2017 Orkney Book Festival: Press Release

Last week The Orcadian published our press release about the Book Festival. Here it is in full, packed with information about what to expect. Remember events kick off this Thursday evening – hope to see you there!

The third Orkney Book Festival begins next week and will run from Thursday 9 until Sunday 12 November in venues in Kirkwall, Stromness, St Margaret’s Hope and Shapinsay.

Organised by the George Mackay Brown Fellowship with its partners the Orkney Library and Archive and West Side Cinema, and funded by Creative Scotland and the OIC Culture Fund, an exciting line-up of events will share new writing in all the languages of Orkney and explore links across the Atlantic and with the Caribbean, uncovering challenging journeys, dislocation and connections.

The Festival will include readings, writing workshops, open mic sessions, a renga and the annual George Mackay Brown Memorial Lecture. Events celebrating Magnus 900 and Stromness Per Mare will also feature and, in partnership with West Side Cinema and Film Fortnight, a screening of Mike Nichols’ 1967 film The Graduate based on a novella by Charles Webb.

Visiting writers are Christine de Luca, Harry Giles, Jane Harris, Robert Alan Jamieson and Amy Liptrot and published writers based in Orkney include Sara Bailey, Simon Hall, Morag MacInnes, Tim Morrison, Jocelyn Rendall and others.

The Festival will include four writing workshops: Aspects of Fiction with novelist Robert Alan Jamieson, whose latest novel, MacCloud Falls has just been published, is on Friday 10 November 2-4pm, Warehouse Buildings, Stromness; Introduction to Screenwriting with novelist and screenwriter Sara Bailey is also on Friday 10 November 2-4pm, Cromarty Hall, St Margaret’s Hope. Places for these are still available and can be booked by email (pamela.beasant@talktalk.net) or by telephone 850992). A workshop on Life Writing with Amy Liptrot, author of the award-winning nature memoir The Outrun, hosted by Elwick Bookwrights at the Boathouse, Shapinsay, 10.15-12 noon on Saturday 11 November is sold out. A Wirdsmit session with Edinburgh Makar, Christine de Luca, to which young writers aged 8-12 are welcome will be held 2.30-4.30 in the Orkney Library and Archive, Kirkwall (no booking required).

Award winning writer Jane Harris whose most recent novel, Sugar Money, was published by Faber last month, will be at the Reading Group session in the Orkney Library and Archive, Kirkwall, chaired by Alison Miller on Saturday 11 November 11am-12.30pm.

The George Mackay Brown Memorial Lecture, given this year by writer, musician and academic Sarah Jane Gibbon on Magnus in Birsay, will explore recent findings being uncovered on the site of the medieval Christ’s Kirk, Birsay. It will take place at 7pm in the Warehouse Buildings, Stromness on Friday 10 November.

Shetland poet Christine de Luca will award prizes for this year’s George Mackay Brown Fellowship/ Wirdsmit writing competitions for adults and children celebrating both Magnus 900 and Stromness 200 in the Orkney Library and Archive from 1.15 pm on Saturday 11 November.

The Festival embraces writing in all the languages of Orkney and on Saturday 11 November Orkney writers Emma Grieve, Simon Hall, Morag MacInnes will read, joined by other writers in an Orcadian open mic session 3-4.30pm in the Orkney Library and Archive. On Sunday 12 November a dialect forum chaired by writer and local businessman Duncan McLean will take place 2-4pm in the Warehouse Buildings, Stromness with Christine de Luca, Harry Giles, Simon Hall, Robert Alan Jamieson and Morag MacInnes.

Jane Harris, Harry Giles, Robert Alan Jamieson and Jocelyn Rendall will read on Saturday 11 November at 7.30pm in the St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall and the closing event of the Festival is a reading on Sunday12 November, 7.30pm Stromness Town Hall with Christine de Luca, Amy Liptrot and Tim Morrison.

Admission to events is £5 (concessions £4; carers free) and a Whole Festival Pass is also available at the door. Full details of all events will appear in next Thursday’s issue of the Orcadian and are available on the George Mackay Brown Fellowship website and Facebook page.

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