Literature Ambassador

Mentoring for writers in Dumfries & Galloway

Are you a writer living in Dumfries & Galloway looking to develop your work with the help of professional advice and support? Why not apply for Wigtown Festival Company’s mentoring programme? Applications are still open for our 2018 intake.

How the programme works

If your application is successful, you will be matched with a mentor according to your particular needs, for a constructive dialogue about  your work and advice on future development opportunities. Our mentors are all professional writers.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you will need to demonstrate a commitment to writing and have examples of your work, published or unpublished, ready to submit to your mentor. For example, three to four chapters of a novel or several short stories/poems; or a strong synopsis, character outlines and first chapter.

Applications from writers of all ages will be considered and we intend to select at least one young person (14-26) as part of the scheme. Reasonable travel expenses will be paid.

How to apply

To apply, please send the following details to isla@wigtownbookfestival.com:

  • 1000-word sample of your writing (or equivalent for poets)
  • 500-word statement, specifying why you would benefit from free mentoring and detailing experience to date
  • Full contact details and any other supporting, relevant information

Closing date 5pm 16 November 2018.

Supported by Creative Scotland


Bold Types: Scottish Women’s Creative Writing Competition 2018

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Are you Scottish* and a woman**, a woman who lives in Scotland, or a woman who has lived in Scotland, who writes? If yes this could be the competition for you.

Run by the Glasgow Women’s Library, there are two categories: short fiction, and poetry; it’s free to enter (one entry per category), and the closing date is 2 November 2018. For more details see their website here.


*Born in Scotland

**This is inclusive of Trans and Intersex women, as well as non-binary and gender fluid people who identify in a significant way as woman or female.


20 September 2018: One Day to Go!

 

Let the party commence…

Wigtown Book Festival is 20 years young. Heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers, supporters, booksellers and helpers who have made it happen this year and for the past two decades.

Professor Ted Cowan brought last year’s festival to a close, so it’s fitting that the historian kicks off this one at 11am tomorrow (Friday 21) talking about “Galloway’s Greatest failure“, John Ross, and the hunt for the North-west Passage.

With the First Minister discussing her Life In Books, Louis de Bernières, the life of Muriel Spark and some excellent fiction, the first day promises to be one to remember. There’s still time to join the party, if you haven’t already. Despite record sales, tickets are still available for many events.You can browse online at our new website.

‘Married’ to a bigamist

Tuesday 25 Sept | 10.30am

What happens when you learn that your ‘husband’ has been married to another woman for 15 years and has five children with her? Mary Turner Thomson will be discussing her extraordinary memoir The Bigamist. “It’s no misery memoir,” says the author, who has lately been collaborating with Jon Ronson on his stage show. “I try to bring out the humour.” Find out more here. [This event replaces Amelia Dalton’s: Mistress and Commander.]

The changing face of Scotland

Sunday 23 Sept | 1.30pm

As part of our 20th-anniversary celebrations, we’re looking at how life in Scotland has been transformed since 1998, the year that the Book Town was founded and the Scottish Parliament agreed. Who better to do that than some of the nation’s best novelists? CandiaMcWilliamJames Robertson and Vivian French will be in conversation with Stuart Kelly.

Big Wig

This year our children’s programme has a new look. Introducing Big Wig, a friendly, book-loving creature who’s excited to finally be here in Wigtown. Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, we were able to make a full sized costume and bring Big Wig to life. If you see him, remember to give him a high-five! Take a look at the children’s programme here.

Author Focus – Peter Ross

Peter Ross is familiar to readers of the Herald newspapers for his brilliant features about unreported Scotland. An eight times winner at the Scottish Press Awards, he was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize (Britain’s top award for political non-fiction) for his first book, Daunderlust. Peter will be talking about his latest collection of true tales of a nation of eccentrics. Here he is on top form recently writing about Galloway, including a visit to Wigtown and an encounter with Sandy the Pagan, Scotland’s most tattooed man. Read more.

Top picks from our Young Adult programme

Sebastien de Castell’s  Spellslinger

Sun 23 Sept | 1pm

Sebastien de Castell is the multi-award nominated author of Spellslinger. His work is translated into 14 different languages and loved across the world.

Alex Wheatle’s  Home Boys

Sat 22 Sept | 2.30pm

Four friends run away from their children’s home. In the woods they feel a sense of freedom, yet the forest has its own power and what happens will affect the four boys’ lives for ever.

John Young’s Farewell Tour of an Optimist

Sun 23 Sept | 2.30pm

Connor Lambert is determined to show the world that his cancer doesn’t define him and forms an unlikely friendship with fellow juvenile, Skeates.

Wigtown’s Got Talent

Sat 22 Sept | 8.30pm

The 20th-anniversary edition of the annual talent show brings new faces and some blasts from the past. Visitors, locals and authors are invited to compete for the Golden Pencil. Do you have a talent that could entertain, amuse or amaze? If so please ring 01988 402036 or email claire@wigtownbookfestival. com.

Live subtitling

Again in 2018, in association with Stagetext, the festival is providing live subtitling for people with hearing loss. Takes place Saturday 22 September and Sunday 23 September in the County Buildings, Main Hall. Subtitled events are marked (S) in listings. Learn more at www.stagetext.org.

Six to pick

Louis de Bernières – So Much Life Left Over

Sat 22 Sept | 1.30pm

In his major new novel, So Much Life Left OverLouis de Bernièrestransports readers to 1920s Ceylon, where Rosie and Daniel have moved with their daughter to start a new life.

Helen Pankhurst – Deeds Not Words

Sun 23 Sept | 12 noon

A hundred years since (some) women got the vote, Helen Pankhurst – great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and a leading women’s rights campaigner – charts how women’s lives have changed.

Claire Askew – All the Hidden Truths

Sat 22 Sept | 10.30am

All the Hidden Truthsbegins with a school shooting in Edinburgh. We know who did it. But why? Claire Askewbrilliantly portrays three women seeking answers. A moving study of forgiveness and empathy.

Ed Stourton – Auntie’s War

Sat 22 Sept | 10.30am

Love it or hate it, the BBC has reflected our lives and told our stories, no more so than during the second world war. Broadcaster, columnist and author Ed Stourtonoffers a love letter to a golden age of radio.

Discussion -Europe’s Future

Sat 22 Sept | 3pm

What will Europe look like in twenty years’ time? Will the EU resemble a United States of Europe or was Brexit the canary in the coalmine? In this discussion, we listen to expert voices from across the continent.

Charlotte Higgins – Red Thread

Sat 22 Sept | 4.30pm

The Guardian newspaper’s chief arts writer, Charlotte Higgins, explores our ancient fascination with mazes and labyrinths, looking at their significance in mythology, literature and life.

Visit the Bookshops

It wouldn’t be the book festival without all of Wigtown’s bookshops and the dedicated booksellers who help to make Wigtown such a special place. Please take time to explore the miles upon miles of bookshelves. You never know what you might discover.

Book your tickets

You can book online, by telephone on 01988 403222 or in person at 11 North Main Street, Wigtown. We have a new booking system for 2018 so if you’re buying tickets online you will receive an e-ticket to print at home or can request printed tickets to collect from the box office on arrival.

Please note that online sales for events close at midnight the day before the event. If you wish to purchase tickets on the day of the event, please call or pop into the box office. Details above.

Tell your friends

Some people may have dropped off our mailing list since data protection rules changed in May. If you have family and friends who love the festival, make sure they don’t miss out because they’ve missed the form that dropped through the post or into their inbox. Please share this email with them. They can then “opt in” here to receive our communications.

Wigtown Festival Company principal funders

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News from Wigtown!

Wigtown Book Festival |  21-30 September 2018

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Four days to go…

Some people paint the town red. We’ve been papering Scotland’s National Book Town black and white. Read more here about artist Astrid Jaekel’s extraordinary project, commissioned to mark our 20th birthday. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other reasons to celebrate at this year’s festival…

The Art of Andy Goldsworthy

Internationally renowned sculptor, environmentalist and photographer Andy Goldsworthy has magically transformed landscapes around the world, from his Dumfriesshire home to San Francisco, New York and Rio. On Sunday the 23 September he will be in conversation with Alastair Harkness, discussing his remarkable body of work, the subject of German director Thomas Riedelsheimer’s visually spectacular new film Leaning Into the Wind. Tickets remain, but are selling quickly. Guarantee yours now.

Reading between the lines

What does your scrawl say about you? Britain’s leading handwriting expert Emma Bache will be revealing all – and asking for volunteers – on Thursday 27 Sep, 1.30pm.

Vital Spark

This year Scotland is marking 110 years since the birth of Muriel Spark. We’re proud to play our part with three events. Alan Taylor discusses his memoir about his friendship with Dame Muriel (Fri 21 Sep, 3.30pm); our expert panel is discussing Spark’s women (Sun 23 Sep, 4.30pm); and Olga Wojtas introduces her hilarious homage to The Prime of Miss Jean BrodieMiss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar (Thurs 27 Sep, 4.30pm), the tale of a time-travelling librarian. To find about more about Scotland’s Spark celebrations, visit https://murielspark100.com.

Alan Taylor – Appointment in Arezzo

Panel Debate – Muriel Spark’s Women

Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar

Black Tudors in Scotland

This Saturday Miranda Kaufmann will be discussing her wonderful account of the lives of Africans living in Renaissance Britain (3pm). So we thought we’d ask her about the Scottish experience – and she offers some fascinating insights. Read an interview with her here.

Remembering Magnus Magnusson

Wigtown was the broadcaster and author Magnus Magnusson’s favourite festival, and our annual lecture in his name celebrates his passions. This year we are delighted to welcome former BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Edward Stourton, who talks about Auntie’s War, his brilliant account of how the BBC covered the Second World War. Sat 22 Sep, 10.30am.

Fiction Focus – Charles E McGarry

When author Charles E McGarry first came to Galloway, he knew that he had found the perfect setting for his second Leo Moran book. As the dapper psychic police inspector recovers from a bereavement at a Galloway stately home, a crime wave strikes. Leo’s budding romance is disrupted by visions of a missing local girl and the discovery of an ancient evil. Charles E McGarry talks about his delicious mystery series embracing the finer things in life.

Six to pick

Louis de Bernières

In his major new novel, So Much Life Left OverLouis de Bernièrestransports readers to 1920s Ceylon where Rosie and Daniel have moved with their daughter to start a new life. Sat 22 Sep, 1.30pm

Charlotte Higgins

In her new book, Red ThreadCharlotte Higgins explores our ancient fascination with mazes and labyrinths, looking at their significance in mythology, literature and life. Sat 22 Sep, 4.30pm

Helen Pankhurst

A hundred years since (some) women got the vote, the leading women’s rights campaigner Helen Pankhurst charts how  lives have changed and looks to the future. Sun 23 Sep, 12 noon

Emma Healey

The author of the Costa Award-winning Elizabeth Is Missing discusses her new novel, a compelling mystery exploring the emotional minefield of family life. Mon 24 Sep, 12 noon

Malachy Tallack

Set on the rugged west coast of Shetland in a community faced with extinction, The Valley at the Centre of the World is a tale of love, grief, family and inheritance. Sun 23 Sep, 6pm

John Gray

One of Britain’s leading philosophers talks about the importance of atheism in the modern world, revealing a tradition in many ways as rich as religion itself. Fri 21 Sep, 12 noon

Book your tickets

You can book online, by telephone on 01988 403222 or in person at 11 North Main Street, Wigtown. We have a new booking system for 2018 so if you’re buying tickets online you will receive an e-ticket to print at home or can request printed tickets to collect from the box office on arrival.

Festival Campsite

We are laying on a camping area for tents, offering the chance to sleep out under some of the darkest skies in Britain within a couple of minutes’ walk of the festival site.

Basic facilities are provided – there will be toilets and a shower on site. There is a separate cooking area.

Cost: £12 per pitch per night. Limited availability. Pre-booking is essential. Please contact the box office on 01988 403222.

NB If you are looking for a caravan site please visit the Explore Wigtown website.

Tell your friends

Some people may have dropped off our mailing list since data protection rules changed in May. If you have family and friends who love the festival, make sure they don’t miss out because they’ve missed the form that dropped through the post or into their inbox. Please share this email with them. They can then “opt in” here to receive our communications.

Wigtown Festival Company principal funders

Principal funders logos