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Book Week Scotland, Monday 18 November – Sunday 24 November

book week scotland

Scottish Book Trust today launched Book Week Scotland’s 2019 programme with comic book artist Frank Quitely of DC Comics All Star Superman and Batman and Robin fame. Book Week Scotland, the country’s biggest celebration of reading and writing, returns for its eight year with hundreds of events taking place all over Scotland from intimate community gatherings to flagship events with well-loved authors. A special book, Blether, created from real-life stories submitted by members of the public was also unveiled.

book week scotland

Working with a wide range of partners, Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, will deliver a diverse range of events and activities, many tying in with the Year of Conversation, including the Digital Festival with free events that can be accessed online by all.

100,000 free copies of the Blether book, celebrating the theme of conversation, will be available from libraries and other community venues during Book Week Scotland. The free book can also be ordered via Scottish Book Trust’s website, which features each and every personal story submitted by the people of Scotland. A selection of 30 stories are featured in the book, which also includes work from Still Game actor Jane McCarry; Hings author Chris McQueer, The Boxer author Nikesh Shukla and Bird Summons author Leila Aboulela.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Book Week Scotland brings people of all ages and walks of life together to share and enjoy books; it is a week of books and reading for everyone. We have an exciting range of inspiring, unusual and accessible events with a diverse mix of authors, writers and illustrators. This year we are celebrating the theme of conversation in all its forms, from a wee blether to the life changing heart-to-heart. We hope you can join us at a local Book Week Scotland event, or online through our Digital Festival.”

During Book Week Scotland there are hundreds of free events taking place across many different local authorities, funded by Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). In Glasgow, there is a selection of interesting events for Book Week Scotland, including:

Jim Carruth and Niall O’Gallagher – Poetry Blether at GoMA

Tuesday 19 November, 12.45pm  – 1.45pm

Library at GoMa, Royal Exchange Square

Free – Unticketed

Join Jim Carruth and Niall O’Gallagher for a poetry blether in English and Gaelic. A fantastic opportunity to hear these two Glasgow makars together in conversation and read their work at the Gallery of Modern Art. Jim Carruth is well known as Glasgow’s Makar and Niall is the first Bàrd Baile Ghlaschu, Glasgow’s Gaelic poet laureate.

Blether (Women only)

Thursday 21 November, 12.30pm – 2.30pm

Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy Street, Glasgow

Paid/Free – Ticketed

Everyone knows we love nothing more than a good blether at Story Café! Comedian Lubna Kerr will share funny stories of being a Scottish Asian Women including her transition from “working as a pharmacist – one of the top professions according to South Asian mums – to a career in comedy and acting”. Pull up a chair and join us for an afternoon of laughter!

Tomorrow’s Kitchen – A Community Meal

Thursday 21 November, 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Windsor Community, 1 Windsor Street

Paid – Ticketed

Organised by one of Scottish Book Trust’s Emerging Programmers, Tomorrow’s Kitchen is a sharing and exploration of recipes, ingredients and the multiculturalism present within Glasgow. The community meal will test out for the very first time a series of new (creative) recipes for you and the community to try as well as sharing food-related stories that might be folkloric, poetic, political and more. We welcome you to eat with us, listen with us and share some of your own food thoughts with us! The community meal is part of a larger Tomorrow’s Kitchen project creating a cookbook graphic novel authored by the community. For more information on the wider project look here:


Peter Mortimer – A Glasgow Blether

Thursday 21 November, 6pm – 7pm

Bridgeton Library, 2-16 Orr Street

Free – Unticketed

Do you remember dancing at the Dennistoun Palais or prancin’ at the Plaza? Did you go to the Empire theatre or the Olympia cinema? Is your old school still standing or has it disappeared into the mists of time? Why not come along for a stroll down memory lane? Local historian Peter Mortimer will give an illustrated talk on the disappearing buildings of old Glasgow with a chance for you to join in the blether.

Zine the Archive!

Friday 22 November, 1pm – 2.30pm

Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy Street

Free – Ticketed

Learn to write and bind your own zine! In this workshop, we’ll transform copies of archival material from the Women’s Aid Archive into hand-bound zines. During the first half of the workshop, we’ll use archival material to tell our own stories, crafting poetry or prose through the inspirational material housed at the library. You’ll then learn how to hand-bind your stories into miniature books using traditional bookbinding techniques. This event is open to all.

Oor Wullie and Friends

Saturday 23 November, 11am – 12pm

The Mitchell Library, 201 North Street

Free – Unticketed

Join Cuilean Craicte and illustrator Tom Morgan-Jones for fun and games with Uilleam Againne (Oor Wullie) and friends – in Gaelic! Draw along with Tom, try some of Uilleam’s favourite games and listen carefully so you can answer the quiz questions at the end for a chance to win a soor ploom or two! This event is suitable for ages 6–10 years.

The Novels That Shaped Our World

Saturday 23 November, 12pm – 1pm

The Mitchell Library, North Street

Ticket information

To mark the 300th anniversary of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, a new BBC television series to be broadcast this autumn will explore the novels that have shaped our world. The BBC will host a Novels That Shaped Our World event, complementing the new three-part BBC Two TV series. BBC Arts will be asking guests to discuss the novels that have shaped their worlds, from the established classics to the popular contemporary hits, and possibly some interesting surprises. Featuring award-winning crime writer Denise Mina.

Mairi Kidd, Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland said:

“From the Gruffalo to gardening and crime to cookery, there’s something for everyone in Book Week Scotland. There are so many ways to get involved – online or in venues across the country, from telephone boxes to local libraries, where you’ll find books in English, Gaelic, Scots and other languages as well as audio books, e-books, braille books and more. With a huge range of partners across the length and breadth of Scotland hosting an incredible programme of events, we hope the whole country has a blast blethering about books and stories.”


Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of The Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC) said:

“Libraries across Scotland will be joining in the Book Week Scotland celebrations, meaning everyone has the opportunity to get involved. Libraries offer the perfect place to celebrate the joy of reading and, with a range of digital resources available, people can use their local library to get involved in the Digital Festival. In keeping with the Year of Conversation, libraries are trusted spaces where people can connect with others and engage in new experiences. Get along to your local library and get involved.”

Book Week Scotland also features a fundraising initiative, Big Book Swap, to support Scottish Book Trust.  Join hundreds of schools, workplaces and community groups on Friday 22 November to swap books and raise money to help Scottish Book Trust to continue to support people in Scotland to reach their potential through reading and writing. To sign up and receive your free fundraising guide, visit Big Book Swap.

The Book Week Scotland 2019 programme is available to view in full here.

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