This year’s Book Week Scotland kicks off today (Monday 14 November) with a line-up themed around ‘Scotland’s Stories’, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, has worked closely with writers and partners to put together an exciting week packed full of online and in-person events and activities.
Book Week Scotland is the country’s biggest celebration of books and reading and this year the public are invited to vote on their favourite animal from fiction – voting will close at midnight tonight, with the winner to be revealed during the week! Continuing the animal theme, one lucky pet-owner will win a special illustration of their pet by top illustrator Esther Kent through a #BookWeekScotlandPets competition on social media.
Events throughout the week include an evening with Sally Magnusson sharing stories from four vibrant Scottish communities, and Book Shriek Scotland – a celebration of Scotland’s folklore presented by Kirsty Logan and Heather Parry, featuring storytellers and writers including Garth Marenghi. Scottish Book Trust are also asking people to share what they’re reading this Book Week Scotland on the Reading Map of Scotland.
A new book, Scotland’s Stories, has been released today by Scottish Book Trust, featuring true stories from people across Scotland as well as exclusive contributions from published writers Angus Peter Campbell, Raman Mundair, Graeme Armstrong and Helen Fields. 70,000 copies of the book will be given out for free this week in libraries and community spaces. Digital copies, including an audio version, are also available.
From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.
Book Week Scotland programme highlights:
- Scotland’s Stories: Tales from the People of Scotland with Sally Magnusson – Monday 14 November, 7pm at Glasgow Film Theatre and livestreamed online. Join Sally Magnusson to celebrate the real-life stories told by people from four vibrant communities across Scotland. The wonderful pieces in this event have been generously shared by people from the Garnock Valley, Port Glasgow and Greenock, Lochgelly and the South Islands of the Western Isles. Each story was shared by a member of the public as part of Community Campfires, supported by Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.
- Book Shriek Scotland is a celebration of Scotland’s spooky folklore – and some from further afield. This is an online event premiering today, Monday 14 November, in which award-winning authors Heather Parry and Kirsty Logan present an anthology of folk tales told by storytellers and writers, including Garth Marenghi, Amanda Thomson, Ailsa Dixon, John Lees and Anna Cheung. We’ll be inviting people to send us folk tales from their hometowns on social media after the event.
- The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes with Professor Zoë Playdon – Monday 14 November, 7–8.30pm at the Sir Duncan Rice Library (University of Aberdeen). Academic and activist Zoë Playdon will talk about her book The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes – a true local story with international resonance – and the extraordinary court case that took place in the 1960s.
- Story Café with Alasdair Gray – Tuesday 15 November, 6–7.30pm at Central Library, Dundee. Join us to discuss the short fiction of one of our finest writers, Alasdair Gray – author of Lanark. Spanning satire, dreams of possibility, and dystopian futures, and with diverse influences from Maupassant to Chekhov, the stories display rich imagination and a storyteller’s artistry.
- Treasure Your History; History: Your Treasure – Wednesday 16 November, 2–3pm at Edinburgh Central Library. Librarian Iain Duffus twill show some of the rare gems the library holds (like the first Bible printed in Edinburgh, and early editions of Burns) in this specially arranged visit during which there will be the chance to explore the awesome book stacks, see some of Scotland’s first newspapers from the eighteenth century, and browse selected local items laid out to enjoy.
- Author talk: Maggie O’Farrell – Wednesday 16 November, 7.30–8.30pm at Biggar Library. Maggie O’Farrell, prize-winning author of Hamnet and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, will be coming along to Biggar Library to talk about her work.
- Author talk: Stuart MacBride – Thursday 17 November, 7.30–8.30pm at Loch Leven Community Library. Number one Sunday Times bestselling crime writer Stuart MacBride will talk all things crime and share his latest book, No Less The Devil.
Explore the full Book Week Scotland programme on the Scottish Book Trust website.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:
‘Book Week Scotland is a special time of year, where people across Scotland can come together to celebrate and experience the magic of books and reading. The 2022 programme features a mix of fun, spooky, inspiring and unusual events and activities. This year’s Book Week Scotland forms part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, celebrating Scotland’s rich culture of telling stories. We hope you’ll be able to join in with a Book Week Scotland event in your community, or one of the many ways to take part online.’
Sally Magnusson, broadcaster and writer, said:
‘I am delighted to be hosting ‘Scotland’s Stories: Tales from the People of Scotland’ during Book Week Scotland because this special event celebrates the stories that remind us who we are, that connect us to our families and our communities and that enable us to share the challenges and the joys of life with one another. Showcasing the extraordinary stories from ordinary people at the Glasgow Film Theatre is a great way to round off Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.’
Alan Bett, Head of Literature and Publishing at Creative Scotland, said:
‘Book Week Scotland is upon us with an imaginative and inspiring programme to excite, intrigue and surprise.
‘This high-profile national focus on literature brings readers together to engage with stories and meet their favourite authors.
‘In particular this year’s connection with the Year of Stories allows our folklore and rich heritage to be viewed and enjoyed through contemporary voices.’
Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of the Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC), said:
‘Book Week Scotland is a terrific opportunity to celebrate everything that is great about books, reading and bringing together people, families, and communities to explore and revel in the power of words and shared stories. Libraries across Scotland have great programmes lined up during Book Week Scotland.
‘Research shows that reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by up to 68 per cent in people of all ages, and with our libraries across Scotland filled with an abundance of free reading materials – whatever your interests and ability – we hope people will take the opportunity to use Book Week Scotland to start or get back to enjoying books and at the same time rediscover the enchanting world of the many brilliant libraries right on their doorstep.’
Neil Gray MSP, Minister for Culture, said:
‘Book Week Scotland’s theme around Scotland’s Year of Stories continues our celebration of innovative and ground-breaking forms of storytelling. This has been a bumper year for new and untold stories from people in communities across Scotland.
‘There has never been a better time to enjoy a good story and this week’s events will also highlight the wealth of emerging and forward-looking writing and storytelling talent we have on our doorsteps.’