Wigtown Book Festival: 'half the fun is serendipity'

Wigtown Book Festival: 'half the fun is serendipity'

Festival Director Adrian Turpin talks Lowland literature, film adaptations and £1 pot luck ticketing

Wigtown Book Festival, the ten-day celebration of books in Scotland’s National Book Town, kicks off its 16th edition this year on 26 September. One of the key 2014 themes is Lowlands, taking Wigtown’s Borders location as inspiration: ‘Scotland's so often, at least abroad, seen as a Highland country’, says Festival Director Adrian Turpin, ‘clans and kilts and the like. With a quarter of our visitors coming from outside Scotland we wanted to offer a gentle corrective to that. We're hoping to take visitors down a few byways they might otherwise not explore – from the work of the Victorian Galloway novelist SR Crockett and readings of classic Lowland novels, to the history of the iconic Belted Galloway Cow and the tradition of song that goes all the way to the Border Ballads.’

Amongst the 200 events packing this year’s programme, there will also be an emphasis on film adaptations: ‘Mainly it’s an opportunity for us to have fun’, Turpin enthuses, ‘we’re converting a room into a small, 1950s-style cinema, loosely modelled on the late Rex Picturehouse in Wigtown.’

And this year, ticket-buyers get the option of adding a £1 pot-luck ticket to their order, making it that bit easier for visitors to discover brand new favourite authors. Turpin explains: ‘We had so many volunteers last year telling us that they would never have thought about going to see something they'd loved if they hadn't been on the door for it. It's a bit like browsing in a bookshop: half the fun is serendipity.’

Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway, Fri 26 Sep–Sun 5 Oct, wigtownbookfestival.com.

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. The 2020 event will now take place online and will feature two main themes: Resilience…