Celebrating literature at Wigtown Book Festival
Literature is an important and enjoyable for adults and children alike. Whether you’re a writer or a reader, the annual Wigtown Book Festival has an event for you.
Situated in Dumfries and Galloway, this year the festival is celebrating its 20th birthday with a programme of events for adults, children and young people. The festival is just one of the year-round events organised by Wigtown Festival Company to make Dumfries and Galloway a place where literature changes lives.
This year’s festival takes place from 21-30 September in Scotland’s National Book Town. The town has less than 1,000 residents but is renowned for the hospitality and warmth that they offer to visitors. The programme of 250 events includes literature, film, music, theatre and visual arts along with a platform for discussions on current affairs. Alongside books and workshops you can enjoy local food, drink, arts and crafts and festival dinners in quirky venues.
A children’s programme has been created to offer family events for the youngest festival-goers. Events for 10-13s and 14-25s are produced and hosted by the young people themselves and include masterclasses and conversations on topics that are relevant to young people today.
Since it began in 1999 the festival has welcomed more than 220,000 visitors and attracted guests such as Clare Balding, Frank Gardener, Joanna Lumley, Judy Murray and Ian Rankin. It is rooted in the local community with 150 volunteers who promise a warm reception whether you’re buying tickets, looking for directions or browsing the festival bookshop. Some have even been supporting the event since its inception and have helped it to grow over the past two decades.
As in many rural areas opportunities to participate in the arts are limited, but the festival education programme reaches more than 2,000 school children across the region. Schools from outside Dumfries and Galloway are also welcome. The region has the second lowest average wage income in Scotland leading to deprivation, but the festival generates more than £3m each year for the local economy while giving access to the arts.
The fun doesn’t stop at the Wigtown Book Festival. There’s a year round programme of events that extend across the region from Dumfries in the east to Wigtown in the west. Big DoG is the first children’s book festival in Dumfries; Wigtown Writer’s Gathering develops the talent of emerging young writers in Dumfries and Galloway; mentoring for adult and young writers is available; and Hooked is an inspirational day in the region for young readers and writers.
This year’s programme will launch on Wednesday 1 August. You can find out more about Wigtown Book Festival and the year-round programme of events by clicking here.
Schools who want to visit the festival can get in touch with Anne Barclay at [email protected] to receive information about the programme.