Scotland's book festivals

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  • Two ladies sit looking at books outside of The Book Shop in Wigtown
    The Book Shop in Wigtown
  • People at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square
    Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square
  • The outside of the tent for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
    Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

Celebrate fantastic literature and meet award-winning writers at some of Scotland’s acclaimed book festivals held across the country from Glasgow to the Scottish Borders.

Discover the many fantastic literary festivals held across Scotland every year that showcase the country’s world-class writers. What better way to celebrate literature than to spend a day at an event dedicated to the written word?

Edinburgh is widely known as the festival capital of Europe and its annual Edinburgh International Book Festival is the largest public celebration of  literature  in the world. Every August, book lovers flock to the city to choose from over 700 exciting events including readings by famous authors, writing workshops and poetry jams. With a huge selection of events, there is something for people of all ages and tastes to enjoy.

Uncover over 250,000 books in Scotland’s National Book Town in Dumfries & Galloway and visit Scotland’s largest second hand bookshop, aptly named The Bookshop. In autumn, Wigtown also hosts the annual Wigtown Book Festival where highlights include poetry readings, expert advice on what you’ve written and Wigtown Ink - a festival within a festival for writers by writers.

Head to Glasgow in March for the city’s humorously named Aye Write! book festival, an event that celebrates the rich variety of Glaswegian writing alongside an eclectic mix of Scottish and international writers. You can take part in a creative writing workshop, hear spectacular verse in the Scottish Poetry Slam or relax with a great book in the Mitchell Library, the largest public reference library in Europe.

Take a trip to the Scottish Borders for the Borders Book Festival which attracts thousands of literary fans to the town of Melrose each summer. The festival features some of the UK’s best-known writers, performers, politicians and commentators every year. Past names include Michael Palin, Christopher Brookmyre, Michael Parkinson, and John Byrne. The highlight of the event is the awards ceremony for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction where you can hear extracts from the shortlisted books. The region will also host the Beyond Borders International Festival of Literature and Thought, held in the stunning setting of Traquair House, featuring two jam-packed days of art, film and literature.

Fans of crime fiction should head to Stirling in September for the inaugural Bloody Scotland book festival and a weekend full of talks and workshops from international authors and criminal experts. Authors appearing at the 2012 event included Ian Rankin, Christopher Brookmyre, Val McDermid and William McIlvanney.

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