BOOK WEEK SCOTLAND LAUNCHES 2020 PROGRAMME
Book Week Scotland, Monday 16 November – Sunday 22 November
Scottish Book Trust has today launched Book Week Scotland’s 2020 programme, which focuses
on the theme of Future. Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading
and writing, has worked closely with partners to ensure the celebration will go ahead this year in a
digital format due to the current pandemic.
Book Week Scotland is the country’s biggest celebration of reading and writing and it returns for its
ninth year from Monday 16 November to Sunday 22 November. Although there will be no face-to-
face events this year, the Digital Festival has a stellar line-up including award-winning author
Denise Mina; actress and comedian Ruby Wax; bestselling crime writer Louise Welsh and First
Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
To kick off the programme, writer Luke Winter joins Book Week Scotland for Dial a Story, a live
writing service that will take place in Edinburgh on Monday 16 November. Stationed at the Scottish
Book Trust phonebox, Luke will be available to write personalised stories on his typewriter, which
will be mailed to the participant. Members of the public can call Luke on 07818 173 266 between
11am and 2pm.
There will also be the opportunity for the public to take part in an online treasure hunt via Scottish
Book Trust’s social media for the chance to win a Zoom appointment with Luke Winter. During the
session, he will write a unique story for the winner: a perfect Christmas present for a loved one or
An avid reader herself, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will join #BookShelfChat: sharing favourites
from her own bookcase. The public are also encouraged to join in on Tuesday 17 November by
sharing photographs of their own bookshelves using the hashtag.
Libraries and community groups across Scotland are also taking part in Book Week Scotland, with
digital events in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.
More information can be found here .
50,000 free copies of the Future book, which includes real life stories from people around the
country, will be available from libraries and other community venues during Book Week Scotland.
A selection of 30 stories are featured in the book, which also includes work from author Abir
Mukherjee of A Rising Man and poets Romalyn Ante of Antiemetic for Homesickness and Dean
Atta of Black Flamingo.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:
“Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Book Week Scotland will look different this year. However, we’re still
excited to present a diverse and engaging programme with some of the biggest names in the
Scottish literary scene and beyond. Whether it is joining our Digital Festival, reading the Future
book or voting for the novel that sums up 2020, we hope everyone is able to take part this year in
some form. Thanks also to our partners for working hard to make Book Week Scotland possible
despite the difficulties.”
Viccy Adams, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland said:
“Book Week Scotland connects people and communities across the country with the joys of
reading for pleasure every year and sparks the imagination of the nation. In these difficult and
uncertain times, this programme will help people access the solace and support that books bring
into our lives and homes."
Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of The Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC) said:
“SLIC is delighted to support Book Week Scotland. The power of literature has never been more
important than in 2020. While library buildings may have closed during lockdown, readers still
managed to turn to books as a welcome escape from the pressures of the pandemic and we
witnessed an unprecedented spike in downloads of our digital reading resources. As such, I’m sure
there will be a big appetite for Book Week Scotland’s Digital Festival. Libraries across Scotland are
enthusiastically planning online content. There are some terrific names on the programme and it
will provide the perfect opportunity for people of all ages and interests to engage, learn and be
inspired by the joy of reading.”
Book Week Scotland event highlights:
Monday 16 November
11am – 2pm: Luke Winter will be available via telephone (07818 173 266) or by visiting the
Scottish Book Trust phonebox (George IV Bridge, outside Bank of Scotland). The event will
operate within COVID-19 restrictions.
12.30pm: Scottish literature and slavery – a walk along tour with the Edinburgh Caribbean
Association. Lisa Williams, director of ECA takes playwright and poet Hannah Lavery on a
literary-inspired tour of the capital city. The event will explore Edinburgh's deep connections
with Africa, Asia and the Caribbean from the 16th century to the present day.
Tuesday 17 November
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joins #BookShelfChat with a tour of her bookshelf.
8-bit game ‘Robert Burns Saves the World’ featuring Scottish literary characters launches –
play as Jackie Kay, Muriel Spark, Robert Louis Stevenson, Nan Shepherd and many more
8pm: Comic writer Neil Slorance hosts Comic Jam via Twitch.
Wednesday 18 November
Book Week Scotland vote result announced: if 2020 was a book, what would it be? Vote
now for your favourite here .
12.30pm: Author Ross Sayers has a rallying cry for young writers in a new film.
8pm: Award-winning author Denise Mina in conversation with Red Handed, true crime
podcasters Suruthi Bala and Hannah Macguire.
Thursday 19 November
12pm -2pm: The popular #ReadingLunch returns! The public are encouraged to post their
lunch and their current read on social media with the hashtag.
4pm: Writing The Cutting Room: a film premiere featuring behind the scenes stories from
Louise Welsh’s debut, award-winning novel.
8pm: New Suns, Different Futures – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímíde and Andrea Hairston, chaired
by Nyla Ahmad, discuss the anthology which showcases emerging and seasoned writers of
colour telling stories of speculative fiction.
Friday 20 November
10am: Punching the Air: award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform
activist Dr Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five discuss their powerful YA novel in verse
about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated – chaired by award-winning author Patrice
12.30pm: See You in 10 Years: a film exploring the journey with Scottish Book Trust , patron
Val McDermid and National Library of Scotland, who have worked together to develop a
time capsule that will include writing from young people of Scotland. Glasgow Artist Ali
Forbes has been commissioned to design the capsule.
4pm: Big Book Week Scotland quiz: join Scottish Book Trust for this fun literary quiz to
fundraise for the charity.
Saturday 21 November
#BookSwoonScotland: join in online and post the best book covers you own.
4pm: Writing Disabilities in Fiction: author Ever Dundas and crime writer Nell Pattison
discuss the barriers they have faced during publication and what equals good
representation in fiction.
Sunday 22 November
10.30am: Futures, Connecting and Faith with author Leila Aboulela and poet Nadine Aisha
4pm: To the Future with Love – actor and comedian Ruby Wax ends the week on a high
with historian and author