Book Week Scotland: What are this year's 10th birthday highlights, how to watch online and how to get free tickets

The Scottish Book Trust have announced a packed programme for this year’s celebration of all things literary.

By David Hepburn
Friday, 15th October 2021, 10:06 am

This year marks a decade of Book Week Scotland and this November will see a series of events around the theme of ‘Celebration’.

Last year more than 292,000 people got involved in the annual event, held entirely online due to the global pandemic, and this year will be a hybrid of online and in-person events.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: "Over the last ten years, Book Week Scotland has become a highlight of Scotland’s literary calendar, the national event where a huge range of partners celebrate the connective power of reading and writing.

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"It is where communities all over Scotland gather together to have conversations with writers and other readers, and where individuals all over the country share their love of books and the books they love.

Here’s what we know about this year’s event.

When is Book Week Scotland?

The event runs from Monday, November 15, to Sunday, November 21, in venues across Scotland and online.

Denise Mina will help launch the Book Week Scotland 10th birthday celebrations with a screening of her new documentary 'The Women Writers of Garnethill'.

Award-winning Scottish crime author Denise Mina kicks off the celebrations at Glasgow Women’s Library, where she filmed a new documentary called ‘The Women Writers of Garnethill’ with tour guide Melody House.

The film, exploring the contribution women writers have made to the area, and the city of Glasgow, will premiere on YouTube on Monday, November 15, at 12.30pm.

What events can I watch online?

There are a wide range of virtual events, with many of the in-person events also available to watch online.

On Monday evening there will be a downloadable role-playing game written by visual artist Adrian Barber. A star-studded line-up will play through the game, including Marvel comic writer Kieron Gillen; bestselling author Val McDermid; DC Comics writer Ram V; Marvel comic writer and bestselling novelist Marjorie Liu; and award-winning comic artist and author Hari Conner.

On Tuesday at 11am, there will be a Book Week Scotland special Authors Live event with Patience Agbabi, jumping into the world of her time-travel adventure stories, ‘The Infinite and The Time Thief’.

On Wednesday at 12.30pm, Book Week Scotland will premiere a new documentary with former Makar Jackie Kay on her debut novel, ‘Trumpet’.

On Thursday at 11am, there will be a panel on Young Scottish Voices featuring Nadine Aisha Jassat, Chris McQueer and Cat Hepburn. They will showcase their writing and share how young people can use their own voices and experiences in writing and storytelling.

Then, on Thursday evening at 7pm, the Damian Barr Literary Salon will team up with Book Week Scotland for Scottish actor and author Alan Cumming in conversation with Damian Barr, with poetry Lennie Pennie and Courtney Stoddart.

What are the in-person highlights?

‘An afternoon with Graeme Macrae Burnet’ will see the the Booker shortlisted and Radio 4 serialised author discusses his latest book ‘Case Study’ at the Pentlands Book Festival at Corner Café, in Edinburgh, at 3pm on Tuesday, November 16.

In ‘Peter Bakes’, local ‘Bake Off’ winner Peter Sawkins gives a taste of his first book with hints and tips and stories from ‘the tent’ at the Pentlands Book Festival at Corner Café, in Edinburgh, on Wednesday, November 17, at 3pm.

Milnathort Town Hall will be the venue for a talk by celebrated Scottish author James Robertson on Thursday, November 18, at 7.30pm.

‘Writing crime set in St Andrews’ will see crime novelist speak about her DI Clare Mackay series, set in St Andrews at the St David's Centre, in St Andrews, at 10.30am on Saturday, November 20.

Finally, ‘Mayflies: An Evening with Andrew O'Hagan’ will see Craig Smillie in conversation with the author about his recent critically-acclaimed book at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe at 7pm on Sunday, November 21.

There are plenty of other events, all listed on the Scottish Book Trust website.

What else is happening?

50,000 free copies of the Celebration book, which includes real life stories from people around the country, will be available from libraries and other community venues during Book Week Scotland. The book includes 22 stories selected by a panel, plus commissioned pieces from Courtney Stoddart, Elle McNicoll, Eòghan Stewart, Mòrag Law and Ross Sayers.

There’s also social media campaign, #ILoveMyLibrary, encouraging the public and top authors to join in and share their memories of their favourite or local library.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets for all events are free and are available from the Book Week Scotland website.

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