Five of 2019’s Best Scottish Book Festivals

By Laura Downie

Book festivals are the perfect places to both see your favourite, well-known authors and also discover new writers.

So, for something a bit different over this summer and beyond, why not attend some of these festivals and support a variety of authors and literature?

The following five literary jamborees are by no means an exhaustive list but reflect our preferences for the rest of 2019.

Edinburgh International Book Festival
10-26 August

Over 900 authors attend over 900 events at this festival each year. With so many incredible experiences available, there will be something for everyone at this huge event.

Previous programmes have included workshops, storytelling, panel debates and more, with specific events for disabilities and British Sign Language support also available. Even better, it’s free to attend!

Nairn Book and Arts Festival
10-15 September

This festival features both well-known and local, newer authors. Highlights include simultaneously translated Gaelic language author events and a poetry programme for an afternoon of readings. With drama, visual arts exhibitions and more available, there is plenty to see and do.

Bloody Scotland
20-22 September

This international crime-writing festival takes place in Stirling. On their website, they say that they pride themselves as being “the literary festival where you can let down your hair and enjoy a drink at the bar with your favourite crime writer”.

Wigtown Book Festival
27 September-6 October

Wigtown is known as Scotland’s National Book Town – the perfect place for a book festival which hosts over 200 events. There will also be a prize-giving at the festival for Wigtown’s Poetry Prize and the deadline to enter this competition is 7 June.

For some preparation reading, check out The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, a true account of someone who runs a Wigtown bookshop.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF)
18-31 October

Another Edinburgh festival, SISF illustrates the magic of storytelling with a range of talented storytellers and events. Each year the theme of the festival changes and this year’s theme is called ‘Beyond Words’.

They state on their website that this year the festival is all about celebrating “old traditions and new connections, showcasing how music, dance and story communicate shared experiences that are Beyond Words”.