Book Week Scotland Launches 2020 Virtual Programme

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.

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