2021 marks ten years of Book Week Scotland, and Scottish Book Trust has today (12 October) launched a programme of events around the theme of 'Celebration'. Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, has worked closely with partners to provide both online and in person events.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:
'2021 marks a decade of Book Week Scotland, a massive milestone that all of us at Scottish Book Trust are extremely proud of. Last year alone, we reached 292,000 people through free Book Week Scotland events. Book Week Scotland would not be possible without the many libraries, bookshops, community groups and schools that take part.
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. 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. We look forward to celebrating ten years of Book Week Scotland with a fantastic line-up, with events both online and in person.'
Alan Bett, Head of Literature and Publishing at Creative Scotland, said:
'For a decade now, Book Week Scotland has provided the perfect opportunity for readers across the nation to come together in community groups, bookshops, libraries and at home to share and explore a love of reading. With an exciting and diverse line-up of emergent and established names and forms of writing, from live poetry to comics, the centenary year programme is a true celebration of literature.'
Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of The Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC) said:
'Libraries will be hosting events from Shetland to the Borders, connecting communities and ensuring everyone across the country can meet likeminded individuals, and enjoy all that the week has to offer. We will also be celebrating Mobile Libraries Day as part of Book Week Scotland, which allows us to recognise the vital role that our mobile libraries play in some of the remotest parts of Scotland, as well as for those who are not able to visit their own local library. Reading is Scotland’s favourite pastime, and we look forward to sharing in the country’s love of books.'
Book Week Scotland is the country’s biggest celebration of reading and writing and it returns on Monday 15 November to Sunday 21 November. Award-winning author Denise Mina kicks off the celebrations at Glasgow Women’s Library, where she filmed a new documentary: The Women Writers of Garnethill with tour guide Melody House. The film explores the contribution women writers have made to the area, and the city of Glasgow. It will premiere on YouTube on Monday 15 November at 12.30pm.
Book Week Scotland will also launch a social media campaign, #ILoveMyLibrary, on Monday 15 November, encouraging the public to join in and share their memories of their favourite or local library. Top authors in Scotland will also join the campaign, celebrating the library they most treasure.
On Monday evening, for those who wish to join Book Week Scotland from the comfort of their own homes, there will be a downloadable role-playing game written by visual artist Adrian Barber. A star-studded line-up will play through the game, featuring: 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 16 November at 11am, there will be a Book Week Scotland special Authors Live event with Patience Agbabi. The event will jump into the world of her time-travel adventure stories, The Infinite and The Time Thief. Patience will be talking about the climate change themes that inspired the novel, and she will also share her love of wordplay and poetry.
On Wednesday 17 November at 12.30pm, Book Week Scotland will premiere a new documentary with former Makar Jackie Kay on her debut novel, Trumpet. The film will offer exclusive insight to the inspiration and writing of the bestselling book.
On Thursday 18 November at 11am, there will be another Authors Live event: 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.
On Thursday evening, the Damian Barr Literary Salon will team up with Book Week Scotland to bring an unmissable event starring Baggage author Alan Cumming in conversation with Damian Barr, and poetry performances from the ascendant talents of Lennie Pennie and Courtney Stoddart. The event will run online Thursday 18 November at 7pm. Tickets for the Book Week Scotland Salon Online(this will open in a new window) are available to buy now.
In the year of Scottish coastlines and waterways, Harry Josephine Giles, Evie Wyld and Raman Mundair will join Book Week Scotland for a Celebrating Island Literature panel, chaired by Pàdraig MacAoidh. The event will premiere on Saturday 20 November at 4pm on YouTube.
Libraries and community groups across Scotland are also taking part in Book Week Scotland, some who have been partners of the programme for a decade, including Glasgow Women's Library, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scottish Union Learning, Uist Art Association and Wigtown Book Festival.
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.
The full Book Week Scotland 2021 programme will be live from Tuesday 12 October. Please note the links below will not be live until then.
Highlights from Book Week Scotland 2021 programme:
Monday 15 November
- Ullaverse: this year, Book Week Scotland will be celebrated in Ullapool with Ullaverse, a poetry trail around the village featuring work by some of the most exciting poets writing in Scotland today, many of whom have appeared at Ullapool Book Festival. There will also be a few old favourites included as well as work created especially for the event. The poems will be displayed in windows around the village. Most will be big and bold with a few little gems hidden along the way. Free, unticketed event: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/ullaverse(this will open in a new window)
- The Art of Wild Swimming: photographer Anna Deacon and writer Vicky Allan will talk about their newly published book The Art of Wild Swimming: Scotland and Taking the Plunge: The Healing Power of Wild Swimming for the Mind, Body and Soul. Anna and Vicky will discuss their favourite outdoor wild swimming spots and asking them for their top tips. Join in with the audience Q&A and find out how to be the safest, most joyous and invigorated wild swimmer you can be. Online event hosted by Stirling Libraries, 7pm. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/the-art-of-wild-swimming(this will open in a new window)
Tuesday 16 November
- Poetry and pals: An evening with Nadine Aisha Jassat and Andrés N. Ordorica. Join Nadine Aisha Jassat and Andrés N. Ordorica, two exciting and brilliant poets, in conversation as they discuss their first poetry collections, their own poetic process, dive deeper into one another's work, and take your questions. Nadine's Let Me Tell You This takes readers on a journey exploring heritage, connection, and speaking out, her poems demonstrating the power of heart and voice. At Least This I Know, the upcoming debut by Andrés works through belonging both in a physical sense and emotional, be it the belonging of immigrant bodies in new countries, or the belonging of the queer self within found families and safe spaces. The event is free and will be livestreamed on YouYube at 7pm: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/poetry-and-pals-an-evening-with-nadine-aisha-jassat-and-andres-n-ordorica(this will open in a new window)
- An afternoon with Graeme Macrae Burnet: the Booker shortlisted and Radio 4 serialised author discusses his latest book just published – Case Study. Hosted by the Pentlands Book Festival at Corner Café, Edinburgh, 3pm. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/an-afternoon-with-graeme-macrae-burnet(this will open in a new window)
Wednesday 17 November
- Queering the Record: A writing workshop inspired by the Saltire Society Archives. An online creative writing workshop for LGBTIQA+ people & friends led by award winning writer Michael Lee Richardson. Explore, reclaim & reimagine the last 85 years of Scottish arts and culture through a motley selection of documents from the Saltire Society archive. Free, online event. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/queering-the-record-a-writing-workshop-inspired-by-the-saltire-society-archives(this will open in a new window)
- Peter Bakes: local ‘Bake Off’ winner, Peter Sawkins, gives a taste of his first book with hints and tips and stories from ‘the tent’. Hosted by the Pentlands Book Festival at Corner Café, Edinburgh, 3pm. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/peter-bakes(this will open in a new window)
Thursday 18 November
- Checkpoint with Joe Donnelly. Video games power up minds, kick ass and save lives. Author Joe Donnelly, author of Checkpoint, games writer and mental health advocate, will be livestreaming gameplay on Twitch.tv as he takes viewers on a journey through the lesser-known side of game Grand Theft Auto V, showing how it can be a vehicle for mental health support in the most unlikely of ways. The event is free, and will be livestreamed on Twitch at 7pm. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/checkpoint-with-joe-donnelly(this will open in a new window)
- Bold Types: Creative Writing Showcase: from 6.30pm, shortlisted writers read out their stories and poems on this year’s theme – CELEBRATION. Glasgow Women's Library panel of judges includes: poet and filmmaker Sunnah Khan, member of 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE poetry collective; writer Noren Haq, whose short story features in the recent anthology A made in heaven: Muslim women write about love and desire; and GWL’s own Librarian, Wendy Kirk. Free, online event. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/bold-types-creative-writing-showcase(this will open in a new window)
- Talk by one of Scotland’s most gifted authors James Robertson. Kinross-shire Local Events Organisation presents a talk by one of Scotland’s most gifted authors, James Robertson. Ever since the acclaimed And the Land Lay Still, readers have been waiting for another novel that would articulate the changing spirit and soul of Scotland. News of the Dead is that book. Featuring three characters, hundreds of years apart, the novel is set in the Braes of Angus, where the fictional Glen Conach is the home of fables and folklore gathered over the centuries. Milnathort Town Hall on Thursday 18 November at 7.30pm. Free event, tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/talk-by-one-of-scotland-s-most-gifted-authors-james-robertson(this will open in a new window)
Friday 19 November
- Interactive Event with Donna Ashworth: as part of Book Week Scotland, the Fife Women’s Tent Facebook Group will host Donna Ashworth, author and poet. The night will begin with Donna introducing herself, followed by readings and then opening up for Q&A and discussions with the participants. Free, online event from 6.30pm: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/interactive-event-with-donna-ashworth(this will open in a new window)
- No Stone Unturned: Celebrate the reunion of poet Tom Pow with The Crichton Writers in this Book Week Scotland event organised by The Bakehouse Community Arts. The Crichton Writers is the writing group formed following a creative writing course led by Pow in 2003. Many Crichton Writers have gone on to be published and win prizes. Their recent anthology No Stone Unturned – stories of stone caving in Dumfries and Galloway is a tribute to their versatility and skill. The Bakehouse, 44 High Street, 7.30pm. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/no-stone-unturned(this will open in a new window)
Saturday 20 November
- Writing crime set in St Andrews: Marion Todd is a crime fiction novelist, currently working on the 6th book in the DI Clare Mackay series, set in St Andrews. A native of Dundee, early success saw her winning first prize in Family Circle magazine's short story competition and she began experimenting with a variety of genres before settling on crime fiction. Marion will introduce her crime series and speak about the process of creating, researching and writing crime fiction based in a town we all know so well. St David's Centre, St Andrews at 10.30am. Free, unticketed event: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/writing-crime-set-in-st-andrews(this will open in a new window)
- Celebrating Our Community and Our Coast with Christopher Trotter. Join author Christopher Trotter on a virtual journey along the Fife Coastal Path at Leven. Christopher will showcase fish and shellfish caught in the waters local to Leven and produce grown in the local area using photos, videos and stories. He will then cook a selection of recipes from his new book, Coasts and Waters: The British Seafood Cookbook, in real-time for people to try at home. This event will celebrate community and the bounty of the local Leven area through the joy of cooking and eating together. 2pm, Largo Library and Community Hub, 7 Lundin Square. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/celebrating-our-community-and-our-coast-with-christopher-trotter(this will open in a new window)
Sunday 21 November
- Mayflies: An Evening with Andrew O'Hagan. Craig Smillie will lead the conversation, paying particular attention to O'Hagan's latest book, Mayflies; an incredible story that charts a weekend of youthful excess in 1980's Manchester and the aftermath thirty years later. There will also be an opportunity for our audience to ask questions and engage in the discussion. The Glad Café, 1006a Pollokshaws Road, 7pm. Tickets: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/events/2021/mayflies-an-evening-with-andrew-o-hagan(this will open in a new window)
Notes to Editors
Please direct all media requests to PR and Marketing Manager: Keara.Donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) or call 07956 773749.
Download images here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ssgbrg4qjoaln8z/AABZgxjcYA63PirlqCHqD_Hba?dl=0(this will open in a new window). Credit: Alasdair Watson.
Scottish Book Trust
Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children’s learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health & well-being. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.
Our programmes and outreach work include:
- Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home, through Bookbug and Read Write Count
- Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events such as Authors Live with the BBC and our Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour
- Supporting and nurturing Scotland’s wide-ranging literary talent, both emerging and established through our training, awards and writing opportunities including New Writers Awards
- Creating events to share books and connect writers with communities, including Book Week Scotland
- Providing support to people living with dementia, and their carers, through Reading is Caring
In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.
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Book Week Scotland
Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported by £200,000 from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Targeted Funding and over £24,000 from SLIC, Book Week Scotland 2021 will be delivered by Scottish Book Trust from 15 November – 21 November.
For more information about Book Week Scotland 2021 and how you can get involved, visit www.bookweekscotland.com(this will open in a new window) where you can find information about all the events taking place in your local area. Follow @Bookweekscot on Twitter, check out #bookweekscotland or like the Book Week Scotland Facebook page.
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.
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The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC)
The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library and information services. It leads the implementation of Ambition and Opportunity: A strategy for public libraries in Scotland 2015–2020, develops innovative projects like Film Education in Libraries and provides support for libraries in the form of advocacy, consultation and research. It administers Scottish Government funding for public libraries (Public Library Improvement Fund), for school libraries (School Libraries Improvement Fund) and funding for the wider library and information sector (Innovation and Development Fund). It supports public libraries to participate in Book Week Scotland by providing Scottish Book Trust with event funding for every public library service and Further Education College Libraries.