigtown’s scrappy cluster of bookshops will offer up for their annual festival, but the programme is always thoughtful and quirky. Small and proud, Wigtown was recently given a Creative Place Award by Creative Scotland for being an outstanding artsy community of under 2500 residents, a fitting reward for a town with such a consistently purposeful attitude to showcasing contemporary literature. Loving books is Wigtown’s vocation and, with the injection of cash, it’s only on the up and up.

Other book events

Scotland's thriving offbeat literary scene please even the most bohemian of bibliophiles. Edinburgh Book Fringe (10–24 August) is an indie antidote to certain other August literary events in the city, and later in the year Edinburgh Independent and Radical Book Fair (24–28 October) supports writing that’s often neglected by bigger bookshops. The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (19–28 October, Edinburgh), meanwhile, celebrates oral tradition and the ancient art of folktales. And if reading’s great but you find it gets a bit, well, indoorsy, Books, Borders & Bikes (18 & 19 August) should blow some fresh air around your chapters.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

A celebration of live storytelling and imagination uniting Scottish and international storytellers and musicians. Performance, workshops, talks and children's events radiate out from the capital with guest storytellers from across the globe.

Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

Fri 19 Oct

Times & prices vary / 0131 556 9579

Sat 20 Oct

Times & prices vary / 0131 556 9579

Sun 21 Oct

Times & prices vary / 0131 556 9579

…and 10 more dates until 31 Oct

Wigtown Book Festival

An established and celebrated feature in the Scottish literary calendar attracting many big names. For ten days Scotland’s National Book Town buzzes with book events as well as theatre, music and site-specific events in quirky venues. A dedicated Children's Garden hosts events for younger readers.

Various venues: Wigtown

Mon 24 Sep

Times & prices vary / 01988 403222

Tue 25 Sep

Times & prices vary / 01988 403222

Wed 26 Sep

Times & prices vary / 01988 403222

…and 4 more dates until 30 Sep

Bloody Scotland

An innovative festival drawing on Scotland's love of the literary macabre and celebrating crime writing by bringing together leading Scottish and international writers, showcasing debut voices and encouraging new writers. As well as interviews and panels there is a torchlight procession, criminal cabaret, a crime writer's…

Edinburgh Book Fringe

Taking place in radical bookshop Word Power, the Edinburgh Book Fringe brings together writers and activists from around the world for a host of daily readings and discussions, all of which are free.

Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair

Free readings and discussions plus bookstalls with an emphasis on small and independent presses and writings from outside the mainstream. There are talks, film screenings plus a huge array of books for sale.

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